Native Americans in the United States

Topics: United States, Puerto Rico, Native Americans in the United States Pages: 4 (1267 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Deculturalization refers to the "stripping away of a people's culture and replacing it with a new culture" (Spring 1). Deculturalization is one of the most inhumane acts one can partake in. A person's culture is his/her main defining feature. Culture is the medium through which people communicate their beliefs, values, and morals. Inserting one's own culture in place of someone's pre-existing culture is the basis of ethnocentrism. People have repeatedly become victims of deculturalization, especially in the United States, and by analyzing this ethnocentrism one learns the importance of sustaining different cultures in society.

There are many methods of deculturalization, such as segregation, isolation, and forced change of language. When the content of curriculum reflects culture of dominant group, it is deculturalization. Also, dominated groups are not allowed to express their culture and religion, which is deculturalization. Use of teachers from the dominant group to teach those that are dominated is another form of deculturalization (Spring 49).

"The problem was the assumption that U.S. institutions, customs, and beliefs

were the best in the world and they should be imposed" (Spring 42).

Throughout much of the past century, the United States sought to stamp its cultural ideal upon almost all peoples who existed within its realm of influence. It is only through the relatively modern ideology of multiculturalism and the celebration of diversity that the United States has begun to make amends for the injustices it has committed on other cultures. Today, with multiculturalism entering into the classrooms and other realms, different cultures are finally getting the attention they deserve.

The American idea of cultural and racial superiority began in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with the colonization of northeast America by predominantly Anglo Saxon colonists. Ironically, the colonists came to America to escape persecution...
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