Indigenous Peoples Bodley Notes That These Cultures Essay

  • Length: 7 pages
  • Subject: Economics
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #23421508

Excerpt from Essay :

indigenous peoples. Bodley notes that these cultures are often small scale -- although not always (e.g. Inca, Maya). Development brings them into a larger world, where they are influenced by other cultures including global culture. Many of the cultures today viewed as indigenous came into contact with larger external cultures during the past five hundred years, a period characterized by a shift towards a global-scale culture. The degree of shock that small-scale cultures experience when encountering global-scale culture is much higher than would have been experienced prior to global culture, as there would have been greater balanced between the size of the cultures meeting.

With development has come modern notions of property and the politicization of non-government entities such as corporations. These concepts being foreign to most indigenous populations, they were unprepared for these changes. As a result, many suffered significant loss of land, loss of cultural artifacts and loss of political power over the land that they inhabit. In turn, this has contributed to an erosion of a sense of self-identity. Significant development in the modern era specifically focus on assimilation, based on the notion that modern lifestyles are superior. This is a form of cultural imperialism -- dominant cultures assume that because they want to progress that all cultures want this as well. Some examples of this can be found with native populations in North America or in the Chinese attitude towards Tibetans and Uyghurs.

The outcomes of this are by no means universally positive. Adverse health outcomes from shifts in diet and lifestyle are common, as changing consumption patterns run counter to the evolution of the bodies of indigenous cultures. Hardest hit are cultures that are less commercial in orientation -- and these are the cultures that were most likely to avoid significant contact until after 1500.

2. The Atlantic Complex was the movement of goods and people across the Atlantic between the Americas, Africa and Europe. The Atlantic Complex has long-lasting effects on all three continents. In Europe, the major colonial powers gained substantial economic and political power from their exploitation of the other three continents. The wealth that they gained through this trade resulted in these countries remaining powers to this day. It fueled technological and political innovation, and allowed Europe to become the dominant power of our time. Europeans also became the dominant power in the Americas, though their power has finally waned in Africa.

The Europeans eviscerated Africa's human capital and undertook substantial exploitation of the continent's mineral wealth. That the colonial powers held the continent well in to the 20th century did considerable damage to Africa's political and social institutions as well. Africa's tribes remain with only a loose structure relative to what they had before the Atlantic Complex.

In the Americas, the Atlantic Complex had devastating impacts. The indigenous population was displaced as the slave trade allowed for rapid economic expansion. This resulted in ecocide as Native American land was expropriated for agriculture use fueled by the slave economy. Over time, Native Americans became minorities in their own land.

3. Mills argues that the global economic and political system is largely ruled by European settler countries, or the European countries themselves. Global white supremacy in his view is the reflection that the influence of European culture is pervasive throughout the world as a vestige of the age of European expansion. There is a high level of racial dichotomization in the world as a result of this expansion of European influence around the world, where whites rule over other cultures. The European nature of globalization and internationalization has led to a situation in which European nations will often band together against other powers, according to Mills.

The counter to this trend, as Mills explains comes in movements such as pan-Africanism, pan-Arabism and pan-Asianism, as well as indigenous people's movements. The white supremacy has led to a situation that can also be characterized by its complement, global non-white subordinance, a trend that helped to shape the 19th and 20th centuries. Mills argues that racial inequality in global and while he sets aside incidences involving non-white superior-subordinate relationships such as Chinese hegemony over its minorities or Malay hegemony over Malaysia's Chinese and Indian minorities, his theory holds that wealth, power and prestige largely flow to the advantaged, who effectively make the rules that govern the global economy.

4. The process of modernization have been guided by men, who for the most part have controlled political power (save a few queens and the odd modern political leader). Thus, the agendas that have been set with respect to economic structuring and globalization have been more oriented towards interests that men value. Masculine traits include competition, aggressiveness and a winner-loser orientation. This has created an environment that allows males to thrive in particular. The environment also does little to encourage women to participate more, as their participation is not usually explicitly invited in the modern economic system. Development programs aimed at women help to bring them into the system better.

One of the key arguments for development programs that target women is that the existing globalization paradigm, while not explicitly targeting men, is oriented towards more masculine endeavors and outcomes. Programs targeting women can help to overcome this gap. With specific respect to development programs, many cultures remain absolutely dominated by men and male culture. This serves to marginalize women and remove from them the ability to control their own economic and social destinies. What development programs aimed at women do is help to instill confidence in women and provide them with opportunities that their cultural environment may otherwise discourage. This will also serve the purpose of delivering different outcomes to the country or region as well, as female-centric activity is often focused on different outcomes. The less-aggressive and more inclusive approach will change some of the outcomes that are currently negative, and will provide a different concept of balance to society, both in terms of the economic and social role of women.

5. Smith argues that globalization from below is focused on the creation of a global society rather than a global economy. This contrasts with our current dominant globalization from above ideology. Globalization from above is driven by Europe and former colonies that still bear strong European influence ("The West"). The main actors in this system tend towards the wealthy and powerful. They do not always share common ideology, but there are two strong ideologies that underlying much of the globalization from above system -- neoliberalism and realism. Neither of these approaches has much appeal for the proponents of globalization from below.

GFB proponents tend to be comprised of smaller groups, each with its own interest. These groups represent interests that their proponents feel do not receive as much consideration as they should from the GFA power brokers. Among the central tenets of GFB is a desire to remove formality from the globalization process. The formal nature of the process tends to favor those with formal bargaining power and the willingness and ability to shape the rules of the game. GFB proponents instead favor and autonomous civil society approach, citizen-to-citizen links and a shift to informal multilateralism. They believe that these approaches would put more power in the hands of everyday people to shape the course of globalization, and that would result in the interests of those people being better met. The effort is grassroots, and tends to favor transnationalism rather than nationalism and the entrenched interests thereof.

6. Leonard argues that the solutions to climate change and sustainability must be systemic, largely because the problem is system. The developed world in particular consumes at a level that is not even remotely sustainable. Individual changes, therefore, even in aggregate, will be insufficient to address the challenges. It is the systemic, Leonard argues, that is designed in a way that consumption is motivated and is essentially unchecked. Many negative externalities are simply not built into the cost of goods and services, encouraging a higher level of consumption that the planet can bear.

One of the major structural issues that Leonard identifies is that development is ill-defined. Common indicators are all oriented specifically to economic progress, with other desirable outcomes assumed to flow naturally from this economic progress, a core belief of neoliberalist thought. By changing the definitions of development, Leonard argues that we can overcome challenges that relate to the failure of human society to overcome many of our social issues.

Leonard's three core solutions -- ending war, valuing time and internalizing externalities -- are all systemic actions. War is not caused by individuals so much as state actors and is a natural consequence of the realist pursuit of scarce resources. Valuing time over stuff is something that can be done on an individual level, but needs to be supported with different forms of economic motivation. Our current set of motivators is heavily skewed towards the consumption of goods and services, whereas Leonard argues that with different incentives we can re-orient ourselves to more…

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