Sociology Index


Colonialism is a systematic negation of a nation and a furious determination to deny the people of a nation all attributes of humanity. Colonialism is political domination of one nation over another that is institutionalized in direct political administration by the colonial power. Colonialism has transformed customs, traditions, and social organizations, introduced new boundaries between peoples and erased others through the institutionalization of racism and the creation of new ethnicities. Colonialism controls all economic relationships and a systematically attempts to transform the culture of the subject nation. Colonialism is a form of imperialism. Colonialism usually involves extensive immigration from the colonial power into the colony and the immigrants taking on roles as landowners, business people and professionals.

Colonialism is often used interchangeably with imperialism, and the latter is often used more broadly as it covers control exercised informally as well as formally. Despite the decolonization in the 1960s-70s, former colonies still are today for the most part under strong Western influence. Critics of this continued Western influence talk of neocolonialism.

Cultural Colonialism leads to the foreigners' ways being regarded as the better way than previous indigenous ways. The main difference between neocolonialism and internal colonialism is the source of exploitation. In the former, the control comes from outside the nation-state, while in the latter it comes from within. Colonialism is a phenomenon which is part of another phenomenon called imperialism.

All colonialism is imperialism, but not all imperialism is colonialism. Colonialism began as a result of changes in the mode of production in Europe. The industrial revolution brought in a new process of production in place of the earlier slave-based economy.

The industrial revolution was a revolutionary trend in the history of mankind. The new problem of how to lubricate machineries came up with the emergence of the industrial revolution. The function of slave trade and slavery provided primitive capital. The quest for the investment of the accumulated capital and the need for raw materials led to colonialism.

Colonialism is the direct result of the emergence of the industrial revolution which brought about a rapid change in the socio-economic transformation, and technology of the European countries. The industrial revolution led to increase in production. The progress in the industry went faster than the progress in agriculture. It was becoming increasingly hard or difficult for the agriculture to satisfy the demand for raw materials required in the industries. There was therefore, the need for the European powers, particularly the British to go outside the country to look for additional raw materials. As a result of the decline in agricultural production, there was the problem of how to produce enough or adequate food to feed the fast growing urban population.

The rural areas were finding it difficult to produce enough food to feed the increasing urban population. There was also need for market, not only for the production of raw materials but for food to sustain the increasing population. As a result of rapid increase in technology, new products were produced at a faster rate than the populations could dispose of. As a result of low wages paid to workers, there was capital accumulation by the industrialists at a faster rate than they could invest back.

It was during this process of investment of the surplus capital that imperialism emerged. When Europe pioneered industrial capitalism, her demands upon the resources of the world increased tremendously. In addition to obtaining spices for her tables, Europe set out to seize for her factories the mineral and agricultural resources of all the world.

SOCIOLOGY OF COLONIALISM, Sociology Dept, Binghamton University, Nigel Westmaas - The history, theory, and practice of colonialism and neocolonialism are presented through social-science material, historical documents, literature, and film.

MA in Culture and Colonialism is a multi-disciplinary Masters of Arts programme. It is designed for graduates from the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. It was established to further an understanding of the meanings of ‘colonialism,’ 'imperialism,' ‘post-colonialism,’ and ‘neo-colonialism’ across a range of disciplines.