Encyclopediaof—isms

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“All the things you always wanted to know about cultural diversity but were afraid to ask.” The realm of cultural diversity is fueled with concepts, definitions and theories that are complex, ambiguous and delicate. The ‘Encyclopedia of —isms’ is an effort to explain some of these terminologies.

Do you miss some —Isms? Or want to add, remark or comment on one or more? Please feel to mail us with suggestions.

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Cultural Diversity

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Q

Queer

“used to frighten me but now ‘for me to use the word queer is a liberation’’’ — Derek Jarman

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Encyclopedia of —isms

‘Blank’ (a Dutch word)

means ‘pure’, ‘clean’, ‘fair’ ‘non-tainted’, ‘unwritten’ and ‘beautiful’.

 

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Identity politics

Identity (construct of…)

“Now part of what”…“I see as the problem is the idea of anybody’s having to fight the fragmentation and multicultural diversity of the world, not to mention outright oppression, by constructing something so rigid as an identity, an identity in which there has to be a fixed and immobile core, a core that is structured to hold inviolate such a complete biological fantasy as race— whether white or black”  —Samuel R. Delany, interviewed by Mark Dery, 1994

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Encyclopedia of —isms

W

White fragility, supremacy, privilege

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Archive (Cultural)

a concept of Edward Said which “foregrounds the centrality of imperialisme to Western culture. The cultural archive has influenced historical cultural configurations and current dominant and cherished self-representations and culture.” —Gloria Wekker

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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Postcolonialism

Postcolonialism or postcolonial studies is an academic discipline featuring methods of intellectual discourse that analyze, explain, and respond to the cultural legacies of colonialism and imperialism. Postcolonialism responds towards the human consequences of controlling a country and establishing settlers for the economic exploitation of the native people and their land. Drawing from postmodern schools of thought, postcolonial studies analyse the politics of knowledge (creation, control, and distribution) by analyzing the functional relations of social and political power that sustain colonialism and neocolonialism—the how and the why of an imperial regime’s representations (social, political, cultural) of the imperial colonizer and of the colonized people.

As a genre of contemporary history, postcolonialism questions and reinvents the modes of cultural perception—the ways of viewing and of being viewed. As anthropology, postcolonialism records human relations among the colonial nations and the subaltern peoples exploited by colonial rule. As critical theory, postcolonialism presents, explains, and illustrates the ideology and the praxis of neocolonialism, with examples drawn from the humanities—history and political science, philosophy and Marxist theory, sociology, anthropology, and human geography; the cinema, religion, and theology; feminism, linguistics, and postcolonial literature, of which the anti-conquest narrative genre presents the stories of colonial subjugation of the subaltern man and woman.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcolonialism

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Religion

Religion is a classification based on religious believes, but —and more importantly— also on the cultural and ideological values this religion entails.

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Stereotype

“The other half —the deeper meaning— lies in what is not being said, but is being fantasized, what is implied but cannot be shown.” —Stuart Hall

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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Representation (System of…)

…“the relation between ‘things’, concepts and signs lies at the heart of the production of meaning in language. The process which links these three elements together is what we call ‘representation’.” —Stuart Hall

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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Language

“When we look at culture from the perspective of a practice of giving meaning, than language is the tool to give meaning with.” —Stuart Hall

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Dichotomy

A dichotomy means a division into two parts that are exclusive opposed or contradictory: an object can be either one or the other, not both nor neither.

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C

Encyclopedia of —isms

Culture

Culture is the activity of giving meaning to objects, events and people. This activity depends on the participants of this culture.

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Class

Class is the system of classification that categorises people based on wealth, which consists of a mixture of level of education, neighborhood/community, family and friends, social position of your profession, civil rights and money.

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Nationality

Nationality is a classification based on country or state lines. This classification is used to identify a national identity (i.e. ‘Dutch’) and therefore deals with nativity or origin. Nationality is based on ‘geography’ and ‘direction’ (i.e. ‘Western’).

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Color

Color is the system of classification that is based on human skin color or race.

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Intersectionality

Intersectionality is ‘a mode of thinking that intersects identities and systems of social oppression and domination’. http://www.thestranger.com/features/2017/04/19/25082450/the-heart-of-whiteness-ijeoma-oluo-interviews-rachel-dolezal-the-white-woman-who-identifies-as-black

Intersectionality means that the use and abuse of power is often happening in a combination of classification. It is a “way of looking at the world that takes a principled stance that it is not enough merely to take [a identificatory classification such as] gender as the main analytical tool of a particular phenomenon, but that gender as an important social and symbolical axis of difference is simultaneously operative with other like race, class, sexuality, and religion”. (Wekker, 2016, p21).

