This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The World in Creolisation
and pervasive. People are formed from birth by these systems of meaning and largely live their lives in contexts shaped by them. There is that sense of a continuous spectrum of interacting forms, in which the various contributing sources of the culture are differentially visible and active. And, in relation to this, there is a built-in political economy of culture, as social power and material resources are matched with the spectrum of cultural forms. A number of important points seem to come together here. If the 'Standard', the officially approved language of the metropolis, stands at one end of the Creole continuum of language, metropolitan culture in some prestige variant occupies the corresponding position on the cultural spectrum. But what are the mechanisms which place it there, on the range of variations of a national culture, and how do the members of the society come to be arranged in some fashion along that range on the basis of their personal cultural repertoires? I sketched such a spectrum above in spatial terms, from city to village, but this tends not to explain much in itself. If we should look for the mechanisms which are more directly involved in the distributive ordering of culture, we must note first of all that in Third World societies, as elsewhere, the division of labour now plays a major part in generating cultural complexity. Anthropological thinking about culture seems too often to disregard this fact. On the one hand, the division of labour entails a division of knowledge, bringing people into interaction precisely because they do not share all understandings. By not sharing, of course, they can increase their collective cultural inventory. On the other hand, as people are differently placed within the division of labour, they develop varied perspectives going beyond that knowledge which is in some sense commoditised, involved in material transactions.
So cultural studies could well benefit from a fresh start in this area, one that sees the world as it is in the late twentieth century. Scattered here and there in anthropology recently, there have been intimations that this world of movement and mixture is a world in creolisation; that a concept of Creole culture with its congeners may be our most promising root metaphor. Moving from the social and cultural history of particular colonial societies (where they have tended to apply especially to particular racial or ethnic categories) to the discourse of linguists, Creole concepts have become more general in their applications. And it is with a usage along such lines that they are now being retrieved. Drummond thus moves from a consideration of internal variability and change in the symbolic processes of ethnicity in Guyana to a general view that there are now no distinct cultures, only intersystemically connected, creolising Culture. Fabian suggests that the colonial system in Africa - "frequently disjointed, hastily thrown together for the purpose of establishing political footholds' - produced pidgin contact cultures. In the following period there was creolisation, the emergence of viable new syntheses. In Zaire he finds this represented in popular painting, such as in the mamba muntu genre of mermaid images; in the Jamaa religious movement, based on a Belgian missionary's interpretation of Bantu philosophy; and in Congo jazz. Graburn sees new Creole art forms, anchored in the reformulated consciousness of Third and Fourth World peoples, expanding beyond the restricted codes of tourist art. Current creolist linguistics probably has enough theoretical diversity and controversy to allow for rather varied borrowings into cultural theory. As I see it myself, Creole cultures like Creole languages are those which draw in some way on two or more historical sources, often originally widely different. They have had some time to develop and integrate, and to become elaborate
I believe there is room for a more optimistic view of the vitality of popular expressive forms in the Third
The dominant varieties of world system thought which have developed in recent times seem mostly to leave anthropologists uninterested. Along the entire creolising spectrum. . too often in world system thinking there simply seems to be no room for culture.writers. the real Mecca was not London. Back in the provincial town a schoolteacher may speak admiringly of the classic ethnography of his people. at least in any systematic form. through education and popular culture.as they have heard it. although he may be critical at points on the basis of the oral history he has collected himself. the creator of Afro beat music. unco-ordinated and possibly contradictory. (For Ahmadu Bello. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. managing their own culture. the 'serial polyandry' of their forefathers and foremothers now seems as titillating to the sophisticates in Kafanchan as Mormon polygamy may be to many Americans. Very briefly. It seems a little too ready to forget that the influences of any one centre on the peripheries may not be wholly monolithic. rather than creating massive cultural homogeneity on a global scale. While far from immune to the charms of the metropolis. is replacing one diversity with another. a conversation between cultures goes on. like intellectuals in most places. and the new diversity is based relatively more on interrelations and less on autonomy. from print to electronics. Receding into the past. but may be varied. and the ability of the media to create new social relationships and contexts (as well as to alter old ones). carriers of an adversary culture. and that the merger of quite different streams can create a particular intensity in cultural processes. and that certain of them may not be the products of colonial or post-colonial periods. the northern Nigerian politician.T h e W o r l d in Creolisation World. from the heyday of colonialism. political radical and hero of Nigerian popular culture. artists or academics . or Fela for short. World system thought sometimes indeed breeds its own rhetorical oversimplifications. It is their report on the dialogue between the metropolitan culture and themselves . Of that subtle understanding there is as yet little in the anthropology of complex cultures. The active handling of meanings of various local and foreign derivations can allow them to work as commentaries on one another. They cannot take the subject as seriously as the missionaries and the first generation of Christian converts did. they are to some extent counter-cultural. critical intellectuals and small-town storytellers.maybe close to the point of entry of the international flow of meaning into national cultures. at least if the Nigerian example is anything at all to go by. of course. would seem to be our distrust of approaches which seem too determined not to let small facts get in the way of large issues. This may in part be due to the tradition of anthropological practice. conflicting or complementary. Another reason. these forms are by no means pure traditional Nigerian culture. but. in new ways. Mecca was Mecca. What they may broadcast about metropolitan culture through the channels of communication reaching into their society. Yet meanings and modes of expressing them can be born in the interrelations. is not necessarily that culture itself. from First World metropolis to Third World village. through never-ending intermingling and counterpoint. too little concerned with what the peripheries do both for themselves and to the centre. in either a pure or a somehow diluted form. it seems to me. is that it suggests that the different cultural streams engaging one another in creolisation may all be actively involved in shaping the resultant forms. what is needed to understand the transforming power of media technology. self-consciously making themselves the spokesmen and guardians of Third World cultures (at least some of the time). ambivalent or hostile. One of the advantages of a creolist view of contemporary Third World cultural organisation. then. with its preference for the small-scale. tells his biographer that he was Africanised by a black American girlfriend in California who gave him a consciousnessraising working-over. the authentically alien. But. on cultures generally is a subtle understanding of the interplay between ideas.) And. We must be aware that openness to foreign cultural influences need not involve only an impoverishment of local and national culture. however. The world system. they respond to them critically as well. It may give people access to technological and symbolic resources for dealing with their own ideas. In its typical figures of speech there may be no room for recognising that there may be several centres. Third World intellectuals generally. symbolic modalities with their varied potentialities. last but not least. too sure that the dominant is totally dominant. consultants. its own vulgarities. the face-to-face. by way of missionaries.
