Orientalism Paperback – October 12, 1979

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Orientalism Paperback – October 12, 1979

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  • 32 Reviews
  • Sept. 1, 2019 Last Review Date
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  • 26 Reviewed on Subreddits

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Discussion and Reviews on Reddit

Dior Pulls 'Sauvage' Campaign After Facing Appropriation Backlash of Native American Culture [R]

5 months, 3 weeks agoCombaticus2000 posted submission on malefashionadvice.
Sept. 1, 2019
5 months, 3 weeks agoCombaticus2000 posted comment on malefashionadvice.
Sept. 1, 2019

"Orientalism" By Edward Said, professor of Comparative Literature in Columbia University


The US has spent $1.5 trillion on war since Sept 11 attacks [R]

1 year, 5 months agoMagnetronaap posted submission on worldnews.
Sept. 10, 2018
1 year, 5 months agoMagnetronaap posted comment on worldnews.
Sept. 11, 2018

Actually, you know what, if you want some real perspective on the matter read this book

[OC] Lemmatized word frequency analysis of the Bible, the Quram and the Vedas [R]

2 years agoyolakalemowa posted submission on dataisbeautiful.
Feb. 3, 2018
2 years agoyolakalemowa posted comment on dataisbeautiful.
Feb. 11, 2018

The very recent Western civilization (if it could in fact be called a civilization) has a tendency to project it's own modern standards onto the entire history of mankind, as if it's the one and only proper worldview, according to whose standards every other past and present civilization on Earth must be judged. I challenge you to go read Orientalism by Edward Said to try to ameliorate any such unfelt tendencies. And don't worry, even the colonized end up measuring their own worldviews by the colonizer's standards, given the inferiority complex resulting post-colonization.

What I'm trying to say is that when you want to judge any far away culture (in time OR space) from your own, be very careful what elements you measure by your specific modern standards, and what elements you should judge by their distant standards. The prophet ﷺ was under constant attack by his enemies at the time, and his possible marriage to a 9 year old (many sources actually say 19, others 14, others 12 btw, but of course, the media will want to stick with the youngest of these), or the fact that he married multiple women weren't ones of the points of attack. Let that tell you something for starters: that both practices were considered normal at the time.

On another note, do you think a 9 year old female (or male for that matter) of 6th century Arabia would be the same as a 9 year old female in modern California, for instance? I'm talking in terms of maturity. Even today, have you ever met aboriginals? beduins? any community that still have not become completely westwashed and modernized? I have. And their 12 year old women can put our 21 year old women to shame in their maturity. Same with men, btw. At 21 years old, Mohammad alFatih led the Muslim army into Constantinople. There are many other examples. My own great grandmother, Syrian, married when she was 14.

Polygamy makes evolutionary sense more than polyandry, and our species have always been polygamous. So this, again, will have to be measured not by our current modern Western standards.

Actually, at the time of the prophet ﷺ, Islam came and limited polygamy to 4 wives, when the number was unlimited and when they had nothing to ensure the rights of the wives to inheritence and custody of children etc. Islam came to curb that and provided specific details about their rights.

I advise you also to read about the different understandings of "marriage" across human history. The model we're currently living (the marriage of romance and feelings) is but one of many in the genealogy of this institution.

Do you know anything about the wives of the Prophet ﷺ? We call them the Mothers of the Believers in Islam. Why don't you read and get to know them and understand the relationship going on in 6th century Arabia? For example, one of the common reasons behind marriage in premodern civilizations was for bigger tribal/societal reasons, like ending decade-long feuds between tribes and building alliances. Not to mention, marrying to provide divorced women and widows a safe haven to belong to a family and community.

That's not to say there was no love or beautiful romance. Go read about the Prophet's love to his first wife: Khadija, who was actually his employer at the time; one of the biggest business women of Mecca. Go read about his love for this wife Aisha you speak of. Talk about romance? He used to drink from the same spot where she placed her lips. They used to race and she'd always win (until she gained some weight, peace be upon her soul XD and he won for the first time.) He once ordered the entire army to stop and look for her necklace. She used to climb on his back and watch Africans dances when they come to Mecca. When he was dying, he asked the permission of his other wives that he be nursed and end his life in her appartment on her lap. He asked her for siwak before he died which she moisturized with her own mouth.

This Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) became one of the most prominent scholars of Islam, she was the scholar of scholars. The love story of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Aisha is one of the most beautiful stories of Muslim civilization.

Benjamin Constant - Favorite of the Emir (1879) [R]

2 years, 2 months agoangelenoatheart posted submission on museum.
Dec. 9, 2017
2 years, 2 months agoangelenoatheart posted comment on museum.
Dec. 10, 2017

Said could have used this on the cover of Orientalism instead of Gérôme.

I was confused by the name, but apparently both the political philosopher and the painter used the name "Benjamin Constant".

What are some must-reads for someone interested in anthropology? [R]

2 years, 10 months agoILikeAhDaCoochie posted submission on AskAnthropology.
April 14, 2017

I'm not sure if this breaks any rules, but pretty much what the title states. What are some of the most interesting, or insightful books or articles to broaden my knowledge of anthropology? Are there legends in anthropology, who's work is considered a must-read? Personally I am more interested in cultural anthropology, but I don't mind learning about any of the other fields.

Edit: Wow, this was more than I expected! Thanks a lot for all the suggestions. I have a lot of reading to do now.

2 years, 10 months agoILikeAhDaCoochie posted on AskAnthropology.
April 15, 2017

The Nuer cattlewoman. I wish I could know everything about her. [R]

3 years, 2 months agoRage_Blackout posted submission on Anthropology.
Dec. 7, 2016
3 years, 2 months agoRage_Blackout posted on Anthropology.
Dec. 7, 2016

The bro force has come out to defend this fetishization.

If you want to take the academic/intellectual high road then at least read Edward Said's Orientalism to understand why people are criticizing this post. The crux of his argument is every bit as applicable here.

I read somewhere that Orthodox Christianity is more prone to mysticism. Is it true ? If yes, why ? [R]

3 years, 4 months agoNFB42 posted submission on Christianity.
Oct. 10, 2016

Hello everyone,

I read somewhere not long ago (might have been here actually) that Orthodox Christianity was more prone to Mysticism, I can't really remember why sadly, but is this true ?

3 years, 4 months agoNFB42 posted on Christianity.
Oct. 10, 2016

> Sadly, appeals to some ineffable higher education or intelligence are an all-too-common response I have encountered among proponents of Western philosophies in the church. It's a response that I am used to, and it amounts to nothing more than an ad-hominem.

I was simply stating a fact. But you are free to dismiss globally accepted and peer reviewed academic scholarship on whatever grounds you choose.

The rest of your questions seem to do little more than incredulously asking me to re-explain the same points. If you are unable to understand my explanation, my apologies for being a poor messenger. I suggest you pick up Said's original Orientalism. Though keep in mind that by now it is almost 40 years old and quite outdated in its own way.

[EVERYTHING] There Is No Middle Ground [R]

3 years, 4 months agoTheSnowWillRiseAgain posted submission on gameofthrones.
Sept. 23, 2016
3 years, 4 months agoTheSnowWillRiseAgain posted on gameofthrones.
Sept. 23, 2016

The shallowness people call out in Danys plot and character in the east is due to the very overused western trope, Orientalism. As great as Martin is he does have to resort to this literary style with her because otherwise she would have no purpose for the first few books/seasons. It offers substance to a plot that western entertainment can grab on to.

It boils down to the idea that her atrocities as a super white and perfect and westerosi raised person and a young women to boot, are justified because what the ordered "normal" west do in terms of culture and law are the "correct" ways in our minds and in the character minds of the West. And that the east are in news of this reform regardless of how harsh it comes off as. Because they are considered, lower, more savage and animalistic. The examples in the show are everywhere.

Examples in western entertainment are everywhere too, one that everyone can relate to is the scene in Indiana Jones when Indie squares off with the masked "Arab" who is too I'll educated to not back down from a gun fight with a knife, and he pays.

An anthropologist Edward Seid coined the trope.


