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Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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The Book as a Whole: When Cultures Collide

"Every act of development necessarily involves an act of destruction." (Quote by George Appell, from Cultural Anthropology by Daniel G. Bates, Elliot M. Fratkin, 1999.) Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

Does one nation or culture have the right to intrude another culture, bringing in their own values that may contradict traditional values?


Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.

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SueB
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-03-2007
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Re: The Book as a Whole: When Cultures Collide

It's been awhile since I read the book -- this online book group discussion may send me back to read it again!

I was going through the topics and this one caught my eye because I remember being struck by the descriptions of the trash around the village on Kris's return visit -- trash that had developed and accumulated without the infrastructure to handle it. And the contrast hit me: Monique and the village had been introduced to "modern" ideals - such as women receiving pay for their own labor and the movement against female genital cutting - around the same time that modern disposables and waste were becoming a problem for the village.

As far as: Does one nation or culture have the right to intrude another culture, bringing in their own values that may contradict traditional values?

I'm not sure that this question isn't moot: whether cultures have the right or not, the intrusion is inevitable. So maybe one question is how do you foresee, possibly even manage, the trade offs that will be made?
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KrisH
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: The Book as a Whole: When Cultures Collide

Hi Sue,

I don't know if we can foresee the trade-offs that will be made. The world is being exposed to Western culture in all its glory and ugliness. And you are right; change is happening and is inevitable. So given that truth, I believe reciprocity is the key. That revolutionary idea in international development that means we have things to learn from one another. Development must be based in dialogue and must involve exchange and a two-way flow of ideas. Hopefully, in this way, countries can absorb the best of what other countries have learned through experience (in your example, payment for a woman's work) and learn to deal with, or even prevent the worst (trash and a disposable culture).

Kris


Learn more about Monique and the Mango Rains.
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