Hybridity and Postmodernism

The articles written by Bhabha, Klor de Alva and Stoddard and Cornwell can all be classified as a postmodern or poststructuralist.  This kind of approach to cultural studies and understanding identities tends to look at smaller details that make up the bigger picture.  It focuses on present day issues that are affecting our society and the way that we interact with other countries and the treatment they receive from the powerful First World.  Labeling culture studies as postmodern is more of an academic reference that is seems to be more of a study device rather than an action device.  Some pros of this include different perspectives, a more accurate depiction and information of other countries and questions that we would have not asked ourselves otherwise.  Some cons include the tendency to be very negative and hopeless about the state of affairs the world is in and a lack of solution to problems.  But that’s not to say that a postmodern/poststructuralist perspective does not bring up important points that we can learn about.

In Bhabha’s article, he says that “we find ourselves in the moment of transit where space and time cross to produce complex figures of difference and identity, past and present, inside and outside, inclusion and exclusion…think beyond narratives originary and initial subjectives and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences” (Bhabha 1).  The main argument he made was that there is no such thing as culture anymore and migrants who come to places like America lose their culture in the process of achieving success.  Those who are high class travelers would not understand traditional culture as well as someone who is indigenous or someone who remains closely tied.  The passage is meant to say that everything in our lives revolves around a binary of vast sorts and we need to see the differences in order to articulate meaning.

Stoddard and Cornwell look into the way different culture groups become integrated into Trinidad, a country that not many scholars tend to focus on.  The Creole culture is seen as “one important manifestation of hybridity and hence to the structuring of racial divisions…embedding within the new discourses a contradiction or ambiguity central to the labeled and relevant to the question of its applicability outside the Caribbean” (Stoddard and Cornwell 335).  Using signs and signifiers, the meaning behind a Creole identity is built and applied around the Caribbean, but whether or not it is widely received is another question.  Since the country and the culture itself has broad roots from French to African traditions, it is difficult for people in Trinidad to find a place where they fit in and be taken seriously as a country.  Through a postmodern perspective, we can look at the finer details as to what makes the culture rich and valuable and can work on expanding that to the rest of the Caribbean and the world.

Klor de Alva focuses his article on colonization and relates to the American colonial era when they wanted to separate from Europe.  He says that “the Americas, as former parts of empires which, after a series of civil wars, separated themselves politically and economically, but not culturally or socially, from their metropolis…” (Klor de Alva 247).  This is actually a good reflection point for our own culture.  While we separated ourselves from Britain and the rest of Europe, we did not give back the culture and customs that they had given us.  Because of this, it has affected the way that we approach other countries.  While we try to apply postmodern aesthetics to other places, we have yet to really use it on our own country and see what we can do to better ourselves.

by Christina


This entry was posted in Cafe Discussion, Carina, Christina, Jenessy. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply