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Civilized europeans have history these others were

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civilized Europeans have history; these “others” were just there, static, until Europeans reached them - Europeans have been advancing, improving - while others have not, and so are behind, inferior - “The Pomo” or “The Maya”, frozen in a museum display case - this is misleading, not an accurate nor useful way of thinking - “The Pomo” at the time of contact were what they were as a result of past population movements, trade, and relations with neighbors - within a few years after contact, they had been radically changed by European disease - not long later, their settlements, beliefs, and daily behavior were strongly shaped by the presence of Spanish missions - and so on… “the Pomo” - but this view is very “useful”, in the sense of Steckley’s “useful knowledge” - it allows colonialists to feel justified in controlling colonized populations - since they are helpless, unsophisticated, unable to learn to handle things themselves - it absolves colonialists of responsibility for having created the very situations they take advantage of - thus conveniently allowing them to exploit the “others” - So, who are “the People Without History”? - Are they really “Without History”? - What would you say to people who complained that the title of Wolf’s book was ethnocentric or racist?
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  • Fall '11
  • Owen
  • Globalization, Eric Wolf, liminality, liminal states

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