The ''You haven''t lived til you've backpacked through South-East Asian'' starter pack [R]

3 years, 5 months agometeorpuke posted submission on starterpacks.
Sept. 7, 2016
3 years, 5 months agometeorpuke posted on starterpacks.
Sept. 7, 2016

if you give me her address i'll send her this book

can someone school me on asian music and the pentatonic scale? [R]

3 years, 8 months agoXenoceratops posted submission on musictheory.
June 8, 2016

I know asian music = pentatonic scale but I'm not even informed enough to know where exactly that comes from, what genres, what the typical form is etc.

3 years, 8 months agoXenoceratops posted on musictheory.
June 9, 2016

>I know asian music = pentatonic scale

I would direct you to Edward Said's Orientalism.

Odalisque, Adrian Borda, Traditional, 2011 [R]

3 years, 9 months agoDeesooy posted submission on Art.
May 20, 2016
3 years, 9 months agoDeesooy posted on Art.
May 20, 2016

Weren't we done with this type of imagery ?

Oriental Mandala, digital, 1000x1000px [R]

3 years, 10 months agothrowndatshitout posted submission on Art.
April 17, 2016
3 years, 10 months agothrowndatshitout posted on Art.
April 22, 2016

[Community Review]: Dunhill Early Morning Pipe [R]

3 years, 10 months agoblindsamples posted submission on PipeTobacco.
April 10, 2016

Put your reviews in the thread, please. Please also give it a score out of four to help give the reviews comparability and conformity.

3 years, 10 months agoblindsamples posted on PipeTobacco.
April 10, 2016

Dunhill Early Morning Pipe

This should be the right blend to dispel all those funny myths about English blends and Latakia. I mean this recipe is at least 100 years old, and I’m sure it’s changed as the British Empire was dismantled, but it’s very, very English and very, very Oriental-forward. So all those Americans saying that English blends are Lat-dependent, please smoke up some EMP.

Also, Oriental is a stupid term. We don’t call Virginia tobacco Occidental because it’s not 1800 any more and the line between East and West was never that clear to anyone anyway. Balkan might be closer to reality but you can’t call it Balkan because of the marketing department at Sobranie of London. Mediterranean might fit the bill except that a bunch of this stuff comes from Macedonia and it’s landlocked, dammit. Turkey and the coast of Syria were really the only parts of the Orient that grew Oriental tobacco anyway, and a bunch of that was fire-cured and named after a port city instead of sun-cured and named after academic shorthand for Western condescension. This is how we end up using offensive and deprecated terms for things, isn’t it? The whole curing method is the fault of the Ottoman Empire, blame them for losing control of so much of Europe and confusing the issue. We can blame them for lots of things … I did an art history presentation on Ottoman pornography, and their tobacco is very mild by comparison.

Anyway, EMP. Not Electromagnetic Pulse, which Wikipedia tells me is also called a Transient Electromagnetic Disturbance, which is a better acronym for a TED talk than whatever TED is supposed to stand for … images of white noise, scrambled brains, fuzzy logic and then poof, it’s gone off into the ether, never to be thought of again. Also, unavailable in a Faraday Cage. No, nothing about Early Morning Pipe makes me think it came from a nuke. Named during an era when folks were more refined but also wanted a little bit more of a kick in the teeth first thing in the morning than a kale smoothie might provide, everything is in balance, everything in service of that Ottoman tobacco flavor. It’s medium in taste and doesn’t deserve the mild label everyone hangs on it. It’s mild in Latakia but the Turkish leaf would overwhelm without some Lat to calm it down. The taste of red Occidental tobacco is pretty constant, it’s there and it’s fine and necessary but it’s not what this blend is about … although if you smoke it hot you’ll lose all that flavor and the only thing you’ll be left with is a sour and hot Turkish bowl. It’s medium in nicotine, maybe a surprise for such a gentle mix, but we can’t blame the Ottomans for that, probably it is the fault of the British, who don’t mind a punchy tobacco, in contrast to their incredibly bland national cuisine (not curry.)

