Carefully read the piece of text. What can it tell us about cross-cultural encounters? In your answer consider for whom it was made, who viewed it, and what purpose it may have served? I intend to analyse a piece of text from the early 20th century, focusing on several points including who it was written by, whom were the intended audience, was the information accurate and what were the factors that may have influenced the writing of this specific text.
The piece of text in question is an entry wrote in 1910-1911 by T.A.Joyce who was Assistant in the Department of Ethnography at the British Museum and Secretary of the Anthropology Society. Ethnologists dealt descriptively with specific cultures; those of non-literate groups. Anthropology was the study of humans/humanity; cultural and physical characteristics, customs and social interaction. In the 19th century, people in Britain and Europe were getting more involved in the discussion of evolution and the social, moral and scientific place of different groups of people within the world, yet like the entry by the A.D.E, it shows the opinion at the time as being a biast and racist view of the African people who were culturally different to their ‘civilised’ European neighbours and thus inferior. Joyce’s text was an entry on ‘Negro’ in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, the purpose of which is to convey accurate and detailed information about many diverse subjects to the public, and written by specialists in that field. It is fair to say that the continuous use of ‘negro’ and ‘native’ only implies Joyce’s unprofessionalism, lack of cultural understanding and uneasiness to accept the African people as equal in any area of life. The African people are compared to ‘a child’, and having ‘servant dog-like fidelity’, which was the general opinion being portrayed and accepted by the Western people at the time. This is now not only considered a highly racist view but it shows the lack of understanding of...
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