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African americanculture&worldview

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African americanculture&worldview

  1. 1. What is Culture • Culture is a the vast structure of behaviors, ideas, beliefs, attitudes, values, customs, language, rituals, ceremonies, and practices peculiar to a particular people that gives them a general design for living and patterns for interpreting their reality.
  2. 2. Manifestations of Culture • Self • Feelings/emotions • Survival • Language • Time • Universe • Worth
  3. 3. Cultural Deep Structure • Ontology ▫ Branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence • Cosmology ▫ Branch of philosophy that deals with the origin and structure of the universe, with its parts, elements, and laws (esp with time and space) • Axiology ▫ Branch of philosophy dealing with values, especially those related to ethics, aesthetics, or religion
  4. 4. Cultural Factors  Ethos  the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period  Ideology  the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.  Worldview  The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world or a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.  Epistemology  a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.
  5. 5. African Cultural Deep Structure • Cultural Aspects ▫ Ontology; consubstantiation ▫ Cosmology; interdependent ▫ Axiology; harmony • Cultural Factors ▫ Ethos; collectivism ▫ Ideology; transformation ▫ Worldview; cooperation ▫ Epistemology; affective/symbolic
  6. 6. European Cultural Deep Structure • Cultural Aspects ▫ Ontology; material ▫ Cosmology; independent ▫ Axiology; Conflictual • Cultural Factors ▫ Ethos; individualism ▫ Ideology; domination ▫ Worldview; competition ▫ Epistemology; objectification/quantification
  7. 7. European Cultural Structure (cont.) • Cultural Manifestations ▫ Self; dualistic/fragmented ▫ Feelings; suppressed ▫ Survival; rugged individualism ▫ Language; formal/detached ▫ Time; linear/future oriented/commodity ▫ University; control ▫ Worth; material possession
  8. 8. Worldview • The term worldview is used to refer to the common concept of reality shared by a particular group of people, usually referred to as a culture, or an ethnic group. Worldview is an individual as well as a group phenomenon.
  9. 9. Worldview (cont.) • Worldview is term for what is called Cognitive Culture. ▫ This is the mental organization in each individual's mind of how the world works. Expressions of commonality in individual worldviews make up the cultural worldview of the group. This leads to the social culture, the way people relate to one another in daily activities, and how they cooperate together for the good of the group as a whole.
  10. 10. Worldview (cont.) • Human beings’ view the world from the inside out -- from within ourselves, viewed through the organizational "grid" of our own minds. That grid is made up of the points of contact and particular experiences we have with other components -- human and non-human -- of the world of which we are a part.
  11. 11. Worldview (cont.) • The attempt to develop an ordered sense of reality is determined, or at least guided, by our earliest experiences and then altered by conscious and unconscious processes as we broaden our range of experiences. The earliest and most significant experiences of life appear to shape our basic concepts of reality. This process leads to what we call the worldview.
  12. 12. Worldview (cont.) • Because this sense of reality determines how an individual relates to other individuals, the way they express themselves in behavior and language enable us to learn about the cognitive worldview. The language can give insights into the cultural worldview of the host culture.
  13. 13. Worldview (cont.) • Cultural/worldview structuring functions both externally and internally. We are submerged in it to the degree that it is an unconscious process.
  14. 14. People (Society) Surface-Level Behavior  What we do, think, say or feel either consciously or unconsciously, mostly habitually but also creatively Deep-Level Behavior 1. Assuming, evaluating and committing mostly habitually but also creatively: 2. Concerning choosing, feeling, reasoning, interpreting and valuing. 3. Concerning the assigning of meaning. 4. Concerning explaining, relating to others, committing ourselves, and adapting to or deciding to try to change things that go on around us. Culture Surface-Level Structure  The cultural patterns in terms of which we habitually do, think, say or feel Deep-Level Structure  (Worldview) 1. The patterns in terms of which we carry out the assumptions, evaluations and commitments of deep-level behavior. 2. Patterns of choosing, feeling, reasoning, interpreting, valuing, explaining, relating to others, committing ourselves and adapting to or deciding to try to change things that go on around us.
  15. 15. CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE AND WORLDVIEW 1. Culture/worldview provides a total design for living, dealing with every aspect of life and providing people with a way to regulate their lives. 2. Culture/worldview is a legacy from the past, learned as if it were absolute and perfect. 3. Culture/worldview makes sense to those within it. 4. But no culture/worldview seems to be perfectly adequate either to the realities of biology and environment or to the answering of all of the questions of a people.
