What exactly does Spivak mean by strategic essentialism?

Strategic essentialism is a concept that originated with the postcolonial Theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and it represents the idea of an oppressed group intentionally taking on stereotypes about itself in order to disrupt or subvert the dominance that oppresses or marginalizes it.

What is meant by strategic essentialism?

It refers to a political tactic in which minority groups, nationalities, or ethnic groups mobilize on the basis of shared gendered, cultural, or political identity to represent themselves.

Which is an example of strategic essentialism?

An example of strategic essentialism could be the bringing together of diverse agendas of various women’s groups to work for a common cause. Thus, strategic essentialism is about the need to accept temporarily, an “essentialist” position in order to be able to act.

What is strategic essentialism in feminism?

A political tactic employed by a minority group acting on the basis of a shared identity in the public arena in the interests of unity during a struggle for equal rights. The term was coined by Spivak and has been influential in feminism, queer theory, and postcolonial theory.

Who coined the term strategic essentialism?

Abstract. “Strategic essentialism” is a term first coined by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a postcolonial feminist philosopher and literary theorist. She employs the term in her deconstructive reading of the work of the Subaltern Studies Group.

What is the subaltern according to Spivak?

In postcolonial terms, “everything that has limited or no access to the cultural imperialism is subaltern — a space of difference.

Can the Subaltern Speak Spivak?

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s original essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” transformed the analysis of colonialism through an eloquent and uncompromising argument that affirmed the contemporary relevance of Marxism while using deconstructionist methods to explore the international division of labor and capitalism’s ” …

What is the essentialist perspective?

The essentialist perspective advocates that individuals in categories such as class, ethnicity, gender, or sex share an intrinsic quality that is verifiable through empirical methods (whether currently known or unknown).

What is essentialism in postcolonialism?

In a specifically postcolonial context, we find essentialism in the reduction of the indigenous people to an “essential” idea of what it means to be African/Indian/Arabic, thus simplifying the task of colonization (see Myths of the Native).

Can the subaltern speak as a feminist text?

The answer is no, the subaltern cannot speak.

Why does Spivak Criticise the Subaltern Studies group?


Gayatri Spivak intervened in postcolonial literary studies with her seminal essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” and, alongside Rosalind O’Hanlon, critiqued the subaltern studies collective for not going far enough in their consideration of gender in questions of subalternity.

What is are the major framework of Gayathri Spivak in the essay the politics of translation?

Based on the ideas proposed by post-structuralists like Derrida, Spivak wants to deconstruct the preconceived thought processes that she sums up in terms of three- tiered notion of language: rhetoric, logic, silence, she proposes a different kind of effort for translation in terms of synonym, syntax and local colour.

What does Spivak mean by Worlding?

Theoretical Approach

Spivak believes that the study of imperialism and its influences on British literature can help explain the “worlding” of Third World countries – essentially understanding the formation of this “other” as seen through discourse influenced by a colonizing history.

What does Worlding mean?

Worlding is a particular blending of the material and the semiotic that removes the boundaries between subject and environment, or perhaps between persona and topos. Worlding affords the opportunity for the cessation of habitual temporalities and modes of being.

Can the Subaltern Speak by Gayatri Spivak summary?

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, in her influential essay, ”Can the Subaltern Speak? ‘ argues that the abolition of the Hindu rite of sati in India by the British ”has been generally understood as a case of ”White men saving brown women from brown men”.