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Hall The West and the Rest Q&A

Stuart Hall - "The West and the Rest"
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Christendom - what is it's relevance to the "west and the
rest"?: -Christendom became sympatric with the West and its
differentiating qualities
-same way how Europe defines itself in contrast to Islam
How did the West take shape/was formed?: -in contrast to the
-encountered at age of colonial expansion
How does the concept of the West function?: 1. allows for
classification: western vs. non-western
2. forms an image or picture, associations: "western" conjures
an immediate image of modern people/society
3. creates standard for comparison: sets an ideal against which
societies can be ranked (evolutionary or developmental
4. allows for judgment of other societies based on this scale,
where west = good; functions as an ideology
How is discourse related to the West and the rest?: discourse is how we represent and talk about the West versus
the Rest
-Foucault argues there is no differentiation between thought
and action, or language and practice
-discourse is a way of producing knowledge or constituting a
particular reality
What does it mean to ask "are they true men"?: -how other
are the others?
-other enough as to not be considered truly human? Not made
in "image of God"?
-not human enough as to merit enslavement?
-what kind of intellectual project did the "discovery" of others
What does the "west and the rest" connote?: "us vs them",
modernity vs. savagry
What is a regimes of truth?: -power is implicit in discourse!
-when discourse is effective in organizing relations of power, it
becomes a regime of truth
-e.g. Orientalism in reference to Arab/Muslims has a discourse
that is implicated with a power dynamic
What is the discursive strategies used to construct the others
to the European self?: 1. idealization
2. projection of fantasies and rituals of degradation
3. failure to recognize and respect difference
4. tendency to impose European categories and norms
What is the evidence of this role of the Rest?: -European
colonial expansion to New World
-coincided w/ consolidation of West as a category or idea,
idea that European countries were part of a single family or
-just like the West, Europe is not a geographical entity as much
as it IS a social one!
What is the example of the Palestinians?: -discourse
represents them as both freedom fighters and terrorists
What is the West?: -not a geographical concept
-the West is a historical concept
-Hall asks how this concept arose and what were the effects
What kind of category is the west?: -sociohistorically
constructed category
-NOT a descriptive category, not a simple reflection of reality
-term is crucial to constitution of Western societies
-idea of West took shape in contrast to the Rest - encountered
at age of colonial expansion
What major categories of social theory does Hall utilize?: Michel Foucault
-power and discourse
-Hall uses these to understand the construction of the West as
a category
What was the role of the Rest?: -Ferdinand de Saussure:
meaning takes shape within relations of opposition
-developmental trajectories: psychological Self of child takes
shape through differentiation and in contrast against others
-"me" is shaped through the recognition of the "not me"
-role of Rest therefore is to be used as a differentiating factor
for the West, helps the West identify itself uniquely