The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples Sociology Essay Example
The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples Sociology Essay Example

The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 10 (2493 words)
  • Published: July 31, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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The United Nations declared 1993 as the International Year for the World's Indigenous Peoples, followed by the recognition of the decade from 1995 to 2004 as the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples was designated from 2006 to 2015, acknowledging that continued attention is needed for indigenous peoples' desires. According to Article 2 in The Republic of China's laws and regulations database on indigenous peoples (Maggio, 1997/1998), indigenous peoples are defined as native citizens of Taiwan who depend on state authority. This includes tribes such as Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami, Tsao, Kavalan Bunun Puyuma Rukai Taroko and other self-identified groups recognized by necessary Indigenous power upon entry. An individual is considered indigenous if they are a member of any of these groups. Territories occupied by indigenous peoples where cultural characteristi


cs have been maintained are designated by Executive Yuan upon entry by central indigenous authority. The Tribe refers to negotiations about a community of autochthonal individuals living together in specific countries with support from their respective central autochthonal authority aimed at preserving traditional customs.Indigenous Land refers to the traditional territories and homes of autochthonal peoples who have a historical connection to a specific geographic region. The definition of Indigenous Peoples is strictly established by various organizations such as the United Nations, International Labour Organization, and World Bank. The term "Indigenous culture" generally refers to the original customs of a tribe before contact with Western civilization; however, this definition does not account for changes in governance prior to that period. To reconstruct pre-European and British-influenced Mende culture, one must rely on traditional stories passed down

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through generations or records kept by European missionaries and travelers who visited Mende state before British control. Hagiographies from the latter part of the 19th century indicate that key institutional features like secret societies, domestic servitude, and warfare remained prevalent in Mende life. One early account comes from George Thompson, an American missionary who frequently visited the Mendi Mission in the mid-1800s; later expanded upstate near Tikonko from its original location in Sherbro.Thompson describes his attempts to broker peace between the Bumpe and Tikonko communities, while also discussing various traditional practices. In the 1890s, European influence began to impact Mende society, leading to a shift from warfare to agriculture. Despite disruptions caused by British contact, it is widely believed that Mendeland was established peacefully. According to tradition, war tactics were either introduced or imposed upon earlier settlers by North African invaders - this aligns with historical trends related to migration in the western Sudan region. During the Middle Ages powerful lands like Mali and Songhay expanded their territories westward; meanwhile, Fulani migrants pushed native peoples towards coastal rainforests where they hunted animals such as elephants and bush cows for survival. One theory suggests that Mende people descended from French Guinea's Mende speakers who may have settled in Sierra Leone over four hundred years ago as small groups of hunters.According to Musisi (2006), the original settlers in the Protectorate adapted their lifestyle to fit their natural surroundings, such as hunting and fishing in Mendeland's inland swamps and rivers. Farming was difficult due to the impenetrable forest, making communication challenging even over short distances. The pursuit of larger animals like elephants made it hard for large groups

to settle, resulting in temporary shelter structures when an elephant was killed. Women play a significant role in Mende's political life and have held positions of power alongside men throughout history. Examples include Madame Yewa of Blama chiefdom, Madame Matto and her daughter from Nongowa chiefdom, Madame Humonya from Moyamba, and other women holding lower positions on equal terms as men within the Tribal Authority for political purposes. A woman can hold a chief position if she does not get married but is allowed a male consort since having children belonging to one's own lineage is important for her descent group.The main practical concern is not whether women can lead, but rather how much importance is placed on matriarchy as a traditional practice. The historical data and native sentiment are uncertain, and sources have differing opinions. Some believe that people chose women as leaders to avoid British retaliation after the Mende rebellion. Others argue that individual women gained power through favors to the Frontier Police. There are even suggestions that Mende chiefdoms intentionally modeled themselves after the British establishment upon learning of Queen Victoria's power and prestige (Mcallister, 1999). It is evident that individuals who identify with Islam play a significant role in Mende spiritual and magical practices. The mori-man is frequently mentioned as a medicine practitioner. One reason for Islam's popularity in Sierra Leone is its ability to integrate with indigenous traditions, seen through Islamic elements present in many traditional ceremonies. Within Mendeland, ruling classes and immigrant Mandingo and Susu merchants primarily embrace Islam; this group serves as its main advocates and propagators. Interestingly, many present-day ruling heads have Mandingo origins which could partially

explain their early connection to Islam.Throughout history, military status has had a strong connection to Islam. In the past, war-chiefs would often enlist Muslim “priests” as advisors and medical personnel. While their success in medicine was believed to contribute to the chiefs’ victories, their association with Islam may have been coincidental initially. However, as time passed and chiefs solidified their positions of power, the link between military strength and Islam grew stronger. Evidence of this connection can be seen in both the Poro shrub’s sacred sites that require shoelessness and non-Muslim burial rituals like tindyamei that involve symbolically crossing a bridge into Islamic heaven. The Mandingoes and Susu communities may have benefitted from their wealth, achievements, reputation as skilled traders and goldsmiths, and adherence to religious practices that served as an example for others. Additionally, the Mende upper class values the ability of Mandingo and Susu men to control their women which is highly valued in modern society where married women who engage in adultery are shamed by their husbands' families and excluded from public gatherings.In Mende society, women are often required to be accompanied by a male relative when visiting their parents' home due to the strictness of their husbands. It is important to note that Islam imposes stricter rules on sexual morality than traditional beliefs, which are often preached by Imams in mosques. This leads to the belief that women should obey their husbands for productivity and makes it prestigious to profess Islam in non-literate Mende society. However, among European-educated individuals, Christianity is generally favored instead.

