To Speak about the Unspeakable: Marginalized Position of Class, Community and Gender

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The perception and description of experience as ‘marginal’ is a consequence of the binaristic structure of various kinds of dominant discourse such as patriarchy, imperialism and ethnocentrism which imply that certain forms of experience are peripheral. Although the term carries a misleading geometric implication, marginal groups do not necessarily endorse the notion of a fixed center. Structures of power are described in reality, in a complex, diffuse and multifaceted way. However marginality as a noun is related to the verb ‘to marginalize’ and in this sense provides a trap for those involved in resistance by its assumption that power is a function of centrality. This mean that such resistance can become a process of replacing the center …show more content…
It had only reappropriated Gramsci’s term ‘subaltern’ which indicated more of economic marginalization more than anything else. In a very broad term the word ‘class’ refers to divisions in society. Like ‘gender’ and ‘race’, the concept of class intersects in important ways with the cultural implications of colonial domination. The first contention to be answered is the notion that the kind of inequity and injustice, exclusion and oppression found in post-colonial societies is simply explicable in terms of class. Now the question to think is “Is the condition of the colonized themselves simply referable to universal notions of class identification, so that they can be absorbed into some general category such as the international proletariat without a need of further culturally discrete distinctions?” The Eurocentric and Universalist bias of such a cintention is obvious. Nevertheless, it is clear that in many ways the idea of binarism between a proletarian and an owing class was a model for the centre’s perception and treatment of the margin and a model for the way in which imperial authority exercised its power within the colonies.
What Spivak is suggesting is that the institutionalization of marginality is a dangerous trend. Spivak writes: “I could easily construct a sort of ‘pure east’…so that I could then define myself as the easterner, as the marginal or as the specific, or as the para- institutional”. Edward Said in his Orientalism further discussed the

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