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The Location of Culture (Routledge Classics) [Hardcover]

Homi K. Bhabha
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Feb 1994 Routledge Classics

Rethinking questions of identity, social agency and national affiliation, Bhabha provides a working, if controversial, theory of cultural hybridity - one that goes far beyond previous attempts by others. In The Location of Culture, he uses concepts such as mimicry, interstice, hybridity, and liminality to argue that cultural production is always most productive where it is most ambivalent. Speaking in a voice that combines intellectual ease with the belief that theory itself can contribute to practical political change, Bhabha has become one of the leading post-colonial theorists of this era.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (10 Feb 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415016355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415016353
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,807,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Bhabha is that rare thing, a reader of enormous subtlety and wit, a theorist of uncommon power. His work is a landmark in the exchange between ages, genres and cultures; the colonial, post-colonial, modernist and postmodern.' – Edward Said

About the Author

Homi K Bhabha (1949- ) Born into the Parsi community of Bombay, Bhabha is a leading voice in postcolonial studies. He is currently Professor of English and Afro-American Studies, Harvard University

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There is a damaging and self-defeating assumption that theory is necessarily the elite language of the socially and culturally privileged. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult but rewarding 29 Jan 2004
By ldxar1
Anyone who hasn't read this book should be warned that it is not easy reading. There's a lot of vocabulary taken from poststructuralism and critical theory in here, and readers whose familiarity with such work is limited would do well to avoid this book until they've familiarised themselves through easier texts.
That said, this is a very rewarding book which raises important issues. Most political theory and philosophy is all about Europe and North America, and Bhabha is one of the handful who realise that the remaining 3/4s of the world actually exist. I find him quite an open-minded thinker; like all critical theorists, he has his shibboleths and his preferred theoretical vocabularies, but he doesn't let this get in the way of his analysis of specific situations and texts. In addition, this is a hopeful text, insisting on the possibility of change for the better.
The "location of culture" of the title is a location in contingency, perhaps the Lacanian Real or some other such non-place; the basic point is that culture is not a fixed entity and that it can be reconstructed through various discursive manoeuvres such as hybridity (the fusion of two or more cultures) and "sly civility" (the ironic or dishonest maintenance of a cultural facade). Do not expect a structured narrative; each chapter basically stands on its own, and most are actually reproduced articles and essays from elsewhere. Nevertheless, they link together quite well because they all deal with similar issues about culture, oppression and change.
If you can't manage the whole book then at least try out the chapters on stereotyping and on how newness enters the world, which are pure genius - Bhabha at his best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, readable and erudite 25 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bhabha is worth reading an important contributor to post-colonial, neo-colonials and colonial studies - a great voice and different perspective needed in a western-heavy perspective of otherness and "what is out there!"
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Homi don't play that! 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Let's get one thing straight. Homi Bhabhi is difficult to understand. However, I think everyone else who wrote reviews is wrong. Bhabha is the only post-colonial theorist who has an adequate grasp of historical dynamics in constructing identity, while remaining unafraid to problematize notions of historicity. I don't think the other people who reviewed this book understand that. I liked this book. But I liked his earlier stuff--EG Nation and Narration--a little better.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, yet never develops as it should. 17 July 1999
By A Customer
Bhabha raises pertinent and fascinating points, yet I never felt as though he really elaborated on them. I was hoping to see Bhabha's opinions on parallels between the past, present and future. Both the previous reviews brought up relevent points, I felt. I wouldn't totally reject Bhabha's ideas as the first reviewer seemed to, yet the second reviewer was much too eager in his praises. In the future I think it would do Bhabha good to diversify his work.
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