Incorporation or Imposition

Incorporation or Imposition - Incorporation or Imposition?...

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Incorporation or Imposition? Certainly it is possible to forcibly impose a culture—a system of meanings, traditions, habits, and values—onto another society . This is visible in its most extreme form in cases of ethnic cleansing; in more subtle ways, governments or reigning authorities mould their nations so that certain ideals become advantageous aspirations and retaining dissident ideology lends itself to subjugation . But how visible is this process in settler society? Historian and archaeologist James Deetz, in his book In Small Things Forgotten , divides the process of building a colonial society into three periods: a skyrocket away from English culture, the peak of “folk,” or local culture, and a re-Anglicization of American society (Deetz 60) . Is this return to English tradition that beats still within modern American culture due to an incorporation of British culture into the Americanized folk society, or is it a result of the empire asserting its authority over the colonies over which it still legally presided? This distinction is a delicate one, and it is important to explain the particular difference between “incorporating” culture and “imposing” it . The verb “impose” implies a certain degree of authority involved—a forcible, almost brainwashing-like activity in which the mighty foot of British heritage stamps out the seedlings of regionalized American folk culture . It strips colonists of choice; it dictates their art, behavior, even thinking . The key element is this demonstration of imperialist power . For an imposition of culture to occur, the mother nation must present with some degree of might, the ideology that in owning the colonies, it inherits a monopoly on their culture . Incorporation, on the other hand, is a much broader concept . It encompasses acculturation, assimilation, and simplification, among other techniques of culture modification . In fact, rather than listing all of the methods that fall under the category of incorporation, it is much easier to define incorporation against imposition . In order to argue that imposition, not incorporation, has occurred, there should be three conditions met . Anyone, even those who do not come directly from the mother country should be
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acutely aware of its central tenets while growing up in the nascent colony . Also, tipping a hat to Newtonian ideas, there should exist an “equal and opposite reaction” to the attempted unmitigated replacement of their culture . Finally—and perhaps most the most illustrative property—there should be no blending of other cultures visible in the new colony . Let us address the first characteristic of imposition with specific regard to
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Incorporation or Imposition - Incorporation or Imposition?...

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