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double-consciousness

MADHU DUBEY


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

A term central to B lack cultural studies , which was first articulated by W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk ( 1903 ). Expressing the acute disenchantment of black intellectuals with post-Reconstruction American society, Du Bois argued that all black Americans suffer from a sense of double-consciousness, or conflict between their black and American cultural identities. Caused by the enforced exclusion of blacks from mainstream American society at the turn of the century, this self-division obstructs the development of authentic self-consciousness, for it compels black Americans to regard and evaluate their black identities through the lens of the dominant white culture. Although Du Bois's formulation of this dilemma has been criticized (for reflecting a sense of cultural A lienation produced by Du Bois's intellectual training at elite American educational institutions), the concept of double-consciousness has continued to resonate and exert considerable analytical power in contemporary discussions of the mixed cultural identity of Afro-Americans. 1903 (1969) : The Souls of Black Folk . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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