  16. 16. 5. Culture/worldview is an adaptive system, a mechanism for coping. It provides patterns and strategies to enable people to adapt to the physical and social conditions around them. 6. Culture tends to show more or less tight integration around its worldview. Worldview assumptions provide the “glue” with which people hold their culture together. 7. Culture/worldview is complex. A simple culture/worldview has ever been found.
  17. 17. 8. Cultural/worldview practices and assumptions are based on group or “multipersonal” agreements. A social group unconsciously agrees to govern themselves according to their cultural patterns. 9. Culture/worldview is structure. It doesn’t do anything. People do things either according to their cultural script or by modifying that script. Any supposed power of culture or worldview lies in the habits of people. 10. Though analytically we need to treat people and culture/worldview as separate entities, in real life people and culture/worldview function together.
  18. 18. ADDITIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF WORLDVIEW 1. A worldview consists of the assumptions (including images) underlying all cultural values, allegiances and behaviors. 2. Worldview assumptions and images underlie our perception of reality and responses to it. 3. Our worldview provides us with the lens, model or map by of which we perceive, interpret, structure and respond to reality
  19. 19. CHARACTERISTICS (cont.) 4. Worldview assumptions or premises are learned from our elders, not reasoned out, but assumed to be true without prior proof. It seldom occurs to us that there may be people of other groups who do not share our assumptions. 5. We organize our lives and experiences according to our worldview and seldom question it unless our experience challenges some of its assumptions. 6. In cross-cultural dynamics, the problems that arise from differences in worldview are the most difficult to deal with.
  20. 20. • Does a person's soul/spirit exist before birth? Before conception? • Does individual identity continue after death? if so, in what state/form? • What is your view of paying dowry for marriage? Should the man's family pay the woman's (as in Africa), or the woman's family pay the man's (as in older Europe)? • Do rites and ritual ceremonies affect the outcome of events or illnesses? (Prayer formulas, dances, incense, charms, kneeling, lifting hands, laying on of hands, etc.) • Does an individual ever have the right to take his/her own life? • Does a society ever have the right to take the life of one of its members? • Does a society ever have the right to take the life of a member of another society? • Does one society ever have the right to exercise authority or domination over another society?
  21. 21. • Is it necessary for an individual to give up some rights for the privilege of being a member of the society? • Is there ever a time when the rights of an individual become more important than the stability of a society? • Which should be given more weight, the good of an individual or the good of the whole society? • Do all individuals within a society have the same right to food, shelter and medical care? • What is the primary purpose of education, to produce a good citizen in the society, knowledge for its own sake or training for specific tasks in society? • Does society ever have the right to restrict the rights of an individual member? • Does an individual ever have the right to disobey the laws of society? • Does an individual ever have the right to take the life of another individual?
  22. 22. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view.
  23. 23. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view. Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions. Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure.
  24. 24. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view. Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions. Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure. Dynamic – An active world seen in relational terms. Mechanical – Static, Cause-effect. Linear concepts. Productivity; Organization.
  25. 25. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view. Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions. Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure. Dynamic – An active world seen in relational terms. Mechanical – Static, Cause-effect. Linear concepts. Productivity; Organization. Relationship – Truth is in Experience and Relationship. Knowledge – Facts are important. Truth is in correlation of statement to observable, testable phenomena.
  26. 26. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view. Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions. Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure. Dynamic – An active world seen in relational terms. Mechanical – Static, Cause-effect. Linear concepts. Productivity; Organization. Relationship – Truth is in Experience and Relationship. Knowledge – Facts are important. Truth is in correlation of statement to observable, testable phenomena. Event – Meaning Centers in the Verb: Event Primary. Substance – Noun-Adjective: Entity and Description primary.
  27. 27. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view. Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions. Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure. Dynamic – An active world seen in relational terms. Mechanical – Static, Cause-effect. Linear concepts. Productivity; Organization. Relationship – Truth is in Experience and Relationship. Knowledge – Facts are important. Truth is in correlation of statement to observable, testable phenomena. Event – Meaning Centers in the Verb: Event Primary. Substance – Noun-Adjective: Entity and Description primary. Focus on Present – The world is uncontrollable. Immediacy. Presence of an individual takes precedence over plans. Predictability – Reproducible phenomena, Probability. Planning a high value. Same result from same factors every time.