For Bakhtin. syncretism. it seems. creolization. without Olympic Games and 'the Japanese model'? In the end. such as language. some terms used perhaps only in passing as summary metaphors. As Homi Bhabha takes the notion into the cultural critique of colonialism. entailing contradiction. or will it be enriched? And the questions are perhaps just slightly changed in the real centres of the world. unmasking each other. at least not as far as politics goes. transculturation. because an understanding of the world system in cultural terms can be enlightening not only in Third World studies but also as we try to make of anthropology a truly gen- eral and comparative study of culture. What is really Swedish culture? In an era of population movements and communication satellites will it survive. due in large part to its presence in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin. Boundaries and Hybrids: Keywords in Transnational Anthropology Ulf Hannerz hybridity was above all the coexistence of two languages. too. Creole cultures are not necessarily only colonial and post-colonial cultures. with varied analytical objectives. the trickster theme may seem not far away. art. Mostly they seem to suggest a concern with cultural form. bricolage. or cuisine). again. it demands of us that we see complexity and fluidity as an intellectual challenge rather than as something to escape from. have taken it in different directions. Yet we are also drawn into the world system and its centre-periphery relations. It could even be the most distinctive contribution anthropology can make to world system studies. music. commenting on one another. two linguistic consciousnesses. collage. here we are now. we are all being creolised. I spend most of my time in a small country which for the last half-millennium or so has been nobody's colony. others with claims to more analytical status. hotchpotch. We can perhaps benefit from it. third cultures and what have you. hybridity is by now itself a term which is far from unambiguous. melange. of colonial cultural authority. montage. ambiguity. synergy. It should point us to ways of looking at systems of meaning which do not hide their connections with the facts of power and material life. and the terms of debate in these 1980s seem to be those of creolisation. they relate to domains of fairly tangible cultural materials. cultural products (and conspicuously often. What would life be like there without swamis and without reggae. Flows. . from easy mobility between disciplines (but then several of the other terms are also fairly footloose). "Synergy" may not have much of a past in anthropology. Let us have a quick look at some of the other words for mixture. mestizaje. But Benedict used it for situations understood as internal to cultures. ritual. like "flow". where an "act or skill that advantages the individual at the same time advantages the group". even within a single utterance. some appear more concerned with process than others. mongrelization. it comes to draw attention to the subversion. from a range of disciplines. It identifies diversity itself as a source of cultural vitality.Ulf H a n n e r z A macro-anthropology of culture which takes into account the world system and its centre-periphery relation appears to be well served by a creolist point of view. from 1941. the destabilization. too. and others again with more regional or thematic strongholds. At present. It seems hybridity is at present the more favored general term. Despite its biologistic flavor. the term seems less popular in anthropology than among professionals in the Anyway. no doubt drawing strength. irony. with hybridity. But as different commentators. it has a strength not least in literary scholarship. I take it. it has been pointed out that the concept shows up in some of Ruth Benedict's lecture notes.
