The Impossible Logic of Assimilation

Robert Bernasconi

Abstract


In this essay I argue that Memmi’s analysis in The Colonizer and the Colonized transcends the colonial situation of the 1950s. The remorseless logic exposed by Memmi, whereby the colonizer and the colonized are locked together in mutual dependence within a polarized society, applies whenever a dominant group insists that various minorities conform to the role assigned to them. Memmi’s philosophical and literary works, read with reference to the logic of assimilation, retain a wider application beyond the immediate context for which they were written. 



Keywords


Memmi; Sartre; race; racism; colonialism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jffp.2011.490

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