Imagining Kashmir: Emplotment and Colonialism

By Patrick Colm Hogan | Go to book overview

5
Colonial Violence and Scapegoating
A Poem about Majorities and Minorities

In the preceding chapters, we have been concerned primarily with the cognitive, affective, and group dynamical features of the main identity groups defining colonialism—the colonial power and the colonized populace. However, the relation between the colonizer and the colonized has implications for more global and more local interactions. Thus there are both supra-and subcolonial identity relations and associated ideologies. The subcolonial relations are perhaps particularly important in their development of what might be called embedded out-grouping, the formation of in-group/out-group oppositions among those who are colonized. In part, this is simply the ordinary process of identity group formation. But that identity group formation now takes place in a colonial context.

Colonial conditions tend to repeat themselves. Indeed, they produce the conditions that foster such repetition. There is a fractal-like quality to the multiplication of colonialisms. In effect, the system as a whole produces images of itself at different scales, repeating global patterns in local situations. On the other hand, these embedded colonialisms— with their associated patterns of antagonism and oppression—are not precisely the mirror image of the embedding or encompassing colonialism. Rather, each embedded colonialism is a function of multiple contingencies—variable compositions of wealth, power, prestige, economic organization, political practice, and other matters. In short, there are different complex networks of social relations as well as different complex understandings of those relations. Those social and psychological systems make a difference as to just how the embedded colonialism develops—including what forms the related antagonism and oppression take.

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