A colonial mentality is the internalized attitude of ethnic or cultural inferiority felt by people as a result of colonization, i.e. them being colonized by another group. It corresponds with the belief that the cultural values of the colonizer are inherently superior to one’s own. The term has been used by postcolonial scholars to discuss the transgenerational effects of colonialism present in former colonies following decolonization. It is commonly used as an operational concept for framing ideological domination in historical colonial experiences. In psychology colonial mentality has been used to explain instances of collective depression, anxiety, and other widespread mental health issues in populations that have experienced colonization.
Notable Marxist influences on the postcolonial concept of colonial mentality include Frantz Fanon’s works on the fracturing of the colonial psyche through Western cultural domination, as well as the concept of cultural hegemony developed by Italian Communist Party Founder Antonio Gramsci.
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