and which. The origins of the idea of "creole" people and cultural phenomena are in the particular culture-historical context of New World plantation societies. and some might feel that the notion should be left there. but a new phenomenon.is that such an identification of creole cultures as a particular category might simply push those features of essentialism a step back. and thus also to pursue a more macroanthropological vision. and although "creolization" is no doubt sometimes also so used. there are a number of English-based creole languages in the world. . as he understood it. It hardly seems that at least some of Malinowski's American colleagues actually understood acculturation very differently. B o u n d a r i e s a n d Hybrids growing field of intercultural communication. In any case. stating that he had promised the author to "appropriate the new expression for /his/ own use. a term coined by the Cuban social historian Fernando Ortiz in his book Cuban Counterpoint. as in the anthropological tradition cultures have often been made to seem. Drawing on the linguistic parallel again. "transculturation" may have been made more popular again especially by Pratt's use of it in her study of travel writing. until they were thus joined. (Remember 1066. by referring to a more elaborated type. I would argue that a creolist view is particularly applicable to processes of cultural confluence within a more or less open continuum of diversity.) The claim need only be that in one particular . and all that. transformed and complex. the more expansive use has been an established fact for some time. who use it to refer to the dynamic advantages of contacts and mergers between cultures. where the idea of synergy tends to lend an attractive aura to mergers and takeovers. but that to which I have been most strongly drawn myself. bounded. one could have a debate over this much like those over other concepts which have been taken out of particular areas to be used for more comparative purposes (caste. one of the attractions of this concept may be that it is in itself an example of counterflow. that is to say. way. a reality that is not a mechanical agglomeration of traits. but nobody would seriously argue that the English language is historically pure. While I believe that the others mostly denote cultural mixture as such. prestige and material resource terms. not so much a frontier or a borderland. a term much preferable to acculturation. and "timeless". stretched out along a structure of center-periphery relationships which may well extend transnationally. who met Ortiz in Havana in 1939. Along such lines it appears to me possible to integrate cultural with social analysis. original and independent". in a way not equally clearly suggested by many of the other concepts in this cluster.) The identification of Creole cultures draws attention to the fact that some cultures are very conspicuously not "bounded". which he thought fell upon the ear in an unpleasant way. and at the same time restricted. But again.and other related notions may be confronted with it as well . It was. he agreed with Ortiz. is "creolization". "Synergy". Malinowski felt. it is also suggested that these cultures draw some of their vitality and creativity precisely from the dynamics of mixture (although the celebration here may be somewhat tempered by the recognition that the cultures are also built around structures of inequality). was a system of give and take. ) . these interculturalists themselves often move in the borderlands of the world of business. And in postcolonial times. Going back about equally far in anthropology is "transculturation". . taboo . and in analogy with creolist understandings there. it does not matter much which of these concepts one chooses. has distinctly celebratory overtones built into it. (And it may also suggest a social landscape which is rather more structured. and which is characterized also by inequality in power. "a process from which a new reality emerges. nor even a mosaic."sounds like a cross between a hiccup and a belch" . I think this concept can be used in a more precise. and to the extent that the celebratory stance toward hybridity recurs here as well. acknowledging its paternity. "homogeneous".F l o w s . Transculturation. from periphery to center. And of course. this also means that creolization becomes a less general term. One objection occasionally raised against the creolization concept . particularly in sociolinguistics. "pure". Perhaps. wrote an introduction (dated 1940) to the book. I do not find this implication inevitable. primarily on the basis of my field experience in Nigeria. suggested a more one-sided cultural change. Bronislaw Malinowski. and so forth. In recent times. and use it constantly and loyally". totem. implying that the cultural currents joined through creolization were pure. despite their somewhat different histories and emphases.
Chinese tacos and Mardi Gras Indians in the United States. coupled with an interest in "anti-syncretism" . arguably. This approach is derived from Creole languages and linguistics. 'Creolization' itself is an odd. from industrialization. and. The doctrine of racial purity involves the fear of and dédain for the half-caste. In the Caribbean and North America it stands for the mixture of African and European (the Creole cuisine of New Orleans. to the extent that the cultural streams coming together. from around 1800. again an old idea. It has no room for crossover culture as in the development of'third cultures' such as world music. Irish bagels. while in Hispanic America 'criollo' originally denotes those of European descent born in the continent. Finally. At some point or other. used in and out of anthropology. One of the terms offered to describe this interplay is the creolization of global culture. This is an obvious case if we reckon that Europe until the fourteenth century was invariably the recipient of cultural influences from 'the Orient'. Globalization as Hybridization Jan Nederveen Pieterse Global Mélange: Windows for Research on Globalization How do we come to terms with phenomena such as Thai boxing by Moroccan girls in Amsterdam. but we are not forever engaged in it to the same degree. for example in the study of how. are historically distinct from another.but it is fundamentally incomplete.in a world where academics study non-academic lives and non-academics read academic texts. or 'Mexican schoolgirls dressed in Greek togas dancing in the style of Isidora Duncan'? How do we interpret Peter Brook directing the Mahabharata. have not been simply moving in the direction of cultural uniformity and standardization. The hegemony of the West dates only from very recent times. By . It overlooks the countercurrents . 'Creolization' means a Caribbean window on the world. in Afro-American cultures. but especially in the field of comparative religion. as in Comte de Gobineau's view that race mixture leads to decadence and decay for in every mixture the lower element is bound to predominate. some cultures are more Creole than others. It fails to see the influence non-Western cultures have been exercising on one another.the impact non-Western cultures have been making on the West. although perhaps not a continuously highly visible one. etc.on the contrary . Part of its appeal is that it goes against the grain of nineteenth-century racism and the accompanying abhorrence of métissage as miscegenation. Asian rap in London. hybrid term.J a n Nederveen Pieterse period. This is not to say that the notion of global cultural synchronization is irrelevant . West African deities have merged with Catholic saints. the leaders and adherents of some of the faiths involved are not particularly pleased with scholarship which appears to deny the authenticity and purity of their beliefs and practices. Centuries of South-North cultural osmosis have resulted in an intercontinental crossover culture. past or present. It downplays the ambivalence of the globalizing momentum and ignores the role of local reception of Western culture . Recendy there appears to have been some revival of interest. under the given conditions and with more or less dramatic results. or Ariane Mânouchkine staging a Shakespeare play in Japanese Kabuki style for a Paris audience in the Théâtre Soleil? Cultural experiences. we or our forefathers may all have been creolized.). It overrates the homogeneity of Western culture and overlooks the fact that many of the standards exported by the West and its cultural industries themselves turn out to be of culturally mixed character if we examine their cultural lineages. European and Western culture are part of this global mélange. syncretism.for example the indigenization of Western elements. even as they themselves may have resulted from other confluences.
