Strategies for Survival: The Psychology of Cultural Resilience in Ethnic Minorities

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9780814721889: Strategies for Survival: The Psychology of Cultural Resilience in Ethnic Minorities

The issue of multiculturalism is not one limited to the United States and North America alone. Since the arrival of Europeans to the New World, native South American populations have struggled to survive in the face of encroaching white civilization. During the past two decades, Peter Elsass has been studying and documenting the various cultures in Colombia and Venezuela, noting their failures and successes in maintaining their independence. Contrasting the Motilon Indians of the Venezuelan lowlands with the Arhuaco of the mountains of Colombia, Elsass describes how the Motilon have become spiritually and economically impoverished after the first encounter with Catholic missionaries, while the Arhuaco, possessing a well-organized, hierarchical society, threw out the missionaries in a dramatic move and established their own independent educational system. Elsass also describes the situation in Chemescau, the culture of the Maroons (a half-Indian, half-African society emerging from the area's history of slavery) and even the population of Jonestown before its mass suicide, showing how by taking a stand against foreign influences, minority cultures can maintain their cultural integrity.

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From the Back Cover:

Why does one society survive, while others perish? When two cultures come into contact, how do exploitation, violence, and terror arise? Peter Elsass has been studying cultures in Columbia and Venezuela since 1973. Interested in the survival of various cultures in the face of encroaching white civilization, Elsass has visited and documented the successes and failures of five separate groups struggling to remain independent. Contrasting the Motilon Indians of the Venezuelan lowlands with the Arhuaco of the mountains of Colombia, Elsass describes how the Motilon became spiritually and economically impoverished after the first encounter with Catholic missionaries, while the Arhuaco, possessing a well-organized, hierarchical society, threw out the missionaries in a dramatic move and established their own independent education system. Elsass also describes the Colombian village, Chemescua, the Maroons (a society emerging from slaves), and even the population of Jonestown before its mass suicide, showing how by taking a stand against foreign influences minority cultures can maintain their cultural integrity. This in-depth study of the psychology of survival also contains a lengthy essay on anthropological advocacy prepared with Kirsten Hastrup. In their investigation into the role of the anthropologist in both representing the lives and pleading the cause of the people whom they study, they provide a starting point for a discussion of how to translate concern about the survival of ethnic minorities into action.

About the Author:

Peter Elsass is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Copenhagen and the author of Strategies for Survival: The Psychology of Cultural Resilience in Ethnic Minorities, also available from NYU Press.

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Elsass, Peter
Editore: New York University Press (1992)
ISBN 10: 0814721885 ISBN 13: 9780814721889
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Descrizione libro New York University Press, 1992. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Gift quality, Fine. A superior copy without defect. Clean, unmarked pages. Fine binding and cover. Hardcover and dust jacket. Ships daily. Codice libro della libreria 1210030161

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Descrizione libro New York University Press, 1992. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0814721885

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Descrizione libro New York University Press, 1992. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0814721885

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