  28. 28. AFRICAN EUROPEAN Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related. Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view. Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions. Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure. Dynamic – An active world seen in relational terms. Mechanical – Static, Cause-effect. Linear concepts. Productivity; Organization. Relationship – Truth is in Experience and Relationship. Knowledge – Facts are important. Truth is in correlation of statement to observable, testable phenomena. Event – Meaning Centers in the Verb: Event Primary. Substance – Noun-Adjective: Entity and Description primary. Focus on Present – The world is uncontrollable. Immediacy. Presence of an individual takes precedence over plans. Predictability – Reproducible phenomena, Probability. Planning a high value. Same result from same factors every time. Group Identity – Obligations. Commitment to the Group. Individualistic – Rights. Commitment to Principle.
  29. 29. Ho’s Depiction of value Orientation among Racial/Ethnic Groups Area of Relationships Middle-Class White America Asian Americans American Indians Black Americans Hispanic Americans People to Nature/ Environment Mastery over Future Harmony with Past-Present Harmony with Present Harmony with Present Harmony with Present Time Orientation Future Past-Present Present Present Past-Present People Relationships Individual Collateral Collateral Collateral Collateral Preferred Mode of Activity Doing Doing Being-in- Becoming Doing Being-in- Becoming Nature of Man Good & Bad Good Good Good & Bad Good
  30. 30. Manifestations of the African Worldview among African Americans • Religious Expressions ▫ God as supreme being ▫ Ancestor spiritual presence ▫ A way of life • Extended Family (kinship) ▫ Familial terms in general social relations (i.e., my brother/sister) ▫ Informal adoptions ▫ Reverence for children and elderly • Music, Dance, Song (rhythm/soul) ▫ Essential to self-expression ▫ Related to daily activities (work, leisure, religious, relaxation)
  31. 31. African Worldview (cont) • Shared Participation ▫ Call and response (can I get an Amen?) ▫ Racial/cultural solidarity (see OJ Simpson) • Social Orientation ▫ Preference for group activity ▫ Need for group affirmation • Phenomenal Time ▫ Being in time ▫ Flexible time (CP time)
  32. 32. The Origins of African- American Culture
  33. 33. Origins of African-American Culture • Africans sold into slavery transplanted their cultures to the New World • The Bantu of Central Africa had the largest homogeneous culture among the imported African and the strongest impact on the development of African American culture.
  34. 34. Origins (cont.) • The cultural areas from which the slaves came must be revised into smaller cultural clusters: ▫ Mande; Mano River; Akan; Sudanic; Niger Cross River; Niger Delta; and Bantu • According to Herskovits the areas that furnished the greatest numbers of slaves were the ▫ basin of the Senegal River ▫ Guinea Coast (especially the southern portions of what are today known as Ghana and the Republic of Benin), ▫ and the Niger Delta.
  35. 35. Origins (cont.) • Herkovits noted that Africans from the Guinea Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Ivory Coast, the Bight of Benin, the Gold Coast, Dahomey, and the coastal ports of Nigeria were most often cited in the historical literature of slavery
  36. 36. Origins (cont.) • The transatlantic slave trade was in full-scale operation by the late 1600s. • In just twenty years after the original settlement the African population in the Carolinas was equal to that of Europeans • By 1715 Africans outnumbered Europeans 10,500 to 6,250 • By 1720 Africans had outnumbered Europeans for more than a decade
  37. 37. Origins (cont.) • In 1724, the white population in colonial South Carolina was estimated at 14,000, the black population at 32,000 • A Swiss newcomer, Samuel Dyssli, observed in 1737 that Carolina “looks more like a negro country than like a country settled by white people”
  38. 38. West African Origins • Between 1670 and 1700, Africans were imported to South Carolina predominantly from “Guinea” • The majority of these “Guinea” Africans were Wolofs and other Mandes, such as Bambaras, Fulani, and Susus. • The Wolofs had greater opportunities for admixture and interaction with whites than other African groups in the years before 1700
  39. 39. Central African Origins • Data based on documents from early period (1733-44) show that 60 percent of the Africans entering South Carolina were from Angola in Central Africa • Toward the mid-1700s, more Angolans than any other African ethnic and cultural group were being imported into South Carolina
  40. 40. African-American Culture • For the Africans in South Carolina, the first stage in the acculturation process was the melding of numerous West and Central African elements in a culture such as Gullah • The creation of this creole culture allowed these Africans to form a kind of lingua franca, enabling them to communicate with each other as well as with the planters
  41. 41. African-American Culture • Given the homogeneity of the Bantu culture and the strong similarities among Bantu languages, this group no doubt influenced West African groups of larger size • Also, since the Bantu were predominately field hands or were used in capacities that required little or no contact with European-Americans, they were not confronted with the problem of acculturation, as the West African domestic servants and artisans were
  42. 42. African-American Culture • Coexisting in relative isolation from other groups, the Bantus were able to maintain a strong sense of unity and to retain a cultural vitality that laid the foundation for the development of African-American culture.
