Cultural Hybridity and Modern Binaries: Overcoming the Opposition Between Identity and Otherness?

Abstract : This working paper addresses the debate on cultural hybridity. Hybridity, as it is understood in postcolonial theory, is perceived as having the potential to go beyond the sort of modern binaries from which, as Ulrich Beck suggests, contemporary social imaginaries have to find a way out. According to Jan Nederveen Pieterse, hybridity is precisely that: "Hybridity is to culture what deconstruction is to discourse: transcending binary categories." Yet, as it is pointed out in many works discussing cultural hybridity, the term and the vast array of concepts it encapsulates has raised already long-running discussions and debates. The paper explores some tropes inspired by the debate between Homi Bhabba and Jonathan Friedman on cultural hybridity. As Friedman sets his critique of hybridity in opposition to what he considers "true" cosmopolitanism to be, we will show how his understanding can be considered as flawed and how hybridity can in turn be considered as being less but meaning more than cosmopolitanism. The paper does not provide a comprehensive study of hybridity theories or of the debates around it, and rather offers a starting point for a wider reflection on contemporary modes of social exclusion and inclusion.
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Contributor : Pascal-Yan Sayegh <>
Submitted on : Sunday, July 24, 2011 - 2:58:58 PM
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Pascal-Yan Sayegh. Cultural Hybridity and Modern Binaries: Overcoming the Opposition Between Identity and Otherness?. 2008. ⟨halshs-00610753⟩

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