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Native American Individuality

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Native American Individuality
Comments on “Relational individuality among Native American academics: Popular dichotomies reconsidered” This paper addresses a question that for some reason has received relatively less attention of psychologists. The question relates to how do persons who enter an organization with a different cultural mindset deal with the roles and fellow colleagues in work settings (in this case, academic work setting) of a diametrically different mindset. To my knowledge, studies on acculturation too have left this question unanswered, although, their major focus has been on contacts between cultures. It is in this context that I find this study quite welcome. The study focuses on the tribal world view of the Native American academics which is characterized …show more content…
For example, it is stated that out of 40 participants 35 found the main stream academic context as ‘conflicting’ from the mainstream. Does that mean that the so-called conflicting world-views still remain to be reconciled by most Native American academics? If yes, how does the author conclude that integration of the two perspectives took place? A related question to ask will be did not the perspective which the Native Americans carried as students change when it came in contact with the mainstream cultural perspective during the course of Native American students schooling? Schools being a major agent of socialization, one would assume that reconciliation of the conflicting mindsets should have happened in the schools itself to a degree. It is not clear whether the participants experienced any discontinuity between the cultures experienced as student and then when turned professional. Berry’s acculturative model discusses four possible strategic responses when a culture comes into contact with the dominant culture. These are accommodation, assimilation, separation and integration. Did the narratives of the Native American academics contain elements of any of the other three strategies? Another question which gets posed here relates to the stability of the reconciled perspective across situations. Did any of the narratives show that Native Americans preferred to stay with their own perspective, ignoring the mainstream perspective? The paper does not discuss any deviations from the line of argument made that may have been there. I suggest the author may look for counter narratives also. This point is raised because the challenge which most qualitative studies face relates to employing a lens that is not tinted. Because this often is difficult, an author can help the readers by sharing with the

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