The nameless Other - a postcolonial discussion of stereotyping in aid work

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The nameless Other - a postcolonial discussion of stereotyping in aid work

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title The nameless Other - a postcolonial discussion of stereotyping in aid work
Author Svensson, Linnea
Date 2011
English abstract
This thesis is a postcolonial discussion about stereotype imagery of the third world, as conveyed by aid organization, and the implications of such images. Stereotyping is a human rights issue because it concerns inferiority and superiority, and can in the end be boiled down to a matter of equality. It is therefore an issue that needs to be up for constant review in aid organizations, who mainly claim human rights as their value base. The thesis is a single case study, looking intensely into the phenomenon of stereotyping as located within aid organizations. It looks through the lens of postcolonial theory, as it is a perspective that revolves mainly around concepts like identity, racism and stereotyping. It is constructed in two major parts, where the first part goes through the history of imperialism and the representations of ‘the Other’ it produced, and the second determines through empirical observations that aid organizations do convey stereotypic images, albeit more in terms of how they deal with the images than what they contain. The results of the empirical investigation matches well with the explanations of postcolonial theory, as the way the images are dealt with by aid organizations contributes to establish the aid receivers as ‘the Other’. Research also show that advertisement can function to both strengthen and alter previously established perceptions, which calls for organizations to design ads and information material with caution. It is however also a good thing, as it is possible to begin the process of reversing stereotypes. The conclusion is that postcolonial theory can provide awareness for the origins and mechanisms of stereotyping, which is an issue any organization who claim human rights as their value base should engage in a debate about. If we truly care about equality this is an area of the work that needs review.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 47
Language eng (iso)
Subject Stereotyping
Human Rights
Aid work
Postcolonialism
Identity
Media
Prejudice
Humanitarian aid
Superiority
Equality
Racism
Imperialism
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/24822 Permalink to this page
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