viewtopic.php?f=5&t=168016&start=75ray245 wrote: ↑2019-02-14 08:03pmGeographic reference is so often lumped together with cultural references that they are used together to sustain tropes or ideas about "Asians", or "Asians" in comparison to an "European". Europe is not homogenous, but it is a concept (the modern concept, not the one invented by the ancient Greeks) developed within Europe and had been used in the past to justify colonial efforts over the rest of the world.
Europe had been used as a unifying concept in the past to justify imperialism by a number of European states, whereas terms like Asia or African were very rarely used in the same manner. (Imperial Japan did use Asia to justify imperialism). They are historical reasons why we cannot think of them in the same way.
Yes. Because how we categorise broad non-European groups is strongly influenced by the historical process behind it. If we attempt to look at cultures from a regional perspective, it completely ignores how drastically different cultures can be within the "region" that you have created.What else do you suggest? Do you always exclude minor groups that demonstrate a different cultural trait from the greater whole?
Take South-East Asia for example. The concept of SE Asia as a region did not exist until the mid 20th century. Trying to talk about southeast Asia as a region presuppose there is sufficient commonality within this region to be studied collectively together. How the various communities conceive of themselves end up being ignored, or it becomes a political project by the various political elite to create a sense of regional identity ( which is in turn a product of colonial mindset).
Broad categorisation of communities from a regional POV are not useful and can be harmful unless such ideas are internally generated. Externally imposed categorisation is problematic.
We can talk about the Arab states because they had been a long historical process of internal self-identifications. The idea of who is Arab and who isn't had been a contested issue within the Islamic world even at its height. It was an internally created category as opposed to an externally created category like "Asians".I admitted this is not an in-depth view of the myriad differences between individual tribal cultures. Just as when you talk about North Africa and, say, Arab states, you would not be going into detail over the individual differences of certain tribes in the Maghreb, or would you? In this case even saying “African Americans” is racist as well, because it does not account for the differences between various groups...
There were tensions, disagreements and conflicts arising over who can be identified as an "Arab". As far as I know, there was never an internal development over who gets to be identified as an "native Americans". The "native Americans" communities never fought over or impose rules to define "native Americans" as a distinct identity in absence of US's actions. There was never a sense of "native Americans" regional identity the way Arabs did.
I'm carrying on the discussion from here.
One work I am influenced by is Robert Bartlett's The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950–1350. I think Bartlett has made a strong argument that the concept of Europe, as a useful regional category was itself a product of cultural expansion. Cultures which did not conform to western Christendom (in a very loose sense, meaning association with the Catholic church) were subjected to threats and subjugation, and by and large destroyed.
What this entails for us is to be wary of seeing other geographical regions as being comparable to Europe. While you can make an argument for a sino-centered sphere, in which polities bordering China like Japan, Korea, Vietnam were heavily influenced by Chinese culture, this does not extend to the whole of Asia.
On top of that, the notion of "Asian-ness" is also cultural specific. In the UK, Asians by default is a reference to people of Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh descent. People from China, Japan and Korea are simply called Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. In the US, Asians refers to the people from the Sino-sphere, reflecting the pattern of migration.