Discussion Board #3 – 2
Ethnocentrism and acculturation–these elements can either be a detriment or a benefit, depending on which side of the cultural fence you stand.
Much has been lost to the dominant culture of affluent nations, language is but the tip of the ice berg. However if you think about the importance of language, it becomes easy to understand how an entire way of life can become lost once its chief form of communication is diminished.
Without language, the story tellers/historians of a civilization become limited in their ability to pass on the customs of a people. Many indigenous languages of this country (those spoken by Native Americans) are now lost; some have been recorded but not preserved, others have been eradicated and forgotten. It is easy to argue that it is important to maintain one’s culture, but…..
Consider this: Assuming that a person’s culture is his/hers from birth (it is transmitted from one generation to the next; it is shared, learned), should a member of a perceived minority culture be forced to abide by the norms and values of the dominant culture?
(Challenge: Can you answer this dilemma without relying on your personal beliefs about this issue; can you be impartial?)