The term ‘civilization’ has been used for a long time, especially in the history of modern society. All the scholars and many other users of this term seemed to agree on its meaning up to some point where it was thought to be having several meanings. Scholars and researchers find the term ‘civilization’ indistinct because of the different ideas the term implies. The author of this article is trying to seek the real meaning of civilization. The term ‘discourse’, utilized in the title, was used in old works of literature to describe shifting as well as changing meanings of the same word.
Nowadays, it is used to imply a publicly acceptable or descent meaning of a word. From one stand point, it seems like the author is asking for the real meaning of the term civilization, and how other people understand the term. This is evident when Daura (1) brings us the various meanings implied by the term ‘civilization’ and expresses concern on how various groups have been using various interpretations of the same term. The writer goes ahead, and throughout his work, he explains us how civilization drove colonization as well as decolonization (Duara 2004).
The methods used by this journal article include the comparison of various writers’ views, as well as the views of various groups of people. Firstly, the origin of the term is defined, which is in the practice of law. Thus, Daura gives an insight on how people and various scholars understood it. According to the first and the second page, civilization was viewed as identifying, as well as, instilling the value on people. While giving us more insight, the writer tries to expound how imperialists used their understanding of civilization to instill their values on other world communities, and this had the overall effect of promoting colonization.
The writer also states the two sides of discussion, and this makes him ponder and comprehend the subject before he states his conclusion. The writer is trying to avoid showing biasness in putting across his view point. He uses the method of balancing out contrasting perspectives.
The article consists of several main points. Firstly, the author arranges the facts to depict how people differ in apprehending one term and endow it with their own meanings. Imperialists tried to instill their values on other people. They assumed that lack of civilization as well as enlightenment in their colonies meant that colonies did not deserve sovereignty. The freedom seeking people thought that civilization meant justice as well as equal rights for all and this fueled their movement to decolonization.
Another point of this article is to discuss what civilization certainly is, without talking much about people’s values. Many thinkers and writers from all over the world found out that civilization was actually a moral or a spiritual moral concern. Civilization has been understood by many as nationalism. For example, according to Daura (4) the Chinese described it as a process through which a virtue moves from the sources to the barbarian people. On the other hand, Indians thought that it was a process by which the lowest castes transform themselves to higher castes through imitating the higher caste, and lastly, this article views civilization being higher than all these ideologies, as well as transcending above them. In page five, the article talks about diverse views held by many people concerning civilization. However, it tries to show how all these ideas should be jostled as one, although sometimes it is not quite possible. The main idea provided by this article is that the real meaning of civilization needs to be reinvented or demystified. The main reason lies in its discourse nature. Its meaning shifts according to time as well as the group using it. Daura (5) empresses his worry concerning how difficult it is for people to get the real and the intended meaning of the term since it has already shaped and modeled their thinking.
In conclusion, the best thing to do is to avoid using the term in pursue of one’s selfish needs, especially if the meaning of the term is not totally comprehended. The classical meaning in which it was used to determine standards for international law should be adopted (Daura 1). Alternatively, it should be changed to mean discovery, as well as instillation of values. The article is believable trusted source as anyone can see the proofs of the various meanings the term ‘civilization’ has. The meanings are adopted by various groups according to their understanding, and this creates a need to get one meaning that is common for all.