  43. 43. African-American Culture • The enslaved Africans’ cultural heritage was based on numerous West and Central African cultures brought together collectively from Senegambia (Wolof, Mandingo, Malinke, Bambara, Fulani, Papel, Limba, Bola, and Balante), • the Sierra Leone coast (Temne and Mende), the Liberian coast (Vai, De, Gola, Kisi, Bassa, and Grebo), • and the Slave Coast (Yoruba, Nupe, Benin, Dahomean [Fon], Ewe, Ga, Popo, Edo-Bini, and Fante)
  44. 44. African-American Culture • From the Niger Delta came Efik-Ibibio, Ijaw, Ibani, and Igbos (Calabars) • From the central African Coast came Bakongo, Malimbo, BAmbo, Ndungo, Balimbe, Badongo, Luba, Laonga, Luango, and Ovimbundu
  45. 45. African-American Culture • The African cultural patterns predominating in southern states clearly reflected the specific cultural groups imported • The upper colonies tended to be most heavily populated by West Africans and the lower colonies by people from Central Africa
  46. 46. African-American Culture • The North Americans imported Africans from the windward or Grain Coast (Mande ad Mano River groups) because of their familiarity with the cultivation of rice, indigo, and tobacco • The Yorubas, Whydahs, and Pawpaws were sold exclusively to the American market because they were considered less rebellious than the Coromantees (Asante) of the Gold Coast (Ghana) • According to U. B. Phillips, the qualities and the “disposition [of the Yorubas, Whydahs, and Nagoes] to take floggings…made them ideal slaves for the generality of masters”
  47. 47. African-American Culture • According to McGowan, “those slaves who did adapt were prepared by their background because of the similarity of the tasks they had performed inn Africa” • That is, plantation tasks in North America did not place any new technological demands on African labor, and the African’s familiarity with the cultivation of rice, corn, yams, and millet in the Senegambian hinterlands prepared them for the kind of labor that was required in the Mississippi Valley
  48. 48. African-American Culture • Senegambians were also employed as medicine men, blacksmiths, harness makers, carpenters, and lumberjacks • They brought with them highly developed skills in metalworking, woodwork, leatherwork, pottery, and weaving • Slave artisans and domestic servants, mainly form West Africans, worked in close proximity to European- Americans and were forced to give up their cultural identities to reflect their masters’ control and capacity to “civilize” the Africans
  49. 49. African-American Culture • However, field workers - largely Central Africans – were relatively removed from this controlling, “civilizing” influence • Given the constraints imposed on artisans and domestic servants by plantation owners, one may logically conclude that the cultures of the Congo-Angola region of Central Africa rather than those of West Africa were dominant in North America
  50. 50. African-American Culture • West African cultures nevertheless supplied mainstream southern society with Africanisms through a process of reciprocal acculturation between Africans and Europeans • David Dalby identified certain many Americanisms back to Wolof including such words as OK, bogus, boogie woogie, bug, john, phoney, yam, guy, honkie, dig, fuzz, jam, jamboree, hippie, and mumbo jumbo.
  51. 51. African-American Culture • It was among the field slaves that much of African- American culture and language evolved • The filed slaves were mainly central Africans who, unlike the Senegambian, brought a homogenous culture identifiable as Bantu • Enforced isolation of these Africans by plantation owners allowed them to retain their religion, philosophy, culture, folklore, folkways, folk beliefs, folk tales, storytelling, naming practices, home economics, arts, kinship, and music.
  52. 52. African history in Americas • It is possible to see Africans as active agents in reformulating their cultural and social identities in the Americas, despite the oppressive setting to which they were subjugated; • The study of religion, cultural expression (including music, cuisine, naming patterns, etc.) and social relationships (kinship, ethnicity and ship-board friendship) also hinges on the recognition that people found ways to determine their identities on their own terms.
