Cultural Hybridity – Postcolonial Studies

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Introduction

The term hybridity is a common term that mainly features in studies dealing with postcolonial theory. It is the point of reference when researching cultural studies and also constructing methods and models for the subject. Nonetheless, the premise is also under criticism by many scholars developing counter arguments of the theory while others modify the concept to apply in the prevailing circumstances (Kraidy 3).  The idea creates a democratic space to some while others view it as a strategy meant to propagate certain ideologies such as capitalism in the neocolonialism era. There has also been an allegation that the concept tends to reflect more on the lives of the theorists as opposed to depicting the beliefs and traditions of communities cited in the models. There is sufficient literature developed both in support and in protest over this postcolonial theory. The concept continues to gain popularity in the international arena and due to increased interest in communication studies. It is because initially, the cultural hybridity concept intended to serve as a communication tool.

It was a means for people to learn and orient themselves about the cultural differences and provided solutions on how to handle the identified challenges (Kraidy 3). Disciplines that examine communication for different cultures and also at the international level utilize the hybridity concept as a descriptive tool. That is, the concept is crucial when trying to explain how different cultures perceive and integrate different practices introduced at the international level. However, the use of the concept as a descriptive tool creates a new challenge of how to distinguish it from a product of global or local interactions as a way of a gaining political mileage. The following discussion looks into studies conducted on the application of the concept and how they influence community lifestyle in different parts of the world.

Literature Review

In New Zealand, the approach for cultural integration borrowed mainly from the country’s practices during the colonial era. Over time biculturalism became a popular concept, and people understood what it meant from the practical scenarios. Taking center stage has been the emergence of cultural politics about the debate on the binary of Maori. The country employed a simplified approach on the issue and settled for distinguishing categories especially the idea of us versus them. This situation created unnecessary rivalry and tension in the country because of the people who felt excluded (Acheraou 107).  The relationship between the Maori and Pakeha continued to face challenges as the two groups interacted. Similar to the main factors leading to cultural differences, issues of race, gender, social status and geographical locations characterized the basis of the rivalry between the two groups in New Zealand.

Scholars raised concerns over the issue and recommended a more subtle approach to the situation. They proposed that the country needed to revisit the bicultural politics in the country and take a new perspective. The idea involved reversing us versus them mentality with a more inclusive approach such as ‘both’

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