The impact of colonialism on culture is intimately tied up with its economic processes but the relationship between them cannot be understood unless cultural processes are theorized as fully and deeply as the economic ones. In recent years, some of the fiercest disagreements among scholars are about this interrelation. Colonized intellectuals consistently raised the question of their cultures, both as the sites of colonial oppression, and as vital tools for their own resistance. Thus the analysis of colonialism demanded that the categories developed for understanding capitalism (such as class) be revised, but also that the relation between the realm of “culture” or “ideology” and the sphere of “economics” or “material reality” be re-examined.Ideology does not, as is often assumed, refer to political ideas alone. It includes all our ‘mental frameworks’, our beliefs, concepts, and ways of expressing our relationship to the world. It is one of the most complex and exclusive terms in social thought, and the object of continuing debates. Yet the central question at the heart of these debates is fairly straightforward: how can we give an account of how our social ideas arise?