  53. 53. African history in Americas • Some aspects of “slave” culture are not perceived as “survivals” but rather as features of conscious and not-so-conscious decisions by people themselves in selecting from their collective experiences those cultural and historical antecedents that helped make sense of the cruelty of slavery and freedom in the Americas
  54. 54. African history in Americas • Enslaved Africans created a new social world that drew on the known African experience. • From this perspective, it is necessary to examine the condition of enslaved folks in the Americas on the basis that they were still Africans, despite their chattel status, the deracination that accompanied their forced migration, and the sometimes haphazard and sometimes deliberate attempts of Europeans to destroy or otherwise undermine this African identity.
  55. 55. African history in Americas • Often slaves, former slaves, and their descendants still regarded themselves as Africans • The process of creolization comes much more in focus when the merger of cultures-European and African-is perceived in terms that are more equal than is often the case.
  56. 56. African history in Americas • For many of the enslave, Africa continued to live in their daily lives. • This included attempts to adapt and to re-interpret cultural values and religious practices in context, but frequently maintaining a clear vision of the African • Before the abolition of the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans, new slaves were constantly arriving and thereby infusing slave communities with new information and ideas which had to be assimilated in ways tat we do not always understand at present. • Only when fresh arrivals stopped coming from a specific homeland did the process of creolization take root
  57. 57. African history in Americas • The conditions of slavery were shaped to a considerable extent by the personal experiences and backgrounds of the enslaved Africans themselves. • They brought with them the intellectual and cultural lens which they viewed their new lives in the Americas, and they made sense out of their oppression through reference to Africa as well as the shared conditions of auction block, mine and plantation. • There is no reason to doubt that there was a transfer of experience, any more than was the case with other immigrants, whether voluntary or involuntary
  58. 58. Creolization
  59. 59. Creolization • In most parts of the America, enslaved persons tended to perceive of themselves in terms of communities that had roots in Africa • Although the relevance of the African background is usually admitted, the continuities and discontinuities of African history in the Diaspora are usually minimized or ignored • It is as if Africa had little impact on the development of the slave society and identity in the Americas
  60. 60. Creolization (cont.) • Religious rituals, naming practices, funeral ceremonies, and other features of culture are recognized as sharing traits with a generalized and often timeless Africa. • Enslaved Africans defined in their own communities in a variety of ways, often involving layers of identity with overlapping and frequently competing interests. • As with other diasporas, enslaved Africans subordinated internal divisions and differences in language, religion, and other aspects of culture to their circumstances.
  61. 61. Creolization (cont.) • The different sub-cultures of the Diaspora developed an orthodoxy that was “traditional”, indeed “Creole.” • Diasporas, as made very clear in the case of enslaved Africans, operated outside of or along side the political and legal structures of the host countries where members of the Diaspora found themselves
  62. 62. Creolization (cont.) • Enslaved Africans did not generally share a common culture, their religious beliefs, languages, and social structures varied too greatly to influence the economies and societies of the Americas more than on occasion • The “creolization” school emphasizes the needs of enslaved Africans to generate defensive mechanisms to protect themselves from the arbitrary brutality of slavery; • “creolization” was essentially as reaction to slavery.
  63. 63. Creolization (cont.) • While the “creolization” theorists have emphasized the amalgamation of diverse cultures and historical backgrounds into a set of common sub-cultures, revisionists search for the African component in the evolution of the “Afro- American”, “American” “Latin”, and “Caribbean”
  64. 64. Creolization (cont.) • Revisionist shift the emphasis from the birth of a new culture and society to the maintenance of ties with the homeland. • The exchange of ideas and people between the diaspora and the homeland under slavery and as a consequence change was not only mediated through Europe but in far more complex ways
  65. 65. Creolization (cont.) • To what extent were enslaved Africans able to determine their cultural survival; • To what extent were they agents in the continuation of traditions and the re-interpretation of real historical event? • How could slaves create a world that was largely autonomous from white, European society?
  66. 66. Creolization (cont.) • Enslaved Africans were victims of their predicament, but were still agents of their own identities within the confines of slavery. • Enslaved Africans were often successful in asserting autonomy from white society and European culture.
