From its publication in 1978, Edward Said’s magnum opus Orientalism has generated fierce and unrelenting debates regarding its epistemology and scope, and the interpretive validity of its Western cultural representations of the self and other. Since then, however, the world has become increasingly governed by different sets of assumptions, ideologies, relations of production and reproduction, and matrixes of power relations. This article considers whether orientalism has kept its hold on Western public opinion, media presentations, political elites, and sections of the scholarly community’s mode of thinking in the current neo-liberal, globalised, digitalised and securitised world. It also considers whether its mutation has shifted to engender a paradigmatic change and argues that alongside the old-style orientalism, a more sophisticated, subtle, and up-to-date perspective has appeared. Although its emphases, concerns and methodologies might represent a certain departure from old orientalist dogmas, its objective seems to remain largely intact.
- decline of the West
- new racism