body language. according to Hisham Sharabi. 'We are all becoming a little Oriental'. Mao and Abdel-Malek. however. Likewise in terms such as 'global melange'. But it also raises different problems. in effect. this has served as a hegemonic elite ideology. in line with the nineteenth-century paradigm according to which hybridity.. Hence a further step would be not merely to celebrate but to theorize hybridity. Latin America is supposed to achieve modernity. creolization highlights what has been hidden and valorizes boundary crossing. In arguments such as these hybridity functions as a negative trope.in society and culture. the mixed and in-between. which has been referred to as 'a distinct global process'. Still. it evokes the Pacific Century and the twenty-first century as the 'Asian century'. what is not clarified are the terms under which cultural interplay and crossover take place. behaviour. dependent capitalism' in the Arab world. clothing.loss of purity. wholeness. runs the risk of appearing to sanctify the fait accompli of colonial violence'. to 'cross-cultural plots of music. it's no wonder that arguments that acknowledge . as in biology. rather than multiculturalism. A limitation of both creolization and mestizaje is that they are confined to the experience of the post-sixteenthcentury Americas. neo-patriarchical society in the contemporary Arab world is 'a new. In Duke Ellington's words. 'orientalization' . Interculturalism. 'neither modern nor traditional'. In the United States 'crossover culture' denotes the adoption of black cultural characteristics by European-Americans and of white elements by African-Americans. is the keynote of this kind of perspective. which. asymmetry and inequality in global relations. hybridity and syncretism have become keywords. however. authenticity. it is derived from the framework of dependency theory.. through the gradual 'whitening' of the population and culture. It also implies an argument with Westernization: the West itself may be viewed as a mixture and Western culture as a creole culture. 'mestizaje'. which runs through Sultan Galiev. Each of these terms . As a general notion. Global 'crossover culture' may be an appropriate characterization of the long-term global North-South melange.opens a different window on the global melange. mixture. A theory of hybridity would be attractive. We are so used to theories that are concerned with establishing Politics of Hybridity Given the backdrop of nineteenth-century discourse. mutation are regarded as negative developments which detract from prelapsarian purity . what is missing is acknowledgement of the actual unevenness. spreading multi-ethnic and multi-centric patterns'. or [.] visual communication.Globalization as Hybridization stressing and foregrounding the mestizo factor. What is the political portée of the celebration of hybridity? Is it merely another sign of perplexity turned into virtue by those grouped on the consumer end of social change? According to Ella Shohat. advertising. It is reminiscent of the theme of'East wind prevailing over West wind'. the work of Bateson. In the setting of the 'Japanese challenge' and the development model of East Asian Newly Industrialized Countries. Gradually this theme has been seeping through to wider circles. hybrid sort of society/culture'. Thus hybridity is the antidote to essentialist notions of identity and ethnicity. if not articulated in conjunction with questions of hegemony and neo-colonial power relations.'creolization'. Another terminology is the 'orientalization of the world'. The Latin American term mestizaje also refers to boundary-crossing mixture. In post-structuralist and postmodern analysis. Thus. This argument is based on an analysis of 'the political and economic conditions of distorted. a revaluation has taken place according to which crossbreeding and polygenic inheritance have come to be positively valued as enrichments of gene pools. as one of the few to reconnect the natural sciences and social sciences. 'A celebration of syncretism and hybridity per se. has been influential in this regard. The 'neopatriarchal petty bourgeoisie' is likewise characterized as a 'hybrid class'. Since the early part of the century. hybridity often do so on a note of regret and loss . in other words. theatre. refers to 'whitening' or Europeanization as the overall project for Latin American countries: while the European element is supposed to maintain the upper hand. this may aptly describe global intercultural osmosis and interplay. Since the development of Mendelian genetics in the 1870s and its subsequent adoption in early twentieth-century biology. Cultural syncretism refers to the methodology of montage and collage.