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Typology

A typology is the result of the classification of things according to their physical characteristics. The products of the classification, i.e. the classes, are also called types. From this perspective, the research focusses on an ‘objectified’ categorization of the collection through ‘metadata’. Metadata or ‘data about data’ is the data describes the contents and context of data in order to facilitate in the discovery of relevant information. The metadata that was used to organize, were ‘location’, ‘classification’ (divided into ‘groups’) and ‘institute’. It is ‘objectified’, since all this data come from specific words that were found in the article.

D

Encyclopedia of —isms

Dialogic

“Representation functions less like a model of a one-way transmitter and more like the model of a dialogue —it is, they say, dialogic. What sustains this ‘dialogue’ is the presence of shared cultural codes, which cannot guarantee that meaning will remain stable forever.” —Stuart Hall

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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Postracialism

SpikeOnPostracialism “Anyone who thinks we move in a post-racial society is someone who’s been smoking crack” – Spike Lee, 2009

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Discours (or discursive)

Slide from lecture “Visual culture, Identity and Design” by Nana Adusei-Poku on March 19, 2015

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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Pluralisme

Pluralisme: dynamische blik. Dit isme zet de mens centraal. Ieder individu wordt voortdurend gevormd door de (culturele) contexten en groepen waarin h/zij opgroeit. Mensen zijn geen blinde en willoze dragers van een cultuur. Iedereen maakt zelf selecties en verbindingen met aspecten van de diverse culturen die gezamenlijk ieders identiteit vormen. Binnen dit hele speelveld van verschillen en overeenkomsten kunnen we, omdat we mens zijn, een aantal universele richtlijnen afspreken. Waarden en normen die voor iedereen gelden en waarbinnen we voldoende speelruimte houden om hieraan een verschillende invulling te geven.

De nadruk komt hiermee te liggen op de participatie van ieder mens aan de groep, een organisatie en samenleving. Waarbij we uniek (dus verschillend) kunnen zijn, en er tegelijkertijd bij horen en gelijk zijn. Hierbij is het belangrijk dat we met elkaar een (stevige) dialoog kunnen voeren over achterliggende ideeën en dat we stil durven staan bij de botsing, bij de dynamiek die ontstaat doordat we verschillen ervaren. De dialoog werkt verbindend. Gezamenlijk komen we tot een algemene mores, tot een uitspraak ‘dit vinden wij normaal’.

Dit vraagt dat we bij de ander aansluiten (vanuit het relativisme: met respect en vanuit gelijkwaardigheid), maar niet grenzeloos (vanuit het absolutisme: ik heb waarden en die zijn belangrijk voor mij). Het dynamische perspectief verbindt de paradox van het relativisme en het absolutisme. De algemene (universele, cultuur overstijgende) waarden zijn het uitgangspunt, en de eigenheid van verschillende individuen en de specifiekheid van een situatie geven de bandbreedte om binnen te handelen.

Jitske Kramer, 2011, Drie cultuur ismes: relativisme, absolutisme en pluralisme – Diversiteit en Verandering.

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Relativisme (Cultuur)

Cultuurrelativisme: morele verlamming. Als tegenreactie op het absolutisme staat het relativisme, waarbij het belangrijk is het oordeel over een ander uit te stellen. Anders is anders, niet per definitie beter of slechter. Elke cultuur heeft haar eigen logica, verschillen moeten gerespecteerd worden en culturen kun je alleen van binnenuit leren kennen. Dit zijn uitgangspunten die maken dat mensen vanuit gelijkwaardigheid met elkaar om kunnen gaan. Integreren (met behoud van eigen identiteit) staat hierbij centraal in het samenleven en werken.

Het relativisme is helaas vaak doorgeschoten in een denken waarin er geen ruimte is voor kritiek op de ander (‘want dat is zijn cultuur’). Mensen kunnen zich achter hun ‘cultuur’ verschuilen alsof ze geen invloed hebben op hun gedrag. Culturele verschillen worden hierbij als een verklaringsmodel gebruikt. Bij het benoemen van verschillen  is voorzichtigheid geboden, omdat je anders wellicht als intolerant wordt bestempeld. Hoewel de uitgangspunten prachtig zijn (respect & gelijkheid) brengt het relativisme een morele verlamming. Want wiens manier is nu eigenlijk de beste? En mogen we daar een discussie over hebben?

Jitske Kramer, 2011, Drie cultuur ismes: relativisme, absolutisme en pluralisme – Diversiteit en Verandering.

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Absolutisme (cultuur)

Cultuurabsolutisme: anders is minder. Een visie op cultuur die er vanuit gaat dat elke cultuur zijn eigen waarden en normen systeem heeft. En de eigen cultuur ziet men als superieur, zonder een grijntje relativeringsvermogen. Dit resulteert in starre denkbeelden, machtsvertoon en druk op anderen om te assimileren. Ten tijden van het kolonialisme kwam dit duidelijk tot uiting: de overheerser had een superieure cultuur en was zo vriendelijk deze naar de onderontwikkelde mens te brengen. In het politieke debat van vandaag wordt gezegd dat we uit moeten gaan van ‘onze Nederlandse waarden en normen’.

