Development and Hybridity Made Concrete in the Colonies Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The concept of hybridity has been discussed chiefly in relation to cultural issues and interpreted as a challenge to dominant power. It is equally relevant to the interpretation of economic and social change (for example, in the field of international development), while its political significance is properly a subject of investigation. Hybridity was common under colonialism: in domestic and work settings (mines, plantations), in the organisation of urban areas, and in the organisation of colonial administration. It became more common in the British territories once Britain began to promote colonial development in the late 19th century. The evolution of colonial housing and urban housing policy after 1929 indicates that colonisers tolerated and then endorsed hybridity. Usually, it was accepted as a step towards modernity; occasionally, it was viewed as a local adaptation that embodied local practices that had intrinsic merit. In any event, the concept of hybridity has broad application to our understanding of colonialism and development.

publication date

  • January 2008