What Is "Orientalism?"


12 Answers

Christopher Adam Profile
Orientalism refers to the way in which non-Western (specifically Asian) cultures are perceived in the West, by scholars, writers, thinkers, politicians and society at large. Orientalism first appeared during the 19th century, when many scholars felt that a better knowledge of Asia was necessary to further the West's colonial aspirations.

Edward Said developed the notion of orientalism and argued that this form of thought tells more about the values and biases of western society than about the Far East.

Said observed that in Orientalism, Asian men are widely depicted as feminine and weak, but still dangerous to white, western women. Interestingly, this was also how African American men were portrayed in most American books and films, in the period prior to the Civil Rights movement, as well as aboriginal men in both the US and Canada. Orientalism involves the use of generalizations and stereotypes to describe what Orientalist thinkers understood as the exotic nature of the Far East.

Orientalism also portrayed Asia as a bizarre, eccentric and backward place, utterly different from the "rational," orderly and generally democratic western world.
d ds Profile
d ds answered
Orientalism is the study of the colonial people by the west as they believed that by having full knowledge they could gain full control over them. So the various characteristics of orientalism were first of all the term orient, the one being studied, which was defined as a vast geographical region that encompasses various cultures and it includes the Asian and mid eastern regions. Another characteristic is that the orient is considered to be inferior and backward. Another characteristic is that the orient is considered to be very weak and it is waiting to be conquered as it can no fend for itself and its sole purpose of existence is to serve the powerful nation.
Sachin P Profile
Sachin P answered
Orientalism is the study of the Eastern societies and cultures. The sphere of influence also covers the native languages and people. Over the years a number of scholars have referred to the imitation or depiction of the various aspects of these cultures in the West by dedicated writers, and artists. Orientalism is also an indication of the typical eastern motifs and styles in art, architecture and design.

In the modern world, the Orientalism is synonymous with Chinese films, the Hindu religion, the Islamic culture and even the Japanese arts. While the East is referred to as the Orient, the West is called the Occident. Comparisons between the two worlds have always been the centre of research for many scholars and the best of both worlds is a utopian thought. All the nations of the world strive to make this ideal fusion between the east and the west possible and the best of both cultures continue to influence the other.

The Orient or the East is synonymous with culture as the west is with materialistic prosperity. Orientalism is not a modern concept and has been around since the beginning of time. The art and architecture of the Orient is explored to the maximum on the celluloid screen, by film-makers of the west.
farah naz Profile
farah naz answered
Orientalism refers to mannerism, quality, or customs specific to or characteristic of the Orient. Given definition of the Orientalism doesn't suffice for a complete reflection of the Orientalism, as Edward Sayid contends that Orientalism means more than sheer understanding of the Orient, rather it refers to a biased understanding of the Orient on the part of the west.  Some glaring examples of Orientalism can be found in the following content:  Firstly, the justifying principle of colonialism, which the west used extensively for its imperialistic designs, emerged out of Orientalism whereby the west conveniently declared the Orient "ignorant and dark" and to enlighten it the west embarked upon colonial expedition.  Secondly, so long as cultural interaction started between the east and the west, one way flow of ideas and philosophy appears marked, the stream of flow has been from the west to eastwards. It again proves that under the influence of the Orientalism the west has been reluctant to open up its acceptance to the Oriental philosophy and ideas, rather it has been immensely concentrating on pouring the western philosophy and ideas generously on the Orient.    Thirdly, the recent most manifestation of Orientalism is exhibited through neo-imperialism, under which the west led by the U.S.A. Is invading the dark and ignorant of the Orient, to enlighten them.
Lily James Profile
Lily James answered

Orientalism is basically the depiction of Eastern cultures in West by designers, writers and artists etc. The term Orientalism has been derived from the Latin word Oriens which means rising.

The three characteristics of Orientalism are as follows:

-  It is a racist term that has been used by west to depict the cultures of the eastern part of the world.

- The clothes worn by women in the east are demeaned by Orientalists.

- The people from the Orient are criticized on their looks and color by the Orientalists.

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Anonymous answered
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Aisha Profile
Aisha answered
Orientalism is a concept present in the postcolonial studies referring to the treatment of non-Western cultures by colonial forces. The term "Oriental" is a racist term used by colonizers to refer to any culture present in the eastern hemisphere.
This character is often in a passive, ignorant role to a clearly dominant power. For example, the "Oriental" women's clothing could be scant in comparison with white men. The settings are described in fanciful, ornate terms which are totally opposite from the khaki furnishings of the "civilized" people who view the scene. See the link for more information: orientalism
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The views of the people, the history of orient with no recognition of change oner time, and the diversity of culture.

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