Edward Said

Bryce, Derek (2016) Edward Said. In: New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory. Blackwell Companions to Sociology . Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 1-4. ISBN 978-1-119-25074-6

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Abstract

Edward Said (1935-2003) was a prominent Palestinian-American cultural theorist of the late 20th and early 21st century. An academic specialist in Comparative Literature at Columbia University, he is perhaps best known for the title, Orientalism and the associated books Culture and Imperialism and Covering Islam. In Orientalism, he offers both historical and contemporary critiques of Western discursive practice, which renders, initially, the rival civilizations of the Middle East and Islam first into an ideological contestant to the West and then into knowable, conquerable space. He extends these ideas to the wider ‘post-colonial’ world in Culture and Imperialism and offers arguments, in all three books listed above, for how the West has developed and adapted these practices for renewed economic and political domination over other societies.