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Topics in Cultural Studies

Globally, cultures have faced colonization, which facilitated the confrontation of the non-western and western cultures (Oberg, 2010). This led to the realization that non-western cultures occurred as outposts in the colonial empires developed by Europeans. This loss of centeredness of the Native American culture led to the weakening of their traditions, political and social systems, as well as practices. This means that the European culture had immense impact on the culture of Native Americans. Native Americans occupied the vast American land before their interaction with Europeans. The natives can be considered as the indigenous or original occupants of North America. They comprised of people from distinct American ethnic and tribal groups. Despite their interactions with the Europeans and the subsequent loss of centeredness, some of the tribes and ethnic groupings survived as intact political communities (Schwab, 2010). The first contact of Europeans with Native Americans came after the exploration of Christopher Columbus (Oberg, 2010). Thereafter, the 15th century saw an influx of Europeans into the American continent and they brought Africans as their slaves. This led to widespread confrontations, adjustments and conflicts between the two societies. The lives of Native Americans were uncomplicated because they followed traditional practices in society and political set-ups. For instance, they lived as hunters and gatherers within well-set communities. In addition, the societies told their histories on oral traditions. In most of the groupings, women performed sophisticated cultivation of staple foods such as squash, maize and beans (Schwab, 2010). The cultures of the indigenous people were extremely dissimilar from the cultures of agrarian, proto-industrial and Christian cultures. The native cultures were matrilineal meaning that they occupied land for communal use, which included activities such as agriculture and hunting (Oberg, 2010). This differed from European cultures, which followed patriarchal trends. The European society had concepts for developing individual property rights on land. This differed from the rights and approaches of Native Americans on land. These cultural differences between the immigrant Europeans and Native Americans, and the shifting alliances between the nations led to extreme political tensions, social disruption and ethnic violence (Schwab, 2010). The natives did not only suffer a loss of centeredness in social and political activities, but they also contacted the infectious Eurasian disease, which they had not developed or acquired immunity. This epidemic led to immense loss of life for the indigenous population (Oberg, 2010). The cultural conflicts between the Europeans and the natives resulted from their differences in approaches such as religion, social practices, land and political rule. The Europeans wanted to impose a religious system on the natives. This was met with resistance from the natives because they only wanted to commit to their religious system. However, the Europeans relentlessly forced Christianity on the natives. The first European missions to encounter the natives were trappers and fur traders. The missionaries and colonists then followed them. Miner migrants and settlers began arriving later, and they heightened the ...Show more


Loss of Centeredness Name: Institution: Loss of Centeredness Western civilization has confronted other cultures since the introduction of exploration and colonization. According to Sayre (2013), these confrontations led to loss of centeredness because western cultures dominated non-western cultures…
Author : raymondgrimes
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