in the West and elsewhere. One of the original notions of hybridity is syncretism. By what yardstick would we differentiate hybridities? One consideration is in what context hybridity functions.J a n Nederveen Pieterse boundaries and demarcations among phenomena units or processes that are as neatly as possible set apart from other units or processes . syncretism as mimicry . an assimilationist hybridity in which the centre predominates . it would have to prove itself by giving as neat as possible a version of messiness. reverses the current. blurs the distinctions among them. Politics of Hybridity: towards Political Theory on a Global Scale Relations of power and hegemony are inscribed and reproduced within hybridity for wherever we look . at the other end.as in V. as in the combination 'Muslim in the daytime. Hybridities. In postcolonial studies hybridity is a familiar and ambivalent trope. the fusion of religious forms.as in Santeria. An ironical case of hybridity as intercultural crossover is mentioned by Michael Bérubé. known for his trenchant observations such as there's no decent cup of coffee to be had in Trinidad. on the other hand. hybrids. hegemony and minority. which bring together the exotic and the familiar. performers and observers. The Virgin of Guadeloupe as a mask for Pacha Mama is another example. At a general level hybridity concerns the mixture of phenomena which are held to be different. may conform to the 'hegemonized rewriting of the Eurocentre'. and hybridity. by not empowering the hybrid. On the one hand. The result is a fragmented Otherness in the hybrid'. adopts the canon and mimics the hegemony. and notes that 'reworking the past exposes its hybridity. Jr: 'That reminds me of your article in Technoculture. hybridization then refers to a cross-category process.S. Thus with Bakhtin hybridization refers to sites. a community-oriented mode of hybridity. of course. crisscross and crossover.] that's the moment of hybridity'. where you write that when a bunch of Columbiagraduate white boys known as Third Bass attack Hammer for not being black enough or strong enough [. disco in the evening'. villagers and townsmen. next. then. an assimilationist hybridity that leans over towards the centre. cutand-mix.that a theory which instead would focus on fuzziness and mélange. Hybridity. Hybridity functions. Perhaps this spectrum of hybridities can be summed up as ranging from Naipaul to Salman Rushdie. Taking in these lines of thought. might well be a relief in itself. producing counter-narratives from the nation's margins to the 'totalizing boundaries' of the nation. a merger in which both religions. Vodûn. and indicates a blurring. In the work of Gloria Anzaldûa and others. next.. Yet. in which Catholic saints are adapted to serve as masks behind which non-Christian forms of worship are practised.for example. an hybridity that blurs (passive) or destabilizes (active) the canon and its categories. such as fairs. genres. At the same time.. display mixed cultural patterns . Christian and native. by way of mimicry. can be a condition tantamount to alienation. classes. we find syncretism as a mélange not only of forms but also of beliefs. ethnicities. destabilization or subversion of that hierarchical relationship. On the other hand. by its very existence. a state of homelessness. Still. status groups. in this perspective. Smadar Lavie comments: 'This is a responseoriented model of hybridity. The categories can also be cultures. as part of a power relationship between centre and margin. or an unhybrid categorization of hybridities. Gayatri Spivak. subverts the centre. A common observation is that secondgeneration immigrants. what does it mean to destabilize the canon? It's worth reflecting on the politics of hybridity. and to recognize and acknowledge this hybrid past in terms of the present empowers the community and gives it agency'. we can construct a continuum of hybridities: on one end. a mix of a home culture and language (matching the culture of origin) and an outdoor culture (matching the culture of residence). Edward Said. separate. Homi Bhabha refers to hybrids as intercultural brokers in the interstices between nation and empire. interviewing the African American literary critic Houston Baker. ironically. have changed and a 'third religion' has developed (as in Kimbangism in the Congo). and. a separation between and. a destabilizing hybridity that blurs the canon. It lacks agency. A posture which has given rise to the term Naipaulitis. Naipaul. on the one hand. she recognizes. refusing nostalgic models of precolonial purity. Candomblé. And on the other hand. may be differentiated according to the components in the mélange. nations. Another phenomenon is hybridity as migration mélange. Here we can distinguish.
while in reality these are political dilemmas. the commemoration of collective itineraries. has been questioned often enough.fundamental to the symbolism of resistance and the moral economy of mobilization? Still. while avoiding any nostalgia for a prelapsarian community. at any rate neo-realist theory. It argues as if the questions of whether demands should be for autonomy or inclusion. In the absence of a concept of 'world society'. have already been settled. and in actual everyday politics the point is how to negotiate these strands in round-table politics. multivocal. or re-map world polities'. Thus the nostalgia paradigm of community politics has been contrasted to the landscape of the city. re-imagine. Traditionally political theory is concerned with the relations between sovereign and people. the anti-essentialist emphasis on hybrid identities comes dangerously close to dismissing all searches for communitarian origins as an archaeological excavation of an idealized. and ignores or downplays the importance of miragroup differences and conflicts over group representation. and more specifically. what is the bearing of hybridization in relation to political engagement? At times. the Freedom Charter. place. high and low. These projects are not of a 'communal' nature: part of their strength is precisely that they transcend communal boundaries. including reconstructions of the past. The nexus between communal past/collective engagement is one strand in political mobilization. demands and tactics. widen the space for critical engagement. hybridity when thought of as a politics may be subversive of essentialism and homogeneity. It's of little help to turn to the 'great political theorists' from Locke to Mill for they are all essentially concerned with the state-society framework. collective symbolism and discourse merging a heterogeneous collectivity in a common project may be more important. Generally. along with a reading of 'politics as relations among strangers'. on another level. emancipations may be thought of in the plural. while Heroes Day is significant to the ANC (16 December is the founding day of Umkhonto we Sizwe). precludes global political theory. there is no necessary symmetry between communal past/collective resistance. memory or project? While communal symbolism may be important. At the same time it's important to note the ways in which hegemony is not