Postcolonialism or postcolonial studies is the academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on the human consequences of the control and exploitation of colonized people and their lands.

The name postcolonialism is modeled on postmodernism, with which it shares certain concepts and methods, and may be thought of as a reaction to or departure from colonialism in the same way postmodernism is a reaction to modernism. The ambiguous term colonialism may refer either to a system of government or to an ideology or world view underlying that system—in general postcolonialism represents an ideological response to colonialist thought, rather than simply describing a system that comes after colonialism. The term postcolonial studies may be preferred for this reason.


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