  67. 67. Slavery and Personality
  68. 68. Slavery and the Shaping of the African American Personality/Dispositions • The plantation system of the United States was essentially a closed system. • The sanctions of authority was virtually self-contained within the plantation unit • Authority, though exercised, by and large, from non- malignant ends, was absolute • The ‘given’, then for the present purpose, is absolute power in a closed system, and the problem for personality is that of adjustment to such power within such a system
  69. 69. Personality (cont.) • Most theory holds that social behavior is regulated in some general way by adjustment to symbols of authority- however diversely “authority” may be defined, either in theory or in culture itself- and that this adjustment is closely related to the very formation of personality • The more diverse those symbols of authority are, the greater is the permissible variety of adjustment to them- and the wider the margin of individuality, consequently, in the development of the self
  70. 70. Personality Types and Stereotypes • Several million people were detached with a peculiar effectiveness from a variety of cultural backgrounds in Africa ▫ a detachment operating with infinitely more effectiveness upon those brought to North America than on those who came to Latin America • Detachment was achieved partly by the shock experience inherent in the very mode of procurement, but most especially by the type of authority-system to which these people were introduced and to which they had to adjust for physical and psychic survival
  71. 71. Personality (cont.) • The new adjustment to absolute power in a closed system involved infantilization. • The detachment was so complete that little trace of prior – and thus alternative – cultural sanctions for behavior and personality remained for the descendants of the first generation • For them, adjustment to clear and omnipresent authority could be more or less automatic- as much so, or little, as it is for anyone whose adjustment to a social system begins at birth and who that system represents normality
  72. 72. Shock and Detachment • Every African who became enslaved-whether light or dark, timid or warlike, primitive or in a high state of culture-underwent an experience whose crude psychic impact must have been staggering, and whose consequences superseded anything that had ever previously happened to him • The majority of enslaved Africans were taken in ethnic wars. This means than no one-neither persons of high rank nor warriors of prowess-was guaranteed against capture and enslavement.
  73. 73. Shock and Detachment • Great numbers were caught in surprise attacks upon their villages. Since the tribes acting as middlemen for the trade had come to depend on regular supplies of captives in order to maintain that function, the distinction between wars and raiding expeditions was rather dim • the first shock, in an experienced destined to endure many months and to leave its survivors irrevocably changed, was thus the shock of capture
  74. 74. Shock and Detachment • The second one, the long march to the sea, drew out the nightmare from many weeks. • The next shock- aside from the fresh physical torments which accompanied it- was the sale to the European slavers • The final shock in the process of enslavement came with the Negro’s introduction to the West Indies • The episode that followed-almost too protracted and stupefying to be called a mere “shock”- was the dreaded Middle Passage, brutalizing to any man, black or white, who was involved in it.
  75. 75. Shock and Detachment • The thoroughness with which African Negroes coming to America were detached from prior cultural sanctions should thus be partly explainable by the very shock sequence inherent in the technique of procurement • Whereas the Middle Passage and all that went with it must have been psychologically numbing, and should certainly be regarded as a long thrust toward the end product, its full fruition depended on the events that followed
  76. 76. Shock and Detachment • The process of detachment was completed by the kind of authority-system into which the slave was introduced and to which he had to adjust- the “closed” system
  77. 77. “Got one mind for white folks to see, ‘Nother for what I know is me” (Author unknown)
  78. 78. Bi-Cultural Identity
  79. 79. Bicultural identity (cont.) • A culture of chattel slavery (Allport,1958;Akbar, 1984; Wyatt-Brown, 1985) ▫ Samboism – survival strategy; effective guise adopted and cast aside as needed ▫ Clowning – characterized by self-degradation and exaggerated stereotypical behavior; used to gain favor, control violent or abusive slave master ▫ Trickster – cunning and wit over brute force; form of resistance; enjoyed special status for ability to out-smart slave master
  80. 80. Bi-Cultural Identity (cont) ▫ Ritualized compliance – ability to maintain self- regard while complying with demands of enslavement ▫ Socialization of subordination – Assimilated into the institution of chattel slavery; acceptance of status as subordinate and inferior as natural order; identification with the needs and desires of slave master
  81. 81. Contemporary African American Bicultural Identity Development • Duality of Consciousness ▫ Woodson - estrangement ▫ Dubios – double consciousness • Alienation ▫ Fanon – Alienation ▫ Akbar – Assimilation-related psychopathology ▫ Kambon – Psychological/cultural misorientation
  82. 82. African American Acculturation
  83. 83. Acculturation Theory • A process through which an individual from a given culture achieves competence in a second culture • “move toward another culture.” • Assumed to be a voluntary process • Related terms ▫ Assimilation – adopt alien culture/loss of culture of origin ▫ Fusion – blending elements of 2 or more cultures ▫ Biculturalism – competence in 2 or more cultures ▫ Multiculturalism – multiple cultural realities
  84. 84. Acculturation and Enslaved Africans “In the process of acculturation, the slaves made European forms serve African functions “(pp 20-21; Blassingame, 1979). ▫ For example, African religious practices were often disguised as Catholicism (e.g., Santeria, Macumba, Condomble).
