Homi Bhabha and Edward Said on the Migrant’s “Hybrid” Identity and the Possibility of Resistance and Human Agency

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English language and literature, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.


Migration and particularly migrant’s identity occupy a special place in post-colonial studies. Separation from homeland and living in an alien culture make the migrant develop a “hybrid” identity that undermines the self/other binary opposition and other oppositions which have served as the basis of different forms of colonialism throughout history. Migrant’s “hybrid” identity, accordingly, questions the traditional views on identity and serves as an agent of change and resistance against fanatical nationalist and racist ideologies. In this study, the viewpoints of Edward Said and Homi Bhabha, two of the leading thinkers in postcolonial studies, have been studied to see the points of convergence and divergence in their views about the anti-colonial potentialities of the migrant’s hybrid identity and his capacity for showing agency and resistance. This investigation shows that whereas Bhabha relies on poststructuralist principles in his upholding of the migrant’s hybrid identity, Said adopts an eclectic approach and discusses the potentialities of the migrant’s hybrid identity mainly from a humanistic viewpoint.