URBAN CARTOGRAPHIES IN THE POST-COLD WAR ERA: POSTMODERN CHALLENGES TO ETHNOCENTRIC AND GLOBALIST MAPPINGS
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The post-Cold war period has freed our topographic imagination of traditional ideological polarizations, but has often replaced these imperialistic mappings with cartographies of a nationalistic or ethnocentric kind that promote resentful cultural division. Much of this new ethnic and nationalist fundamentalism has emerged in direct reaction to the pressure of the First World's globalizing ideologies. The new tensions between global interdependency and ethnocentric separatism, First-World centres and Third-World peripheries, indicate a state of continued crisis at the level of the ideological frameworks within which cultural exchanges unfold. Neither a globalist notion of multiculturalism, nor a defensive localism is a proper approach to the issue of otherness. The alternative is the naive celebration of 'hybridity' and 'national centrism' (Homi Bhabha, Edward Soja and the others). The author asserts that we need 'narratives of relation positionality' (Susan Stanford Friedman) that will challenge traditional separations between self and other, western and non-western, male and female, global and local. The paper shows on examples from present American and Central Europe literature, that postmodernism is able to afford this 'narratives of relation positionality'.
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