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the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


the political rule, either directly or indirectly, of one society, country or nation over another.

Colonialism, however, involves more than just political rule. In the 20th century it has been particularly associated with one ETHNIC GROUP dominating another within the dominated group's territory Thus, in this century, colonialism has been associated with European, white, Christian, wealthy rulers who have attempted to impose cultural values over the ruled by either devaluing or attempting to eradicate the colonized groups’ religions, languages, customary laws and economic activities. Colonialism has therefore been seen by many sociologists as closely associated with the development of RACISM. Also in this century colonization has been associated with the dominance of the colony's economy by the colonizer, and it is this that is one of the key differences which Marxist writers see as distinguishing 20th-century colonization from earlier forms. See IMPERIALISM, NEO-COLONIALISM.

Various forms of colonial rule have existed in history, but one important distinction is between direct and indirect rule. In this century, the British in Africa often relied on indirect rule, nominating indigenous people or institutions as representatives of the British crown, whilst the French imposed direct rule from Paris through French officials. See also ORIENTALISM, POST-COLONIAL THEORY.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the political, economic, and ideological subjugation of countries that are, as a rule, poorly developed socially and economically, by the ruling classes of exploiter states. This concept is usually applied to the age of monopoly capitalism, when a territorial partition of the world has been completed and the colonial system of imperialism has taken shape. The term “colonialism” is also used to mean “colonial system.”

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But members of the self-styled 'anti-colonisation movement' Cymuned were unapologetic after parading a mock St George through the Gwynedd town of Abersoch yesterday to stage a tasteless public protest.
L'ONG israelienne anti-colonisation La Paix Maintenant a indique que la commission de planification du ministere de l'Interieur avait approuve la construction de 1.300 logements.
Richard Evans of Cymuned, which describes itself as an anti-colonisation pressure group, said, 'It's going to make things even worse.
Le mouvement israelien anti-colonisation La Paix Maintenant a affirme jeudi que plus de 600 logements avaient ete mis en chantier dans les colonies de Cisjordanie occupee en moins d'un mois, un rythme quatre fois superieur a celui d'avant la fin du moratoire sur les nouvelles constructions le 26 septembre.
Mr Brooks rejected Mr Evans's claims that the anti-colonisation campaign could be compared to the rhetoric of the BNP.
"Cette annonce est clairement un geste politique destine a faire obstacle a la reprise des negociations de paix avec les Palestiniens", a declare a l'AFP Hagit Ofran, du mouvement anti-colonisation La Paix Maintenant.