Rhetorical hierarchies in France and Syria during the mandate

White, B. T. (2008) Rhetorical hierarchies in France and Syria during the mandate. Chronos: Revue d’Histoire de l’Université de Balamand(17), pp. 105-123.

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Abstract

This article examines the ways in which French imperialism in Syria - understood as an interaction involving both French and Syrians, rather than as an agent in its own right - constructed a hierarchy of civilizations which justified French dominance. This construction took place in the speech and writings of French and Syrians. To describe it I will use the term 'rhetoric' rather than 'discourse', because the hierarchies under discussion existed purely in words, written and spoken, particularly in the dictionary sense of the word 'rhetoric': to persuade or influence others. Rhetoric here is a subset of 'discourse' in the Foucauldian sense. The practices of the colonial state - the administrative divisions it imposed, the intelligence networks it created, the soldiers it deployed, and much else besides - could all be subsumed to 'discourse' in this wider sense. But the hierarchies discussed here are far more discernible in rhetoric than they are in the other perhaps more concrete aspects of discourse, where French dominance is less the natural order of civilization and more a question of brute (and contested) power.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Dr Benjamin Thomas
Authors: White, B. T.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Chronos: Revue d’Histoire de l’Université de Balamand
Publisher:Tripoli
ISSN:1608-7526
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