Cultural Identity and Diaspora

CulturalIdentity and Diaspora

CulturalIdentity and Diaspora


InCulturalIdentity and Diaspora,Stuart Hall, presents a dialogue of culture concerning hisbackground. Hall utilizes discourse theory to his individual sense ofidentity. The article focuses on the formation of identity within ahistorical and conversational framework. It explores the experienceof the black diaspora in the Caribbean and the stories ofdisplacement. Hall studies the issues surrounding identityextensively. He notes that despite its fixed nature, identity shouldappear as an ongoing production whose process is continuous andinherent in the social structure0.His thesis revolves around thinking about identity as awork-in-progress, rather than an already accomplished fact.

Heasserts that there are two ways of viewing cultural identity. Thisfirst view of cultural identity is that of an understanding a singletrue history. This view represents one collective culture that can beseparated from the practices of alienation. This attitude has beenvital in post-colonial tussles. This interpretation is fixed, and itdoes not follow Hall`s expansive views. However, he emphasizes theidea that it is important to rediscover a society’s past tofacilitate re-imagining of the culture. The benefit of this view itpaves the way for a shared cultural representation for the community.

Thesecond view of cultural identity proposed by Hall is that whichacknowledges the numerous differences and similarities thatcharacterize the diaspora. This view proposes that history has playednotable roles in the creation of the different tastes of theCaribbean way of life. By acknowledging this, one can note that theprocess is continuous, which shows that cultural identity cannot befixed at one single point, but is a dynamic process over time.

Hallcontends that this transformational view is the ideal way tocomprehend and appreciate the trauma associated with the colonialhistory in the Caribbean. The view, according to Hall distinguishesthe cultural changes that happened because of interference from theruling systems. By referring form the works of Edward Said and MichelFoucault, Hall expresses that the suffering, treatment, andexperiences that black people went through under dominant regimes ofrepresentation must be appreciated0.The article expresses the effects of ‘Orientalist` imagining on thepeople as proposed by Said. It also gives an understanding of theimpositions made on the minds of the people through involuntarydisplacements and other forms of oppression.

Therefore,this article provides an understanding of the cultural representationin the Caribbean in a framework that comprises of the resemblancesand variances of the experiences. The article affirms that immigrantsfrom the African continent lived a different way of life and that thesuffering they underwent from slavery united them. This existence ofdifferences and similarities is the one that shaped the Caribbeanculture. Hall asserts that adopting a historical and broad view ofculture does not lessen its meaning because culture is alwayschanging. As such, the understanding and interpretation of a cultureat any point in time only represents the time at which it is taken

Thisarticle explains the show of differences within identity. Itrecognizes that history has unified almost all humanity, but thehistory does not mark similar origins among people. Hall’s notionof diasporic identity is founded on the concepts of difference andhybridity. It cast old forms of ethnicity aside gesturing to theongoing problems in the world today. His article offers a differentway of thinking regarding cultural identity, and his model proves tobe effective because other authors support his notion.


StuartHall’s central topic is the promotion of cultural identity forindividuals in the diaspora and the rise of the Third Cinema in theCaribbean. Hall provides an important argument suggesting that theThird cinema avails a visual representation the Afro-Caribbeanculture in the West. This article discusses pertinent issues aboutcultural practices, identity, and cultural production. Indeed, thesesubjects are of great concern to people living in foreign countriesand are unable to strike a balance between home and foreign culture.Hall argues that we should not consider cultural identity as afinished product but as a continuous process0.However, if we consider cultural identity as a process, there willnot be definite cultural identities for specific communities. Aspeople move around the word and interact with different cultures, itis likely that cultural identities will be corrupted. However, if weconsider cultural identities as finished products, then we willalways have reference points to address the cultural questions thatarise. This is the only way of preventing cultural dilution by havingdefinite cultural reference points.

StuartHall highlights two ways in which individuals can reflect on theircultural identity. Firstly, we can understand identity as acollective history shared by persons affiliated by ethnicity or racethat is considered stable or fixed. This understanding asserts thatcultural identities are reflections of our common cultural codes andhistorical experiences. Therefore, unlike Hall’s claim thatidentity should be a continuous process. This definition disqualifieshis proposal for individuals to consider cultural identities asincomplete processes. The oneness of cultural identity determines thedefinition of communities on the global and local scale. Variousmedia such as cinema and digital media should initiate creativerepresentations of truth regarding marginalized persons.

Hall’sarticle is convincing because he provides detailed descriptions andproposals on a pertinent cultural question. Hall challenges thevarious notions of cultural identity from European and Africanplaces. There is a need to refute cultural dilution from theperceived superiority of European culture. He highlights howCaribbean cinema has been on the forefront in refuting Westerninfluence by enhancing the understanding of Caribbean culture0.He starts by providing a new definition of the African culture bydeconstructing the components of the black subject. The use ofinterchangeable metaphors and destabilizing previously concrete wordslays the new understanding of the African subject. The article iscompelling because the author uses creative literal techniques suchas imaginative geography to promote the understanding of culture evenfrom a far country. The use of imaginative geography enhances theengagement of the mind. Hall criticizes the demeaning Westerndefinition of Africa by saying that it is useless to support engagewith the West in propagating the perceived timelessness of Africa’sprimitive definition.

Theinformation contained in the article relates to my community byhighlighting the need to appreciate our cultural identity. Mycommunity will be able to establish the true definition of itscultural heritage by avoiding the dilution of subjective definitions. Therefore, there is a need to determine points of culturalconvergence to establish our cultural identities. As a community, weneed to appreciate our culture through various forms of visual artsuch as cinema to avoid the reconstruction of our culture by dominantregimes. It is an important revelation of the need to find pride incultural freedom.


