Posted by: asmith60 | March 21, 2011


The aspects of colonialism that I find most interesting  are mark of the plural and orientalism. Mark of the plural can be defined as applying the same traits and characteristics to all individuals within a group. An example of this in the context of colonialism can be found in The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi. In the book the colonizers think that all of the colonized are lazy. It does not matter which specific colonized it is, or for that matter whether the colonizer has even met the specific colonized. The colonizer believes all of the colonized are lazy just because they are the colonized. After being subjected to the mark of the plural for long enough, the colonized begin to believe that they actually are lazy.

Orientalism can be defined in many ways. It is simply defined as a viewpoint held by someone in the West, in which Asia, or specifically the Arabic Middle East, is seen as exotic, mysterious, or irrational. Orientalism is similar to mark of the plural. In both cases beliefs about a group of people are being unfairly applied to all individuals within that group. The difference between the two terms lies in the specific groups and beliefs being referenced. Mark of the plural can apply to any group of people, whereas orientalism refers specifically to the West’s beliefs about the Orient (Asia, especially the Middle East).

For my paper I would like to focus orientalism while applying characteristics of mark of the plural to my analysis. I believe that by looking at past examples of mark of the plural we can shed light on many of the mysteries that surround the current situation caused by widespread orientalism. I hope to propose possible theories as to how orientalism originated, why it is so widespread in the West, and how it can be controlled.



  1. I’m excited to see which international situation you choose to write about. I haven’t read any blogs thus far that are incorporating Orientalism, so I’m interested to see what you choose as your topic. I’m sure it’ll be great!

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