  85. 85. Acculturation (cont.) • Acculturation ▫ First used to describe the process whereby less civilized persons/groups experienced a cultural evolution by imitating the values/behaviors/beliefs of highly civilized persons/groups (i.e., European). ▫ More recently used to describe the phenomena that occurs when individuals from different cultures come into continuous contact resulting in changes to the original cultural patterns of either or both groups.
  86. 86. Acculturation (cont.) • Dominant culture creates a dual socialization process • Institutions such as the media, schools, culture (holidays, heroes, etc.), foreign and domestic policy (e.g., immigration) all reinforce the dominant culture • Enculturation to one’s cultural group identity and punished and acculturation/assimilation to the dominant culture is rewarded
  87. 87. Acculturation (cont.) • Function ▫ Provides a context for relationship to dominant culture ▫ Mechanism for the preservation of one’s ethnic and cultural identity ▫ Framework for understanding stress that results from the experiences above
  88. 88. Acculturation (cont.) • Group-level acculturation ▫ Changes resulting from contact between two autonomous and independent cultural groups • Psychological acculturation ▫ Changes an individual experiences as a result of being in contact with other cultures
  89. 89. Acculturation (cont.) • Group-level acculturation ▫ Types of changes:  Physical – new residence, school, work, etc.  Biological – nutrition and diet, medicine  Political – laws, political views/agendas  Economic – new opportunities  Cultural – food, child-rearing,  Social – new ingroup/outgroup
  90. 90. Acculturation (cont.) • Psychological acculturation ▫ Type of changes:  Behavior – language, food, emotional  Values – collective vs. individualistic  Acculturative stress – conflict between old and new  Adaptation strategies – withdraw vs. interact  Identity – ethnic/racial, etc.
  91. 91. Acculturation (cont.) • Alternation ▫ Assumes that it is possible for a person to master two different cultures. The individual has a sense of belonging to two cultures without comprising their sense of cultural identity. • Assimilation ▫ Complete absorption into the dominant (desirable) culture. Original culture is lost as new culture is acquired. • Separation ▫ Individuals maintain a commitment to their indigenous culture and do not value intercultural exchange/relations with others • Marginalization ▫ When an individual feels caught between two cultures with minimal psychological commitment to either.
  92. 92. African American Acculturation (cont) • Acculturative stress is the tension associated with the move toward the majority culture and away from the culture of origin (Anderson, 1991;Landrine & Klonoff, 1996). ▫ threatens racial and cultural identity, patterns of living, and ▫ has been linked to the compromised health status of some African Americans
  93. 93. Acculturative Stress • Defined as “when an individual’s adaptive resources are insufficient to support adjustment to a new cultural environment (Roysircai-Sodowsky & Maestas, 2000, p. 138) ▫ Acculturative stress has been found to be associated with alcoholism in Mexican-American men and eating disorders in African American and Native American women
  94. 94. Acculturative Stress (cont.) • Factors affecting acculturative stress levels ▫ Generational status ▫ Level of acculturation ▫ Self-esteem ▫ Cultural alienation ▫ Cultural confusion ▫ Cultural conflict
  95. 95. Landrine and Klonoff • African American acculturation ▫ Principle of return  Dynamic process where individuals return to culture of origin by end of life span. Influenced by age, familial factors, environment, and experiences with racism ▫ Principle of fractionization and allopatricity  Individuals are distanced from culture of origin and more easily acculturated
  96. 96. African American Acculturation (cont) ▫ Principle of quality of contact  Extent to which contact with dominant culture influences the acculturative process. Positive prolonged contact increases rapid acculturation while negative contact may result in failed acculturation ▫ Principle of ethnic socialization  Perception of dominant group as all good or all bad will either facilitate or impede acculturation.

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