Everybody who smokes a pipe encounters EMP sooner or later. It’s got 450+ reviews on TR, but I almost never see people complain about this version vs. the last manufacturer vs. the one before, and so on to the beginning of recorded history. They do that with MM965 and Nightcap, two of the three blends that have more reviews than EMP. Maybe nostalgia isn’t as strong with Mediterranean-forward medium blends? Lat-heads will harsh on it for being weak and bland, but I assume their tastebuds have finally given out. Side note: the 7 blends, in order, with over 400 reviews on TR are:

  • Nightcap
  • My Mixture 965
  • Full Virginia Flake
  • Early Morning Pipe
  • Squadron Leader
  • Prince Albert
  • Penzance

Three Dunhills, two Samuel Gawiths, one Esoterica, and Prince Albert. I am making the psyduck face.

I popped a fresh tin of EMP before writing the review, and smoked it in a nice house pipe from Edward’s in Englewood. Briarworks is doing their house pipes now, they smoke pretty dreamy. Kind of a perfect combination of pipe and blend, four stars. If you’re looking for something with more artisan cred, Greg Pease’s Chelsea Morning is explicitly NOT an EMP match, but it’s like A New Hope and The Force Awakens … they both taste the same in the end. You’ll get less static from your friends for waxing poetic about the Pease blend though, everyone takes EMP for granted.

ELI5:I'm Jewish, I only hear about the Israel-Palestinian conflict from the Israeli perspective. What is the Palestinian perspective? [R]

4 years agoFeb. 3, 2016


4 years agodroppingadeuce posted on explainlikeimfive.
Feb. 3, 2016

And after you get your head around how the Crown assfucked the middle east, have a look at India and Burma.

If there's any solace, Edward Said thinks the Brits were set up, pretty much from the first white European, to misunderstand the people to their east.

Authorities Respond to “20 Victim Shooting” Incident in San Bernardino: Fire Dept. [R]

4 years, 2 months agoGideonWells posted submission on news.
Dec. 2, 2015
4 years, 2 months agoGideonWells posted on news.
Dec. 2, 2015

ELI5: 30+ years ago we had such a romantic picture of the Islamic culture (Orient Express, Thousand and one nights, Aladin) - and now it's all about terrorism. Did our picture of the Islamic culture change or did they change? [R]

4 years, 4 months agoickymicky_design posted submission on explainlikeimfive.
Oct. 15, 2015
4 years, 4 months agoickymicky_design posted on explainlikeimfive.
Oct. 15, 2015

Came here to comment and you beat me to it.

For those interested in more, check out Said's book, Orientalism: http://www.amazon.com/Orientalism-Edward-W-Said/dp/039474067X/ref=sr11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444918493&sr=1-1&keywords=orientalism

Do any of you get annoyed that Buddhism is now a marketing tool for hipster brands? [R]

4 years, 7 months agoanimuseternal posted submission on Buddhism.
July 7, 2015

I went to Whole Foods the other day, and I swear, I saw products labeled "Nirvana", "Moksha", "Zen", "Buddha", and even "Sutra."

This is shamelessly to promote a product. No other religion has their iconography and intellectual traditions stolen like this. If these same companies which sell "Zen Candy", instead, used Islamic terms, there would literally be a fatwa.

What do you think?

4 years, 7 months agoanimuseternal posted on Buddhism.
July 7, 2015

I mean, this has always been the case. Western cultures tend to fetishize other cultures as 'exotic,' and this tends to manifest in ways that reappropriate cultural artifacts by removing the meaning and significance of the artifacts. It's been happening for centuries. If you've never read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, that novella is a deep criticism of that process as it applied to African cultures in the 19th century.

> No other religion has their iconography and intellectual traditions stolen like this.

This is blatantly false. I recommend reading Edward Said's Orientalism. He shows a full history of how Europe has been doing this to Asian cultures (including Central Asian/Middle Eastern cultures) for centuries.

> If these same companies which sell "Zen Candy", instead, used Islamic terms, there would literally be a fatwa.

Islamic and Arabic culture were among the first cultures to be colonized and mined for their artifacts in this way. Where do you think the popular conception of the Assassin came from? There's an Amazon-esque company worth billions called Alibaba. And how many products are named after Djinn/genies? What about products named for 'Sheik'? Or Mahmoud?

Before you get offended, I think you should study up on this phenomena and really get to know it intimately.

