AIS journal 1 - Journal 1 Acculturation vs. Assimiliation...

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Journal 1 Acculturation vs. Assimiliation At the end of the class period on January 30, 2008, Professor Richardson said something that I found odd. He noted that the authors we have been reading (Eastman, Deloria and Hewitt) are all subjects who have undergone acculturation, not assimilation. So I had to ask myself, what is the difference? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to assimilate is to “become like” or to “conform to”. Interestingly, the OED says that acculturation is “the adoption and assimilation of an alien culture”. By these definitions, both actions are strikingly similar, if not the same. I would argue that the authors mentioned have assimilated, more than acculturated, to the “American” culture that has been forced upon them, as they show a sense of conformity, in almost every sense but cultural. Ella Deloria shows this in her examples of the strong kinship system among the Dakota, as does Charles Eastman with his knowledge of man as a warrior. However, both of these authors display the desire to conform in a more religious sense. These indigenous knowledge systems, such as the philosophy of kinship, are culturally embedded in Indians as a people, and so these authors show are better examples of assimilation with their conformities to the church, rather than examples of acculturation. It was interesting to read Charles Eastman’s transitioning opinions as he went
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course AIS 1100 taught by Professor Cheyfitz, e during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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AIS journal 1 - Journal 1 Acculturation vs. Assimiliation...

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