Hall,S., &quotCultural identity and diaspora, 1990

0 Hall, S., &quotCultural identity and diaspora, 1990

0 Hall, S., &quotCultural identity and diaspora, 1990

0 Hall, S., &quotCultural identity and diaspora, 1990

0 Hall, S., &quotCultural identity and diaspora, 1990

Cultural Identity and Diaspora

CulturalIdentity and Diaspora

CulturalIdentity and Diaspora

Inthe essay, “”, Stuart Halldeliberates the black subject’s nature, which is denoted by otherprocedures of visual representation and film of the “Afro-Caribbean(and Asian) ‘blacks’ of the diasporas of the West”. Hallquestions the identity of the of the cinema’s new, emergentsubject. He also questions the place where he/she speaks from.Referring from Emile Benveniste’s seminal work, he contends thatthe person who is spoken of, and the subject who is speaking, arenever in the same place and never identical, despite the fact that wetalk in our name, and from our experience. Hall’s thesis is that ’’we should thing of personality as a production which is nevercompleted and always confined within and not an already accomplishedfact.“[ CITATION Stu93 l 1033 ]

StuartHall indicates that there are two main techniques of looking atcultural personality. First, he points out the traditionalprototypical which portrays cultural identity as joint culture and akind of combined procedure, beating within other cursorily enforcedselves which are common among persons with a shared ancestry andhistory. He further points out that this Oneness is the spirit of theblack understanding of Caribbeanness. It is, therefore, paramount fora black diaspora, or the Caribbean to bring to light, excavate,discover, and express this identity.

Halladmits that the reawakening of this personality is usually an objectof passionate research, in addition to the fact that the commencementof traditional personality played a key role in the post-colonialfights. However, the enquiries whether such opinion only involvesdetection that which was overlaid and buried by the colonialexperience. According to Stuart Hall, it is good to predict a diversetraining, one that is centered on the production and not therediscovery of identity. A character that involves the retelling ofthe past, and not one grounded in archeology. This point of viewwould involve admitting that this is an action which entailsinflicting an imaginary consistency on the fragmentation anddispersal’s experience, leading to the restoration of an imaginaryplenitude. He stresses that Africa is the label of the omitted termthat lies at the center of our cultural identity.

Hallpoints out the second model that acknowledges the critical points ofsignificant and profound differences that make what we are. Accordingto this model, cultural personality is a matter existence. Itbelongs to the ancient as well as to the future. The Culturalidentities come from different places, have pasts, and undergocontinuous alteration just like everything else that is historical.Far from being subject to the unceasing play of power, culture, andhistory, they are externally fixed in some indispensable past.Personalities are the designations we allocate to the diverse ways weposition ourselves within and the way we are placed by the tales ofthe past. [ CITATION Stu93 l 1033 ]

Hallclaims that knowledge has to be moved of the customs where blackexperiences and black people were subjected and placed in theoverriding administrations of symbolization. He strains that it isdifferent to put a subject as the ‘other,` and `thing` altogetherto expose them to that knowledge. From this perspective, therefore,cultural identities are the unstable identification points madewithin the discourses of culture and history. Cultural identity isnot some original and universal spirit inside us with a major markmade by history. It is not a fixed essence outside culture andhistory, which is lying unchanged.

Thepreceding, however, raises an essential question: how are we tounderstand the formation of identity if it does not, from some fixedorigin, proceed in a straight continuous line? Hall, in his response,brings forth the Caribbean uniqueness. He proposes that we shouldreflect on the black Caribbean individualities as frames by twotrajectories operating concurrently the vector of continuity orsimilarity, and the vector of rupture and difference. He contendsthat the two axes exist paradoxically. The uprooting oftransportation and slavery and the addition into the farm economy hasunified people over their differences while at the same time,breaking from straight access to their past. At first, India andAfrica are not monolithically related entities. Every island is,moreover, dissimilar from each other.

Hall,therefore, has a task to describe the role of alteration withinidentity. While he recognizes that we are unified across ourdifferences by a shared history, this history does not, at the sametime, comprise a mutual source, since it was plainly, as well asfiguratively, a transformation. He argues that such traditional playcannot be denoted as a meek binary opposition given its complexity.With reference to Jamaica, Hall argues that it was only until the1970’s that the Afro-Caribbean personality became obtainable to theCaribbean persons. This was realized through the impact on the civilrights tussles, the music of reggae, the culture of Rastafarianism,and the post-colonial revolution’s popular life.

Hallpersists that there is a possibility to rethink the repositioning andplacing of Caribbean cultural personalities. Basing on Derrida’stemporal and spatial metaphors, Stuart Hall is simultaneouslycomparing the Caribbean culture to sign in a broad sign-system.Portraying upon the ideas of both deferral and displacement, Hallsuggests that neither the Caribbean is a free and divisible placeexisting in a historical and social space nor is the presentdistinguishable from the past. From our knowledge, the Caribbean is avibrant entity occasioning from its relation to the othersocio-historical bodies. The inhabitants of these socio-historicalbeings migrated and came to form the area.

Thenotion of diasporic identity as stipulated by Hall is one foundedupon hybridity and difference. It discards old hegemonising andimperializing forms of civilization. As per the current Palestinianhomeland, Hall claims his model doesn’t conceptualize identitysecurity. He claims to offer a different angle from which culturalidentity can be viewed. He states that identity is constituted withina representation and not on the outside. It is the form ofrepresentation that can represent new types of topics and permit usto determine regions from where we can make our views heard andknown. It is not a second-order mirror which is held up to offer areflection of what already exists. Hall concludes by giving theimportance of his model to the redefinition of the community asdistinguished, by the style through which they can be imagined andnot by their genuineness.[ CITATION Stu93 l 1033 ]


Hall, S. (1993). . In P. W. Chrisman, Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory: a Reader (pp. 392-401). London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.