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    Native American culture de-centered

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    Analyze and interpret the following quotation: "Worldwide, non-Western cultures faced fundamental challenges to their cultural identities, not so much a recentering of culture but a decentering of culture" (Sayre, 2010, p.419).

    In the later nineteenth century and early twentieth century, what would a "decentering" of culture have meant for a given cultural group? Select from among the non-Western cultural groups noted in the text (Native American, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, or African) and research the impact of Western or European cultures on that group.

    What was the selected non-Western culture like prior to the late nineteenth century? How did it change as a result of European expansion? How is this change representative of what Sayre calls a "decentering" of culture? Be sure to use specific examples and details.

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    Solution Preview

    Analyze and interpret the following quotation: "Worldwide, non-Western cultures faced fundamental challenges to their cultural identities, not so much a recentering of culture but a decentering of culture" (Sayre, 2010, p.419).
    First of all, the difference between the two terms (re-centering and de-centering) is that instead of a refocusing of the culture: changing from Christianity to Islam or vice-versa, for instance, that the culture diffused and dispersed, leaving individuals with little left to identify with as belonging to their original culture, such as when immigrants assimilate into the culture of a new country and adopt that culture's beliefs and practices, diffusing and diluting their own. This does not happen to all groups or individuals who immigrate, however, only those who choose to "blend." Not all immigrants do.

    It is worth mentioning here that when the Europeans discovered the Americas in the 1500's and began to colonize, they brought with them Old World diseases which some scholars believe wiped out nearly 90% of the Native American population - a genocide unequalled anywhere else in the history of the world. What happened in the late 18th and 19th centuries merely finished off a once-proud and independent people (mostly). See: http://academic.udayton.edu/race/06hrights/georegions/northamerica/UnitedStates02.htm

    In the later nineteenth century and early twentieth century, what would a "decentering" of culture have meant for a given ...

    Solution Summary

    How Native American culture was decentered, or diffused, in America. Definition of decentering, or diffusion of culture. Web-based reference for support of opinions provided.

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