Is There a Correspondence Between “Orientalism” and The Orient? – Said, Dyson and Sen


Author: Amitabha Gupta, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
Published: January 26, 2022

Citation: Gubta, A. (2022). Is There a Correspondence Between “Orientalism” and The Orient? – Said, Dyson and Sen. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 6(2).


The study of cultural encounters has thrown up many important methodological and theoretical issues. Besides, these studies often rely on certain underlying socio-political and economic theories too. The objective of this paper is to unravel some of these issues and theories which underscore a very important area of cultural study, namely, the study of West’s cultural encounter of the Orient and the Western characterization of the Orient. Some of the cultural studies of this genre are obdurate and provocative, that is, the views of William Jones or Edward Said’s Orientalism. The paper (a) first states Said’s views. (b) then attempts to posit an alternative to Said’s Orientalism (i) implicit in Dyson’s book A Various Universe and (ii) inherent in the issues raised by Amartya Sen. The paper finally demonstrates that Said’s Orientalism is based on inappropriate methodological and theoretical assumptions and incongruous theories in the light of the studies outlined in (b).


alternative approach, cultural encounters, unified field theory of cultural encounters