Culture of Native Americans Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1260 Words
Date:  2022-05-17
Categories: 

Introduction

A culture defines the practices, beliefs, and behavior of a group. A social unit practices a behavior and beliefs across generations. The history of Native Americans shows that they had occupied North America before the coming of the European. Before European set foot on North America, the Native American had a primitive culture where they use primitive weapons made of stones. They believed in animism, a belief that animals, plants, and physical features have spirits and souls. Native Americans did not have science that explains their culture on issues relating to sun, rain, and universe that they believed to possess souls (Carmack, et al., 2016). For this reasons, Native Americans are stereotyped because of the primitive culture. This easy is an extensive study of the Native American culture, media representation of the culture, and stereotypes linked to the culture.

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The reason for stereotyping the Native American culture was to facilitate forced relocations and eradication of the primitive culture. The popular media has been instrumental in spreading the inaccurate, and oversimplified stereotypes of Native American culture across the world. The issues of stereotypes on Native American culture were many in the 19 and 20th century. During this the centuries, Native American children were separated from their families to facilitate assimilations into Euro-Americans lifestyles. The media have ever spread the misconceptions, caricatures, and stereotypes about the Native American cultures.

Values of Native Americans

Each tribe among the Native Americans may practice different rituals but core values remain standard across the land. Some of the values that remain core to the Native Americans are acknowledgment and respect for elders and spirits. The cultures of Native Americans have remained unchanged for centuries because they are found in the heart. The strong values such as love of soil and respect of the inhabitants of the land will never change. Conservation is one prominent value for the American culture. The Native Americans believe in sustainable developments in the region. The Native Americans values and generosity and discourages greed. The elderly people in the community are esteemed because they provide guidance because they are experienced.

Ethnocentrism and Stereotypes

The stereotype and Ethnocentrism are vices. For example, people with ethnocentric attitude perceive their own culture as superior to others. The perpetrators of the idea of ethnocentrism hold phrase such as 'chosen nation', 'blessed people' among others divisive phrases. The ethnocentric persons cannot see the good things about other cultures. Stereotypes, on the other hand, involve developing a negative attitude on other ethnic groups. Stereotyping causes discrimination of other races. Both the ethnocentrism and stereotyping can be overcome through interacting with people from different cultures.

Stereotyping and ethnocentrism differ on the belief. The perpetrators of stereotypes use rumors as the foundation for their negative attitude towards a culture. Media spread stereotypes and many people begin to own the stereotypes. Ethnocentrisms emanates from the comparison. The perpetrators compare what they have in their culture, with what other cultures lack. As a result, the comparisons lead one to compare and feel superior. Such comparisons and the feeling of superiority are misleading because the perpetrators cannot see the some of the good values in their other culture (Boyd, 2015).

The media has plaid a role in spreading messages about stereotypes. The media houses treat the Native Americans as primitive, and local. There is lack of integrity and respect when the media share the images of the Native American culture. The images flattering the media shows tribal and historical tell the viewer is more about the depicters. The media uses stereotypes names to refer counties inhabited by the indigenous people (Salisbury, 2015). The communities of the indigenous people also have names that show the high degree of stereotyping.

The media usually depicts the Native Americans in their historical context and not in their present state. The images spread across North America shows that the Native Americans have been negatively stereotyped. They are characterized as simple, romantic, and lazy. In some cases, the Native Americans are positively stereotyped. In schools, the Native Americans are depicted as sportspersons and brave warriors. However, the Native Americans women are depicted as promiscuous a thing that has led to rape cases, murder, and violence practices against the Native Americans. There is a misconception that the indigenous people have weak immunity against tropical diseases. Such stereotypes result from the media representations of the Native Americans. They are also depicted as substance abusers, suffer from mental illness, and languish in poverty.

High vs. Low Context

The stereotypes relate to high and low cultural context in many ways. The different cultures do not exist in absolute terms such as low and high. In some contexts, stereotypes are more spoken but the impacts on the depicted are minimal. In some other cases, stereotypical individuals in other region mar communicate more using prolonged silence. In high cultural context, stereotypes do not last because the people in such environment value interpersonal relations. High cultural context experiences many cases of stereotyping because of ethnocentrism. There are people who feel that their culture is superior. With the westernization, high cultural contexts have become low culture context. The similarities between the high and low culture zones regard the speed of spread of stereotypes. In the two contexts, communication takes place through silence and the actual spoken words. It is apparent that stereotypes make take the form of images with no words attached but it brings many implications to the people. The unspoken stereotypes in the low culture context have high implications (Fiske, 2017).

Collectivism and Individualism

The high cultural context is common in the region with law cultural diversity. There is also a close relationship between collectivism and high context cultures (Fiske, 2017).The meaning of communication in both the high culture and low culture context is hidden. In a collectivist society, communication has reduced broken relationships. The proponents of collectivism value relationships over other things. The stereotypes and ethnocentrism do not survive too long in both collectivists and high culture context because people value relationships.

The low context cultures relate closely with individualism. The individualistic environment is favorable for establishments of independent social groups and individual values. In such cases, explicit means of communication is more valued because it reduces the cases of misunderstandings. In low context culture, stereotypes are more explicit and spread fast across many cultures (Fiske, 2017). The societies such as the U.S.A experience highly individualistic and low culture context and therefore the impact of stereotypes are high. The Native Americans are stereotyped because most people are ethnocentric and individualistic in many dimensions. As such, stereotypes thrive in low cultural context as compared to high cultural contexts.

Stereotypes affect communication in many ways. Victims of negative stereotypes feel inferior, rejected and humiliated in the company if the ethnic groups. Their attitude is negative and therefore affects the relationship persons from various ethnic backgrounds (Samovar et al., 2015). The conversations that do not carry serious impacts affect stereotyped communities adversely.

References

Boyd, J. (2015). An Examination of Native Americans in Film and Rise of Native Filmmakers. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 6(1).

Carmack, R. M., Gasco, J. L., & Gossen, G. H. (Eds.). (2016). The legacy of Mesoamerica: history and culture of a Native American civilization. Routledge.

Fiske, S. T. (2017). Prejudices in cultural contexts: shared stereotypes (gender, age) versus variable stereotypes (race, ethnicity, religion). Perspectives on psychological science, 12(5), 791-799.

Salisbury, N. (2017). The Indians' old world: Native Americans and the coming of Europeans. In Colonial America and the Early Republic (pp. 1-24). Routledge.

Samovar, L. A., McDaniel, E. R., Porter, R. E., & Roy, C. S. (2015). Communication between cultures. Nelson Education.

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Culture of Native Americans Essay. (2022, May 17). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/culture-of-native-americans-essay

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