What is Homi Bhabha's theory in "The Commitment to Theory?"

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Bhabha's basic theory is to suggest a need to "rethink cultural identity."   For Bhabha, the Postcolonial setting is one in which there is still an oppositional relationship between previously "dominant cultures" and "the other."  The imperialism might be understated and surreptitious, but it is still there.  Bhabha's theory is to demand a reconfiguration of this relationship.  There needs to be a zone in which the cultural relationship between former colonizers and nations that were formerly colonized transcends the historical antagonism between them.  "The Other" should not be perceived as a force to be submissive.  It should not be one in which "First World capital" translates into "Third world labor." 

The fundamental call that Bhabha makes is that the identity formation should be as wide as possible for Postcolonial nations.  Enunciation of this identity should outstrip what former imperialistic nations still perceive "the other" to be.  Cultural diversity is called here in to exist in its purest and freest form and it is here where the "commitment to theory" must be upheld in the modern setting.