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This innovative and lively book is quite unlike any other introduction to postcolonialism. Robert Young examines the political, social, and cultural after-effects of decolonization by presenting situations, experiences, and testimony rather than going through the theory at an abstract level.He situates the debate in a wide cultural context, discussing its importance as an historical condition, with examples such as the status of aboriginal people, of those dispossessed from their land, Algerian rai music, postcolonial feminism, and global social and ecological movements. Above all,Young argues, postcolonialism offers a political philosophy of activism that contests the current situation of global inequality, and so in a new way continues the anti-colonial struggles of the past.
Postcolonialism as a critical approach and pedagogic practice has informed literary and cultural studies since the late 1980s. The term is heavily loaded and has come to mean a wide, and often bewildering, variety of approaches, methods, politics and ideas. Beginning with the historical origins of postcolonial thought in the writings of Gandhi, Cesaire and Fanon, this guide moves on to Edward Said's articulation into a critical approach and finally to postcolonialism's multiple forms in contemporary critical thinking, including theorists such as Bhabha, Spivak, Arif Dirlik and Aijaz Ahmed. Written in jargon-free language and illustrated with examples from literary and cultural texts, this book addresses the many concerns, forms and 'specializations' of postcolonialism, including gender and sexuality studies, the nations and nationalism, space and place, history and politics. It explains the key ideas, concepts and approaches in what is arguably the most influential and politically edged critical approach in literary and cultural theory today.