Decentering of Culture for Native Americans

Analyze and interpret the following quotation: "Worldwide, non-Western cultures faced fundamental challenges to their cultural identities" not so much a re-centering of culture but a decentering of culture" (Sayre, 2010, p.419).
The explosion of European colonization and empire building in the 17th and 18th centuries resulted in huge change for minority people groups. While it is incorrect to assume that non-Western societies had been stagnant over the past few thousand years, the change they experienced was incremental and slow. With the invention of the compass, caravel and better maps, along with the recent re-discovery of the New World, non-Western cultures were in for a shock. They were about to be overrun by European cultures primarily from England, Spain, Portugal and France but also from smaller or less organized countries such as Germany, Holland and Belgium.

Cultural identity is one's perception of one's self and the group one belongs to. Culture is a multi-faceted idea consisting of areas such as language, religion, music, clothing, food, traditions, customs and values. Typically, in any given culture, these aspects of culture are centered around a handful of basic foundational beliefs or values. In colonial America, for example, culture was centered around the concepts of religious freedom, individualism, a strong work ethic, and family. All aspects of culture were shaped by these core values. They provided the "center" upon which the society and its worldview were established.

Solution Summary

This solution examines the concept of a decentering of culture. Specifically the Native American cultures in the United States are considered. Over 1,200 words of original text along with links to informative websites for further research.