merely reproduced but refigured in the process of hybridization. Heroes Day for the ANC . Yet. powerful and prevalent in left as well as right politics. This involves going beyond a past to a future orientation . heterogeneous. Global society and postinternational politics . but so are the hybrid past/plural projects.for what is the point of collective action without a future? The lure of community. we must also ask whether it is possible to forge a collective resistance without inscribing a communal past. Strictly speaking international relations theory. state and society.such as the Matanza for the FMLN in El Salvador. the conditions of mixing and mélange. What is the basis of bonding in collective action . While there may be a link. International relations theory extrapolates from this core preoccupation with concepts such as national interest and balance of power. whether the group should be inward or outward looking. referring to the transnational networks and activities of voluntary and non-governmental organizations: 'the growth of global civil society represents an ongoing project of civil society to reconstruct. this line of argument involves several problems. In contrast. irretrievable past. how can there be a notion of a world-wide social contract or global democracy? This frontier has opened up through concepts such as global civil society. disruptive of static spatial and political categories of centre and periphery. Katipunan for the NPA in the Philippines. and in recognizing multiple identities. Thus. The argument linking communal past/collective resistance imposes a unity and transparency which in effect reduces the space for critical resistance. Generally. Isn't there a close relationship between political mobilization and collective memory? Isn't the remembrance of deeds past. victories and defeats . the project of non-racial democracy (non-sexism has been added later) has been of much greater importance.past or future.Globalization as Hybridization closely enough we find the traces of asymmetry in culture. as a project or ensemble of projects that in itself is diverse. descent. for plurality within the movement. a primordialist view of identity. Hence hybridity raises the question of the terms of mixture. diversity within the process of emancipation. or for any unitary and transparent identity predating the 'fall'. It privileges a communal view of collective action. What is the significance of this outlook in the context of global inequities and politics? Political theory on a global scale is relatively undeveloped. class and ethnos.
and empire is the control exercised by a state over the domestic and foreign policy of another political society. Imperialism is the policy of establishing or maintaining an empire. Yet the very process of hybridization shows the difference to be relative and. but can also be viewed as holdovers of pre-Christian paganism inscribed in the Christian canon. To address global inequalities and develop global political theory a different kind of conceptualization is needed. it is easy to acknowledge their influence on the domestic policies of countries from Brazil to the Philippines. and its subsequent amendments by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. which Shakespeare play? The play is Henry IV.] characterised the modern period up to. the relationship can also be described in terms of an affirmation of similarity. Thus. still.. European cultures: hybridization is the making of global culture as a global mélange. In that light. which is set in the context of European high feudalism. This is not an adequate terminology to characterize the Gulf War episode.J a n Nederveen Pieterse are other relevant notions. According to Tomlinson. The question remains as to what kind of conceptual tools we can develop to address questions such as the double standards prevailing in global politics: perennial issues such as Western countries practising democracy at home and imperialism abroad. beliefs that go into the mixture. may be a point of reference. the European Community) or which within themselves contain two or more 'worlds' (for example. Both these situations differ from imperialism in the old sense. forms. A limitation to these reconceptualizations remains the absence of legal provisions that are globally binding rather than merely in interstate relations. less orchestrated. casual. Melucci has discussed the 'planetarization' of collective action. Some of the implications of globalization for democracy have been examined by Held. what is interesting is the observation that the present phase of globalization is less coherent and less purposeful than imperialism. As regards the basics of a global political consensus. Globalisation may be distinguished from imperialism in that it is a far less coherent or culturally directed process [.. transnational corporations and regional investment banks. their use as masks for non-Christian gods is less quaint and rather intimates transcultural pagan affinities. the distribution of global power that we know as 'imperialism' [. Current literature on international political economy shows a shift from 'imperialism' to 'globalization'. I've used the term 'critical globalism' as an approach to current configurations. In that light. The term 'imperialism' may no longer be adequate to address the present situation. That does not mean the end of inequality and domination. more heterogeneous. the Catholic saints can be taken as icons of Christianity. the UN Declaration of Human Rights. African. . but less so to describe the Gulf War. American.] The idea of'globalisation' suggests interconnection and interdependency of all global areas which happens in a less purposeful way. As a category hybridity serves a purpose on the basis of the assumption of difference between the categories. although domination may be more dispersed. Post-Hybrid ity? Cultural hybridization refers to the mixing of Asian.. the 1960s. What replaces 'imperialism' is 'globalisation'.. NAFTA. We are not without points of reference but we lack a theory of global political action. say. The casual use of terms such as recolonization or neocolonialism to describe the impact of IMF conditionalities on African countries remains just that. with a slight shift of perspective. but the situation differs from imperialism in two ways: the actors are not states and the foreign policy of the countries involved is not necessarily affected. The situation has changed also since the emergence of regional blocs which can potentially exercise joint foreign policy (for example. Ariane Mânouchkine's use of Kabuki style to stage a Shakespeare play leads to the question. This is a particularly narrow interpretation in which globalization matches the epoch of late capitalism and flexible accumulation. The latter maybe used with critical intent but is more often used in an open-ended sense. If we consider that major actors in today's global circumstance are the IMF and World Bank. the edifying use of terms such as self-determination and sovereignty while the United States are invading Panama or Grenada. APEC). It may be adequate in relation to US actions in Panama or Grenada.
