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The Ambiguous Allure of the WestTraces of the Colonial in Thailand$
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Rachel V. Harrison and Peter A. Jackson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789622091214

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622091214.001.0001

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Afterword: Postcolonial Theories and Thai Semicolonial Hybridities

Afterword: Postcolonial Theories and Thai Semicolonial Hybridities

(p.187) Afterword: Postcolonial Theories and Thai Semicolonial Hybridities
The Ambiguous Allure of the West

Peter A. Jackson

Hong Kong University Press

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

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