Non-Western Cultures

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World Wide Non-Western Cultures

World Wide Non-Western Cultures

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 de-centering of culture” (Sayre, 2010, p.419).

The explosion of European settlement and empire building in the 17th and 18th centuries led to huge changes for minority groups. While it is wrong to assume that non-Western associations had been dead over the past few thousand years, the change that was experienced by them was incremental and slow. Those belonging to the non-Western cultures suffered huge shock, with the innovation of things like compass, caravel and better maps. This also brought to the discovery of the New World. This New World was almost overrun by European cultures that mainly included England, Spain, Portugal and France, along with some smaller or less organized countries, as well, that included Germany, Holland and Belgium.

Cultural identity means the perception he has about himself and of the group that he belongs. Culture is a multidimensional concept that consists of fields such as language, religion, music, clothing, food, traditions, customs and values. These aspects o0f culture are such, which are always centered on by some handful of basic beliefs and values. In colonial America, for example, the concepts of culture centered on by religious freedom, individualism, a strong work ethic, and family. All these aspects shaped by these core values, which provided the “center” upon which the society and its worldview established.

The re-centering occurs when a culture goes through societal evolution and reaches its historical points of conflict. This is a more or less voluntary action whereby society understands that the old values and beliefs are somehow not truly as foundational as they once were. In these cases, members of society, regardless of their willingness and consciousness, re-center their culture. Some would argue that contemporary American society is based on the values of entitlement, immediate gratification, self-indulgence and license.

A handful of core beliefs will be radiated outward towards the core beliefs that have been obliterated, through a de-centering of culture. A de-centering of culture implies a quick and complete destruction of values, which is unlike a re-centering of culture where core values are replaced with other values. There is a values vacuum, so to speak. Society is at a loss to know what to do, how to act, what to value and how to prepare succeeding generations for life, when any such thing happens.

In the later nineteenth century and early twentieth century, what would a “decentering” of culture have meant for a given ethnic group? Research the impact of Western or European cultures on that group.

Native American culture typically focused on family and the natural environment. Most Native Americans used to live in the same general geographic location for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. Their myths and legends were tied to the local geography, weather, flora and fauna. Their daily routines flowed in step with the rhythm of nature. They hunted, planted, harvested and survived the winter ...
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