Lesson 10 - Lesson 10 Colonialism Lesson 10 Here we are...

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Lesson 10: Colonialism Lesson 10 Here we are again, and its almost over. But, I hope that you agree with me that you now are in a better position to see the world differently than when you joined this course. As we near the end of the semester it is time to try to put your understanding to the test as we encounter cultures in conflict. There are moral and ethical issues involved in each of the films that you WL watch. But, it is important not to see the film’s characters as good or bad; rich or poor; as sexists or politically correct. We want to view these films and their characters as products of their environments, that create human actors whose deeds and misdeeds are a result of cultural forces more than individual failures. Depending on the films you choose you will see colonialists in the Trobriand islanders who see their mission in life to convert souls regardless of the impact on the traditional culture; the search for gold in New Guinea in the early 20th century and the problems created by this type of economic imperialism; the issue of female circumcision, some think it is culturally critical and others see it as a health abomination; the issue of racial hatred, as perpetuated by economic and cultural traditions, and the foibles of the US justice system; the effect of tourism and trekking on the environment and traditions of Nepal; the conflict between immigrants and the American working class as each tries to secure a part of the American Dream; and immigrant children trying to adjust in a culture of modernity that, in many ways, rejects their parent’s beliefs. This section focuses on change and often on the pain caused by colonialism and imperialism, both domestic and foreign. It gives you a chance to review the role that America plays in the world and the issues that grow in prominence every year, year in and year out. They are the issues that create dissension over NAFTA; are the ethnic conflicts that are fought in Bosnia and elsewhere; are the issues that separate the poor and the rich; and consume the battles between the generations and the new immigrant versus the older immigrant. This is the legacy of the 20th century as we begin the 21st century. I hope you have enjoyed this course and trust that it helps you think about the global society that we live in in a more expansive way. Thanks for letting me be your instructor this semester. Colonialism is one of the structured ways in which people come in contact, or, perhaps better put, one of the ways in which people have a limited contact with each other. I will present to you two models of colonial situations. In the last century, the colonial arrangement was the major way in which Europeans came in contact with and set up relationships with other peoples, particularly folk peoples. It is also the major way that the modern middle class in large nation-states comes in contact with regional, rural, and working class groups of people. A colonial structure is only one kind of contact, but it is widespread in the modern world.
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