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    Topics in Cultural Studies

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    Analyze and interpret the following quotation: "Worldwide, non-Western cultures faced fundamental challenges to their cultural identitiesâ?"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.

    please help me with this assignment. I have attached reading document Sayre P. 419 I specifically need help in getting the necessary information and outline in order to complete a 4page essay.

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    Worldwide, non-Western cultures faced fundamental challenges to their cultural identitiesâ?"not so much a recentering of culture but a decentering of culture (Sayre, 2010, p.419). This statement taken out of context would be difficult to evaluate and analyze; however, when the full section which the excerpt was taken from is read "The Challenge to Cultural Identity" (Sayre, 2010, p.419) it becomes clear that the imperial interests of Europe coupled with the development of military technologies as well as similar support technologies such as ship development and economic exploitation caused the "decentering." Decentering refers to the loss of the cultural identity and a movement away from the indigenous culture towards the Western culture. Additionally, the decentering of cultures was not always forced upon the people who encountered the Western Imperial powers as one may expect, many times as is the case with Japan the culture in question realizes that a decentering is needed in order to survive as a unique culture.

    In assessing the impact or meaning of decentering for a particular group it is often associated with conquest by the Western powers; however, the Japanese were never truly conquered by the Western powers prior to the Second World War as so many other encountered cultures were. As a matter of fact the Japanese controlled foreign movement as well as diplomatic access in the late 19th century in spite of the unequal treaties. This was unique as all of the cultures which encountered the West were forced into culturally devastating "unequal" treaties, colonized, or absorbed into the European empires. The Japanese experience was vastly different. Consider this excerpt:

    In 1868 the Emperor Meiji made a five-point oath, laying emphasis, among other things, on the importance of respecting public opinion, holding intercourse with foreign countries, and of seeking knowledge far and wide. It now became a national policy to renounce the long existing abuses and overtake the lag attributable to the long period of seclusion, by reorganizing society on the basis of the modern civilization of the West. (Ienaga, 1962, p. 180)

    Prior to the Meiji ...

    Solution Summary

    In assessing the impact or meaning of decentering for a particular group it is often associated with conquest by the Western powers; however, the Japanese were never truly conquered by the Western powers prior to the Second World War as so many other encountered cultures were. As a matter of fact the Japanese controlled foreign movement as well as diplomatic access in the late 19th century in spite of the unequal treaties.

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