Jitske Kramer, 14 juli 2011, Drie cultuur ismes: relativisme, absolutisme en pluralisme – Diversiteit en Verandering.

1001 streams of blackness

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Encyclopedia of —isms

Creolization

“Creolization is the process in which Creole cultures emerge in the New World. As a result of colonization there was a mixture between people of indigenous, African, and European descent, which came to be understood as Creolization. Creolization is traditionally used to refer to the Caribbean; although not exclusive to the Caribbean it can be further extended to represent other diasporas. The mixing of people brought a cultural mixing which ultimately led to the formation of new identities. It is important to emphasize that Creolization also is the mixing of the “old” and “traditional,” with the “new” and “modern.” Furthermore, creolization occurs when participants actively select cultural elements that may become part of or inherited culture. Robin Cohen states that Creolization is a condition in which “the formation of new identities and inherited culture evolve to become different from those they possessed in the original cultures,” and then creatively merge these to create new varieties that supersede the prior forms.”

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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New Black

“The New Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.” producer and rapper Pharrell Williams said to Oprah Winfrey in the spring of 2014.

So what does this New Blackness actually mean and what does it entail?

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1001 streams of blackness

B

Encyclopedia of —isms

Black

The capitalized Black vs lowercase white:

“I have chosen to capitalize the word “Black” and lowercase “white” throughout this book. I believe “Black” constitutes a group, an ethnicity equivalent to African-American, Negro, or, in terms of a sense of ethnic cohesion, Irish, Polish, or Chinese. I don’t believe that whiteness merits the same treatment. Most American whites think of themselves as Italian-American or Jewish or otherwise relating to other past connections that Blacks cannot make because of the familial and national disruptions of slavery. So to me, because Black speaks to an unknown familial/national past it deserves capitalization.” (Touré, 2011 p VII)

Touré, Who’s afraid of Post-Blackness, Free Press, 2011

“I write “Black” with a capital B because this term addresses first and foremost political and historical dimensions of the concept of Blackness, and relates only indirectly to skin complexion. The term “white”, in contrast, is not capitalised, since this would obscure the term “Black” as an act of political empowerment and as a socio-political construct.” (Adusei-Poku, 2014, p 7)

Nana Adusei-Poku, A Stake in the Unknown, Hogeschool Rotterdam Uitgeverij, 2014

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Post-black

“When it comes to defending Barack against the charge that he’s not Black enough, I tell folk, ‘Well, I’ve know him for over fifteen years, and what I’ve noticed is that he’s proud of his race, but that doesn’t capture the range of his identity. He’s rooted in, but not restricted by his Blackness‘” (quote by Michael Eric Dyson in the forword of “Who’s afraid of Post-Blackness” by Touré).

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1001 streams of blackness

B

Encyclopedia of —isms

Black Cool

Cool = control, transcendental balance, moderation in coldness, unruffled, nonchalant, imperturbable, detached, High degree of self-control, aloofness

The concept of cool is a “West African/Afro-American metaphor of moral easthetics accomplishment” (R. Farris Thompson).

Primary methaphoric extension is …”control, having the value of composure in the individual context, social stability in the context of the group. […] Put another way, coolness has to do with transcendental balance.”

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Encyclopedia of —isms

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Eclecticisn (a.k.a. Syncretism)

Syncretism is the combining of different, often seemingly contradictory beliefs, while melding practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture (known as eclecticism) as well as politics (syncretic politics).

Encyclopedia of —isms

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Re-mix

Remix

A re-edit is a new version made by cutting-up and splicing together chunks of the original song in a different order, usually using a tape recorder, a razor blade and some sticky tape.[…]If you think of re-editing as making a patchwork version, then remixing is where you actually separate the individual sonic fibres of a song and weave them back into a new piece of musical fabric.
from the book “Last Night a DJ saved my Life”, p 192-193

A remix may also refer to a non-linear re-interpretation of a given work or media other than audio such as a hybridizing process combining fragments of various works. The process of combining and re-contextualizing will often produce unique results independent of the intentions and vision of the original designer/artist. Thus the concept of a remix can be applied to visual or video arts, and even things farther afield.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix

A remix in art often takes multiple perspectives upon the same theme. An artist takes an original work of art and adds their own take on the piece creating something completely different while still leaving traces of the original work. It is essentially a reworked abstraction of the original work while still holding remnants of the original piece while still letting the true meanings of the original piece shine through.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix#Remix_in_art

Remix culture, sometimes read-write culture, is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new creative work or product.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix_culture