Afterword: Postcolonial Theories and Thai Semicolonial Hybridities

Peter A. Jackson

in The Ambiguous Allure of the West

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789622091214
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207493 | DOI:
Afterword: Postcolonial Theories and Thai Semicolonial Hybridities

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This concluding chapter discusses postcolonial theories of cultural hybridity to delineate some of the main forms of Siamese/Thai responses to the West. It compares Nestor García Canclini's account of the hybrid mestizaje discourse of Latin American Hispanic elites as a mode of hegemonic rule to the nineteenth-century Siamese elite discourse of siwilai (“civilized”). In contrast, at the international level in which Siam's rulers were subordinate to the West, the chapter draws on Homi Bhabha to read siwilai as a hybrid discourse manifesting Thai elites' subaltern resistance to Western imperialism. Both Bhabha's and García Canclini's different accounts of postcolonial cultural hybridity are needed to explain all these patterns of Thai–Western cultural mixing.

Keywords: postcolonial theories; cultural hybridity; Siamese/Thai; Nestor García Canclini; mestizaje; siwilai; Siam; Homi Bhabha; Western imperialism; cultural mixing

Chapter.  9304 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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