There remain a lot of issues in the aftermath of cultural imperialism, and plenty of reasons to find offense, plenty of different ways to criticize. Western culture steals and reappropriates all the time, from basically everywhere. It has been doing this for many hundreds of years and I really doubt it's going to stop now. Eastern culture does the same thing to western culture (let's count the number of Jewish artifacts in Final Fantasy VII, shall we? You don't really hear too many Jews getting offended that the game depicted the Sefirot/Jehovah relationship as one between a psychopathic mass murderer and a millennia-old dead mummy).

Why do (some?) communists support Maoism? [R]

4 years, 8 months agomarksnangles posted submission on communism101.
June 4, 2015

I sort of get Leninism and why it has strong points to a point, and I think I get why Marx makes sense. It's Mao where I stumble. I live in China, and the more I learn about Mao's communism, the less it sounds like something of real value. But I suspect that's what's really going on is that he has strong points that I was not aware of.

4 years, 8 months agomarksnangles posted on communism101.
June 6, 2015

The "asian" stage of development?

Buddha’s Guide To A Happy Family [R]

4 years, 10 months agoanimuseternal posted submission on Buddhism.
April 7, 2015
4 years, 10 months agoanimuseternal posted on Buddhism.
April 7, 2015

Have you read Edward Said's Orientalism ? it's right up there with Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks and WEB DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk in regard to critical race studies.

Asians throwing each other under the bus: rude Chinese tourists make front page twice. [R]

4 years, 11 months agoMarch 16, 2015


4 years, 11 months agoendlessballss posted on asianamerican.
March 16, 2015

Hey, bud. I get you're upset at reddit's circlejerks. I get how you're trying to build solidarity by trying to find parallels in the treatment of other oppressed or disempowered groups.

That being said, comparing reddit circlejerks to the Rwandan Genocide or the Nuremberg Laws is a bit out of the scope of the issue it looks like you're taking issue with. Sure, the circlejerk of the "shitty chinese tourist" is probably an effect of european imperialism, just like some of the shitty things in Africa are also a result of european imperialism. But the "shitty things in africa" include genocide, while the "shitty chinese tourist" trope is a probably very real circlejerk on reddit that is not comparable to genocide, even if you can make the broadest of connections between reddit circlejerks and the Rwandan Genocide.

I get that you don't like how reddit circlejerks about an important aspect of your identity. But respectfully, you're overestimating how important reddit circlejerks are in broader cultural discourse.

If you're looking for academic books that look at orientalism and imperialism and identity and all that jazz, to situate your thoughts in the broader context I think you're searching for, here are some books:




I'm not convinced they exist. [R]

4 years, 11 months agoMarch 1, 2015
4 years, 11 months agoSr_Carlos_Danger posted on AdviceAnimals.
March 1, 2015

I seriously doubt that was the problem that they had with using simplified definitions over nuanced ones (and yeah, there's a big, important difference between or-ee-ent-tal-ism and Orientalism) in a discussion that was clearly complicated enough to call for them was that those were the "white man's" definitions. Unless, of course, you went to college in a blaxploitation movie, in which case I have so, so many more questions for you.

Is there a non-speculative answer for why East Asian women are specifically fetishized in western culture? [R]

4 years, 12 months agoWhiskySmash posted submission on AskSocialScience.
Feb. 20, 2015

I originally tried asking in another sub, but was redirected here. Hopefully you guys know more about this subject, thanks.

4 years, 12 months agoWhiskySmash posted on AskSocialScience.
Feb. 20, 2015

Edwar Said's Orientalism offers some ideas connected to your question.

I would like to know the historical accuracy of this article. It seems oversimplified. [R]

5 years agoFeb. 6, 2015

I have only lightly dipped into Crusade history, but the portrait the author paints seems inaccurate. Please, any insights or corrections are welcome.


5 years agohaimoofauxerre posted on AskHistorians.
Feb. 6, 2015

For Saladin, I don't know too much of the scholarship but the article I link above might point you to more.

As for the historiography -- the movement of how history was understood -- it changes over time and is necessarily subject to its own historical context.

During the Enlightenment, reason was king and medieval Christianity ("the Church") was the antithesis of that for those thinkers. The philosophes saw a structure around them that claimed direct descent from the Middle Ages and it was judged corrupt. Violence in the name of religion, during a period that (for the philosophes) was devoid of reason, was the archetype of madness to them.

