Manusya, Journal of Humanities

Publication Date



Edward W. Said's Orientalism has long been celebrated for its ground-breaking analysis of the encounters between Western Orientalists and the Orient as a form of 'othering' representation. The success, undeniably, owes much to the use of Foucauldian discourse as a core methodology in Said's theorisation of Orientalism which allows Said to refer to the massive corpus of Orientalist writings as a form of Orientalist discourse and a representation of the East. However, the roles of Orientalist authors tend to be reduced to mere textual labels in a greater Orientalist discourse, in spite of the fact that Said attempts to give more attention to the Orientalists' biographical backgrounds. In this article, I argue that there is a need to review the question of agency that comes with Foucauldian discourse. By probing Said's methodology, I investigate the problems raised by concepts such as "strategic formation," "strategic location," and the writers' imprint. Borrowing Pierre Bourdieu's sociology, I critique Said's notion of 'author' by applying the question of objectivity/subjectivity raised by Bourdieu's concepts such as "habitus" and "strategy," and assess the possibility of shifting the emphasis on "texts" suggested by the use of Foucauldian discourse, to "actions" which are the main unit of study in Bourdieu's sociology.

First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.