Contemporary discussions on hybridity in cultural and ethnic studies have overlooked the work of the Chicago sociologist Robert E. Park. Park's idea of the “marginal man” and his work on cultural and racial hybridity can shed further light on the construction and representation of the hybrid self. The contribution that Park has made to a social theory of hybridity has been overshadowed by research conducted within post-colonial and cultural studies. I do not suggest that recent conceptualisations of hybridity are inadequate; rather that Park has something to contribute to contemporary accounts and in some cases anticipates some of the themes and issues surrounding the concept of hybridity. The following examination connects Park's work on hybridity with ideas such as civilisation, culture and modernity and argues that a mild form of primitivism underlines his notion of the “marginal man”.
Field of Research
160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
Socio Economic Objective
940111 Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Migrant Development and Welfare