sponsored by the merchant class.with the notion of cultures as a whole. borders. reflects transcultural class affinities in sensibilities vis à vis urban life and nature. This episode. entertainments. it assumes that culture stems from a learning process that is. in which culture is viewed as. or prostitution. but it involves an outward-looking sense of place. Thus. empires diasporas.G l o b a l i z a t i o n as H y b r i d i z a t i o n the use of Japanese feudal Samurai style to portray European feudalism makes a point about transcultural historical affinities. unitary diffusion. In other words. The colour woodcuts that made such a profound impression on Seurat. The first concept of culture (culture 1) views culture as essentially territorial. 'Mexican schoolgirls dressed in Greek togas dancing in the style of Isidora Duncan'. Chinese tacos and Irish bagels reflect ethnic crossover in employment patterns in the American fast food sector. theatre. and also landscapes. In other words. the other side of cultural hybridity is transcultural convergence. Van Gogh. This notion has been implicit in theories of evolution and diffusion. Japanese popular art was modern before European art was. a Gestalt. mixed-breed. Culture 2 involves what Doreen Massey calls 'a global sense of place': 'the specificity of place which derives from the fact that each place is the focus of a distinct mixture of wider and more local social relations'. again. such as streetlife. An episode that can serve to probe this more deeply is the influence of Japanese art on European painting. migrations locales. Toulouse Lautrec. . Thus what from one angle appears as hybridity to the point of exoticism. Asian rap refers to cross-cultural stylistic convergence in popular youth culture. nations. is not so much an exotic irruption in European culture. cultures are the vehicle of culture. Ukiyo-e typically depicted urban scenes of ephemeral character. a translocal learning process. strangers organic. in the main. But they do reflect different emphases in relation to historical processes of culture formation and hence generate markedly different assessments of cultural relations. does not clarify whether it refers to culture 1 or culture 2. multicultural society. relations among cultures can be viewed in a static fashion (in which cultures retain their separateness in interaction) or a fluid fashion (in which cultures interpenetrate). This is culture in the sense of a culture. then. reflects transnational bourgeois class affinities. from another angle. etc. Assumptions about culture Territorial culture Translocal culture endogenous exogenous orthogenetic heterogenetic societies. It was a popular art form which. mentioned before. was readily available at reasonable prices in book stores (rather than cloistered in courts or monasteries) and therefore also accessible to Europeans. that is the culture of a society or social group. in the main. Whistler belonged to the Ukiyo school . These understandings are not incompatible: culture 2 finds expression in culture 1. intercultural relations. heterogeneity authenticity translation inward looking outward looking community linguistics contact linguistics race half-caste. interstices community-based networks. whereas culture 1 is based on an inward-looking sense of place. in particular cultural relativism . configuration. What makes it difficult to discuss these issues is that two quite distinct concepts of culture are generally being used indiscriminately. as in nature/ culture arguments. but rather reflects the fact that bourgeois sensibilities had found iconographie expression in Japan earlier than in Europe. The general terminology of cultural pluralism. unlike the high art of aristocracy. Manet. A notion that goes back to nineteenthcentury romanticism and that has been elaborated in twentieth-century anthropology. métis ethnicity new ethnicity identity identification. The impact of Japonisme is well known: it inspired impressionism which in turn set the stage for modernism. mirroring themselves in classical European culture. A related idea is the organic or 'tree' model of culture. brokers. localized. new identity Culture 2 or translocal culture is not without place (there is no culture without place). Divergent meta-assumptions about culture underlie the varied vocabularies in which cultural relations are discussed. A wider understanding of culture (culture 2) views culture as a general human 'software'. regions crossroads.a bourgeois genre that flourished in Japan between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
Introverted cultures. or an overall shift in orientation from culture 1 to culture 2. and the near prospect of humans intervening in genetic evolution. often originally widely different. hybridity modernizations global mélange creolization. Another aspect of this transition is that due to advancing information technology and biotechnology. while translocal culture made up of diverse elements is coming into the foreground. as argued above. which have been prominent over a long stretch of history and which overshadowed translocal culture. different modes of hybridity emerge on the horizon: in the light of hybrid forms. of which ethnic upsurges. cultural evolution and information technology.although of great local intensity. an empirical case: that processes of globalization. Globalization/homogenization cultural imperialism cultural dependence cultural hegemony autonomy modernization Westernization cultural synchronization world civilization Globalization/diversification cultural planetarization cultural interdependence cultural interpénétration syncretism. status group. in the sense of the merger of the evolutionary streams of genetics. This also involves an overall tendency towards the 'deterritorialization' of culture. A further question is: are cultural elements different merely because they originate from different cultures? More often what may be at issue. interculturalism global mosaic cultural flow in space (Hannerz) clash of civilizations third cultures Hybridization as a perspective belongs to the fluid end of relations between cultures: it's the mixing of cultures and not their separateness that is emphasized. in this sense. melting pot multiculturalism (static) multiculturalism (fluid). as empirically narrow and historically flat. past and present. The career of sociology has been coterminous with the career of nation-state formation and nationalism. at some stage. For some time we have entered a period of accelerated globalization and cultural mixing. Hybridization refers not only to the crisscrossing of cultures (culture 1) but also and by the same token to a transition from the provenance of culture 1 to culture 