Said Edward(1935-2003) Palestinian literary and social theorist and political activist in the cause of an independent Palestinian state, who from the late 1950s was based in the USA. The author of a number of works, his Orientalism (1978) captured the attention of sociologists with its vivid treatment of ORIENTALISM as a series of representations -categories, images, classifications – which have constructed ‘the orient’ as an object in Western cultural and social scientific understanding, and have at the same time helped to construct the West in opposition to this ‘other’. Drawing on FOUCAULT's conception of DISCOURSE as a system of regulation, Said emphasizes the ideological force – POWER/KNOWLEDGE -of conceptions of orientalism.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000