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Occidentalism and plural modernities: or how Fukuzawa and Tagore invented the West

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alastair Bonnett



The conflation of the West with modernity is being challenged by new critical interventions on the themes of 'occidentalism' and 'plural modernities'. In this paper I bring these themes together into an account of the way the idea of the West has been employed and deployed in the construction of non-Western modernities. This is done in the company of two important figures in the articulation and invention of the West, the Japanese 'Westerniser' Fukuzawa Yukichi and the Indian poet and advocate of spiritual Asia Rabindranath Tagore. Fukuzawa and Tagore developed contrasting narratives both of the West and of Asia, narratives which they employed to express novel and distinctive visions of the nature of modern life.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bonnett A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Year: 2005

Volume: 23

Issue: 4

Pages: 505-525

ISSN (print): 0263-7758

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3433


DOI: 10.1068/d366t


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