2. and to become elaborate and pervasive'. life-style sensibilities or function. itself is not constant over time. synthesis. virtual reality and electronic simulation. are gradually receding into the background. intercultural differences may begin to pale to relative insignificance . such as cyborgs. This transition and the hybridization processes themselves unleash intense and dramatic nostalgia politics. Secondly.J a n Nederveen Pieterse Cultural relations Static Fluid plural society (Furnivall) pluralism. crossover global ecumene . at least. and religious revivalism form part. But. or of modernization /Westernization. Biotechnology opens up the perspective of 'merged evolution'. the underlying assumption about culture is that of culture/place. it is a critical argument: against viewing globalization in terms of homogenization. Cultural forms are called hybrid/syncretic/mixed/creolized because the elements in the mix derive from different cultural contexts. we can contrast the vocabularies and connotations of globalization-as-homogenization and globalization-as-hybridization. At the same time. They have had some time to develop and integrate. needs reworking. The territoriality of culture. To explore what this means in the context of globalization. is the similarity of cultural elements when viewed from the point of class. however. through the matrix of cultural evolution and information technologies. ethnicization of nations. the notion of cultural hybridity itself unravels or. Thus Ulf Hannerz defines Creole cultures as follows: 'creole cultures like Creole languages are those which draw in some way on two or more historical sources. What is common to some perspectives on both sides of the globalization/homogenization/heterogenization axis is a territorial view of culture. Conclusion: towards a Global Sociology Globalization/hybridization makes. Hence. towards the end of the story. would not every culture be a Creole culture? Can we identify any culture that is not Creole in the sense of drawing on one or more different historical sources? A scholar of music makes a similar point about world music: 'all music is essentially world music'. can be adequately described as processes of hybridization. first.
transnational transactions. cultural achievements have been routinely claimed for 'nations' . boundary crossing and global society. ethnicity remain strategic: and for just as long hybridization remains a relevant approach. they may deepen our understanding of the temporalities of hybridization: how certain junctures witness downturns or upswings of hybridization. or transcultural cut and mix. if we accept that cultures have been hybrid all along. culture has been 'nationalized'. a sociology from the interstices. ethnicism. are interdependent: new forms of cooperation require and evoke new cultural imaginaries. while international institutions. Hybridization. and cultural hybridization. or class. As such. border zones. region. surely. state. Thus. Structural hybridization. or the emergence of newpractices of social co-operation and competition. civilization. The tide of globalization reduces the room of manoeuvre for states. . Essentialism will remain strategic as a mobilizational device as long as the units of nation. the very process of hybridization unsettles the introverted gaze. Moreover. strangers. national. Due to nationalism as the dominant paradigm since the nineteenth century. In other words. the hybridization perspective releases reflection and engagement from the boundaries of nation. or new translocal cultural expressions. ethnicity. brokers. civilizational chauvinism. Hybridity unsettles the introverted concept of culture which underlies romantic nationalism. state power remains extremely strategic. religious revivalism. A different historical record can be constructed on the basis of the contributions to culture formation and diffusion by diasporas. slowdowns or speed-ups. In relation to the global human condition of inequality. the hybridization perspective remains meaningful only as a critique of essentialism. migrations. this perspective maybe deepened by writing diaspora histories of global culture. community. Hybridization is a contribution to a sociology of the inbetween. then.Globalization as Hybridization and from this followed the constitution of the object of sociology as society and the equation of society with the nation. Other significant perspectives are Hannerz' macroanthropology and his concern with mapping micromacro linkages and contemporary work in geography and cultural studies. times and spaces. of the erasure of boundaries. are signs of an age of boundary crossing. Such historical inquiries may show that hybridization has been taking place all along but over time has been concealed by religious. ethnicity and class have been grids superimposed upon experiences more complex and subtie than reflexivity and organization could accommodate. but it is no longer the only game in town. regional co-operation. Hybridization is a factor in the reorganization of social spaces. At the same time it follows that. A related project would be histories of the hybridization of metropolitan cultures. or the increase in the range of organizational options. Culminating in structural functionalism and modernization theory. or the doors of erstwhile imagined communities opening up. a sociology conceived within the framework of nations/societies is making place for a post-inter/national sociology of hybrid formations. around notions such as social networks (rather than 'societies'). Fixities have become fragments as the kaleidoscope of collective experience is in motion. territorialized.that is. and accordingly. that is a counter-history to the narrative of imperial history. community. A global sociology is taking shape. and cultural hybridization. In historical terms. sub-national dynamics and non-governmental organizations expand in impact and scope. Not. at the same time. Structural hybridization. This involves merging endogenous/exogenous understandings of culture. imperial and civilizational chauvinism. This parallels the attempt in international relations theory to overcome the dualism between the nation-state and international system perspectives. hybridization eventually ushers in post-hybridity. racism. is a perspective that is meaningful as a counterweight to the introverted notion of culture. It has been in motion all along and the fixities of nation. hybridization is in effect a tautology: contemporary accelerated globalization means the hybridization of hybrid cultures. and culturalist essentialism. this career in the context of globalization is in for retooling.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.