Cultural Appropriation as Archives : Media and Cultural Analysis Assignment C


Orientalism can also be regarded as one of the main forms of cultural appropriation. It spans broadly through all forms of media, with stereotypical representations in art, literature, films, television and on other platforms on the web. Essentially, orientalism refers to the way that the "European West" portrays the culture of the East, including the Middle East, North Africa, South West Asia, and South East Asia. 

Historically, this term can be seen as mentioned in Edward W. Said's book, "Orientalism", published in 1978. The book gives an account about the concept, the division between the West and the East in terms of culture and how it has occurred, and the specific identities that come out of it. Said argues that Orientalism was created because of politics, in terms of the fact that the European West viewed themselves as stronger and more powerful than the people of the East. This most likely was due to the vast colonialism and expansion that Europe went through, by overthrowing the leaders of several countries in the East. Said states, "...from 1815 to 1914 European direct colonial dominion expanded from about 35 percent of the Earth's surface to about 85 percent of it" (Said, 41). 

Excerpts from Edward W. Said's book, "Orientalism", can be found here


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