For Protestants, not just during the Reformation but even well into the early 20th century, they're riding a rainbow. What I mean is that Protestant ideology is predicated on jumping over the "middle bits," over the Middle Ages, and reclaiming Christianity as pure, as it was meant to be. The Crusades became a (similar to in the Enlightenment) archetype of Christianity's corruption under Roman control.

The bigger problem with Riley-Smith's book (and he's a wonderful historian btw) is that he doesn't know the Arabic stuff and so is looking only at the West. That's fine if he's trying to make an argument only about the West. But he's not. He's reading the West looking at the East and seeing only the West. That, my friends, is Orientalism.

Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne Finally Wrote a Song So Awful that the Internet Has Collectively Rejected It [R]

5 years, 10 months agochasingliacrazy posted submission on Music.
April 23, 2014
5 years, 10 months agochasingliacrazy posted on Music.
April 23, 2014

Why didn't the Japanese Shoguns declare themselves Emperor? [R]

6 years agok1990 posted submission on AskHistorians.
Feb. 11, 2014

Throughout Japanese history, did any reigning Shogun attempt to declare himself Emperor? If not, why?

6 years agok1990 posted on AskHistorians.
Feb. 11, 2014

I think you're right on the money. It's very easy to draw direct comparisons between Europe (or the West) and Japan (or China, or Korea), which seem to be perfectly valid but are actually apples to oranges.

With Japan in particular, you see this a lot when people are talking about post-Meiji Imperial Japan: the terms 'fascist' and 'imperialist' get thrown around a lot but are in some respects way off the mark.

Similarly, talking about 'feudal' Japan (eg. under the Shoguns) often results in looking at Japan through a very Europeanised prism, rather than as a discrete/unique Japanese feudalism.

Basically, Said's Orientalism should be required reading (actually, pretty sure it is) for anyone studying the Middle East or Asia.

As a Westerner, what Indian language should I speak to be able to understand, and relate to Indians? Should be just Hindi, right? [R]

6 years, 2 months agotriliana posted submission on india.
Nov. 24, 2013

I'm learning Hindi, but I also just learned that there are other languages depending on the state, and village that a person is from. For example, there is a language called Tamil. How different is Hindi from the rest of the languages that Indians speak?

To clarify a few things: I don't want to go to India to just have sex with Indian girls. Also, I am not /u/lolguard. Apparently, some people think I am him. Nope. Wrong. Perhaps we come off as the same person, but this is not /u/lolguard.

6 years, 2 months agotriliana posted on india.
Nov. 24, 2013

I recommend you read Orientalism by Edward Said before you leave on the trip. It's not really about South Asia but the points remain.

This is also a good article by a South Asian woman on why she gets uncomfortable when people exoticize her, even in a seemingly good way, because they're 'fascinated' in such a way.

Assassin's Creed 5: Boxer Rebellion? [R]

6 years, 3 months agorailzen posted submission on assassinscreed.
Nov. 4, 2013

I know it's a bit soon considering AC4 came out just a week ago, but it's been on my mind. Two things I was really hoping they'dd come out with a game with: China/Japan and the 1800's. I figured the Boxer Rebellion covers both these settings. Plus, it DEFINITELY has connections to the themes of oppression and wanting freedom. I could definitely see a Boxer-Assassin. Thoughts?

6 years, 3 months agorailzen posted on assassinscreed.
Nov. 4, 2013

China would be great. It's rarely been touched upon in Western games without an orientalist bias. Japan would feel cliché because of the inevitable association with shinobi.

And please, no white protagonist. It was refreshing to play a guy who was at least half Mohawk in AC3. If Ubisoft wants to portray the Assassin-Templar War as something that isn't confined by any culture or nationality, they need more heroes that aren't white males. I really enjoyed playing as Aveline and I'm looking forward to playing as Adéwalé. It'd be awesome to play as a Boxer Asssassin.

