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UNFINISHED--Modern Orientalism and its Use in Justifying American Political Agenda: Binary Opposition: Provides Insight into the Working of Ideology

UNFINISHED--Modern Orientalism and its Use in Justifying American Political Agenda: Binary Opposition: Provides Insight into the Working of Ideology

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Published by Anika Reza
I have several essays that I have started and then discarded for various reasons, usually I ended up finding another topic I wanted to write on more but I have still put in some effort in these ones and there is value in the concepts and ideas and so I thought to share to hopefully aid (inspire) another fellow student in their study
I have several essays that I have started and then discarded for various reasons, usually I ended up finding another topic I wanted to write on more but I have still put in some effort in these ones and there is value in the concepts and ideas and so I thought to share to hopefully aid (inspire) another fellow student in their study

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Published by: Anika Reza on Dec 17, 2009
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12/17/2009

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Anika RezaCarleton University
Modern Orientalism and its Use in JustifyingAmerican Political Agenda
Binary Opposition: Provides Insight into the Working of Ideology
One definition of truth is “conformity with fact or reality”
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which then begsthe question what is reality? One group of scholars would argue reality is subjectivethus my reality and truth may not be the same as another’s but both would becorrect. Another school of thought is that there is a one constant reality and thatour perceptions are different thus we may perceive things differently but there isonly one truth or reality. Since one can never escape from one’s own perception itmatters not if reality is subjective or if there is one truth in so far as what weperceive will determine our belief. Orientalism is an idea that has a history and atradition with supporting institutions, vocabulary, imagery and doctrines that havegiven it reality for the West.
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Orientalism exists only as a creation of the West whichserves the purpose of defining the West more fully by acting as a contrasting agent. The Orient is barbaric where the West is civilized and the West is Masculine wherethe Orient is described as feminine. Orientalism not only helps define what the Westis but it categorizes the some of the vast lands of Africa, Middle East and Asia under
 
one neat title instead of delving into and learning of the diverse religion and culturethat can be found within those lands.
Epistemology: The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.Ontology: the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence orbeing as such.It serves the West’s purpose to villainize the East because they need Oil“The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fullyas necessary to seem to know something as to know it.”Daniel Webster quotes (American Statesman, Senator and Orator, 1782-1852)Said, Edward. Covering Islam. New York: Pantheon Books, 1981.-“the term “Islam” as it is used today seems to mean one simple thing but infact is part fiction, part ideological label, part minimal designation of areligion called Islam” (X)-“Yet there is a consensus on “Islam” as a kind of scapegoat for everythingwe do not happen to like about the world’s new political, social, andeconomic pattern. For the right, Islam represents barbarism; for the left,medieval theocracy; for the center, a kind of distasteful exoticism.” (XV)“any beginning student of literature knows: that the writing or reading of texts about human reality brings into play many more factors than can beaccounted for )or protected) by labels like “objective” (XVIII)Said, Edward. The Question of Palestine. New York: Times Books, 1979.Snedeker, George. The Politics of Critical Theory. Lanham: University Press of America, 2004.
 
“Modern Orientalism involves a close interaction between political,economic, and cultural interests.” (34)

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