A Churchill quote I had not seen before. I wonder if there is any truth to the suggestion that Islam harms economic development, and what the mechanism is if so? [R]

6 years, 4 months ago[deleted] posted submission on TrueAtheism.
Oct. 6, 2013
6 years, 4 months ago[deleted] posted on TrueAtheism.
Oct. 6, 2013

Are you serious? You're going to take a Churchill quote from 1898 and use it to lend authority to your Islam-bashing? Go read Orientalism right now.

How do historians define as what they come across is accurate or not? And how common is it for you to come across exaggerations and hearsay? [R]

6 years, 5 months agomjbelkin posted submission on AskHistorians.
Aug. 25, 2013
6 years, 5 months agomjbelkin posted on AskHistorians.
Aug. 25, 2013

I'm a historian by major but working outside the profession. That said, I don't often post here but when I do, I hope I'm writing within the rules. Apologies in advance.

What OP is refering to is Historiography . The rest of the question depends completely on what you're reading/watching etc. If you're reading scholarly publications typically bias level is very low. If you're watching a documentary on any cable channel you need to be much more aware. One of the first things you're taught is to examine the source of the information and intent of the author.

The end goal of creating original historical scholarly work would be a product with as little bias (exaggerations and hearsay) as possible. I say as little because Historiography tells us it's impossible to create work completely free of bias.

It's impossible to remove our understanding and experience from the material because we use everything as context. If this is a subject that interests you I would highly recommend reading Orientalism by Edward Said. It's focus is the idea of our understanding of anything (person, event, time period, etc) is formulated based on our own culture.

I recognize linking wikipedia isn't a great thing to do in this sub however, I felt it appropriate to the topic.

The other side of the Oprah story. What are your thoughts? [R]

6 years, 6 months agoMotzlord posted submission on Switzerland.
Aug. 9, 2013
6 years, 6 months agoMotzlord posted on Switzerland.
Aug. 10, 2013

Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior. (Wikipedia)

So for the first part you are right, but stereotypes are bigger than race, they go way beyond that. In a stereotype you can include all races, sexes, sexual orientations and what not, while a "race" is pretty narrow-minded. Btw, stereotypes are not necessarily a bad thing, it's just the way our brain handles stuff that is new to us. It happens everywhere as well, it's not just us rich Swiss judging evil foreigners, it goes both ways.

If you're interested, I'd recommend giving this a read: James G. Carrier - Occidentalism, Images of the West and Edward Said - Orientalism

"It's a law FOR women, not against Muslims": France forced to defend ban on Islamic veil after violence [R]

6 years, 7 months agoMakesfolkslose posted submission on worldnews.
July 22, 2013
6 years, 7 months agoMakesfolkslose posted on worldnews.
July 23, 2013

Orientalism is a huge concept that I can try and brush over quickly. (Check out the book if you ever have time.) Generally speaking, Orientalism is the process of essentalization, mystification, and commodification of the "East" as opposed to the "West" (in a geographic, cultural, and sociological sense). It functions on and reproduces the false binary of "us" vs. "them" and enforces value judgments that result in institutional racism and general misinformation. For example, the West is seen as enlightened, classical, and logical as opposed to the East which is mystical, romantic, and irrational. This produces and is produced by the mindset that we, as the more rational, evolved people, have a responsibility to enlighten the Oriental masses who otherwise will end up wallowing in their own sad, sad cultural practices.

Cultural imperialism is the act of enforcing one's cultural patterns/beliefs/etc. onto another community, often without meaning to or realizing what's happening and often without any outright violence or what would commonly be called "imperialism."

I find both of these concept severely degrading to the actual, real people at whom they are targeted.

I can only stress this point so many times: if this is an issue about the subjugation of and violence towards women, then let's make it about that. The niqab is not a catchall for structural violence, and banning it creates more problems than it solves. There are many other ways to deal with sexism and misogyny that will have more lasting, real impacts.

The racist menace? Muslims declare victory in fight over ‘anti-Islamic’ Lego: Danish toy giant agrees to cease production of ‘Jabba’s Palace’ building set in light of complaints [R]

6 years, 10 months agoBerxwedan posted submission on offbeat.
April 1, 2013
6 years, 10 months agoBerxwedan posted on offbeat.
April 1, 2013

This book -- by no means an obscure work -- was published in 1978.