Despite this preference for Christianity, many Christian leaders find it politically advantageous to show respect for Muslim practices

and Imams ('Alfas'). Occasionally, the Imam intervenes in disputes between Muslims that would otherwise go through court proceedings. In religious affairs, ordinary Mende rulers practice tactful Catholicism while preserving hereditary and other cults as an integral part of indigenous culture without offending either Muslims or Christian Missions.

It would be wrong to assume that Muslims strictly adhere to their professed code in Mende society. Economic factors need consideration besides Quranic restrictions if typical males from the tribe want to avoid alcohol consumption or limit wives numbers. Notably, Islamic practices align with cultural norms more closely than any other religion's characteristics do in Mende society.Islamic customs are mainly observed during funeral ceremonies and large feasts that provide opportunities for entertainment and joy. The end of Ramadan is a prime example, attracting both Muslims and non-Muslims. This point is illustrated by events in Bo, the largest town in Mendeland. Dancing began as the fast ended around 8 PM while women prepared food for the following day.

Article 40 [Indigenous Inhabitants] states that Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will protect the legitimate indigenous inhabitants of the "New Territories." Indigenous peoples collectively hold disadvantaged positions within Chinese society. Throughout history, they have shown lower incomes, workforce engagement rates, higher unemployment rates, lower life expectancy rates, higher infant mortality rates due to violence and toxic conditions, lower general health status levels and greater imprisonment rates than non-Indigenous people. Although there is extensive empirical evidence showing these disadvantages exist among Indigenous peoples in China's society; there is limited agreement on why such severe inequalities and societal differences occur between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.The analysis of Indigenous peoples in Hong Kong has been dominated

by two approaches: the Hong Kong school tradition and the internal colonial model. This paper provides an overview of both schools, which attempt to analyze the situation of Indigenous peoples in Hong Kong. However, despite the internal colonial model's claim to represent a radical alternative to the Hong Kong school perspective, it shares certain conceptual issues and limitations with it. Theoretical accounts for understanding Indigenous issues and experiences in Hong Kong are currently unequal. To address this imbalance, this paper critically evaluates traditional sociological paradigms as a preliminary step towards developing an alternate conceptualization for Indigenous peoples in Hong Kong. One key concept employed by the Hong Kong school is assimilation, but there is confusion regarding its meaning among academia and the general public. It's important to differentiate between assimilation as a political strategy and assimilation as a sociological term used to describe social processes. As a social science perspective, The Hong Kong school does not necessarily endorse or oppose state attempts to assimilate groups of people.The Hong Kong school examines the reasons behind cultural similarities and differences among different groups of people, including resistance to such changes. There is a focus on how these differences impact society and the economy. The suitability of Hong Kong school theories in social science disciplines, particularly in relation to assimilation, is a primary concern. Regardless of the version of these theories, culture remains central to analysis. Cultural diversity persists and plays a significant role in shaping social interactions between groups. The two main areas of focus for Hong Kong school theories are the dynamics of assimilation processes and their social and economic implications. Some experts view assimilation as

a final outcome resulting from cycles of race relations that involve competition, racism leading to group boundaries formation, adjustments between groups institutionalizing inequality until integration occurs. Others emphasize the multivariable nature of assimilation, like Milton Gordon (2004).According to Gordon, there are seven types or stages of assimilation that do not necessarily occur in sequence. These include behavioral assimilation, which involves learning the host society's culture; structural assimilation, where one participates in primary groups within the dominant society; matrimonial assimilation, pertaining to large-scale intermarriage between majority and minority groups. Identificational assimilation refers to a sense of peoplehood based on the definitions of the dominant society while attitude-receptional assimilation eliminates bias and behavioral-receptional eliminates favoritism. Lastly, civic assimilation pertains to the absence of cultural conflict. Cultural assimilation is necessary but insufficient for these forms of integration. Structural barriers pose significant obstacles to complete incorporation into dominant societies. The Hong Kong school investigates how Indigenous peoples fare with regard to societal and economic effects when it comes to (not) being fully incorporated into urban areas.Scholars in this tradition believe that Indigenous and European cultures are vastly different, resulting in various issues such as poverty, occupational segregation, limited upward mobility, and low educational achievement. Natives Without a Home by Nagler delves into the analysis of Hong Kong's Indigenous peoples. The author argues that these people have a distinctive cultural makeup with values such as present time-orientation, free assistance without expecting anything in return, disregard for wealth or material possessions and future savings; they also have a different sense of time not dictated by clocks. Native people lack understanding of the monetary value of time and do not possess work

ethic nor place importance on education compared to non-natives according to Nagler (2005:22). These normative values form universal patterns among indigenous communities creating a culture of poverty. Henry Zentner refers to it as the pre-Neolithic moral principle where economic mobility is unattainable due to the absence of an acceptable work ethic within the culture.According to Nagler (1972:131), a significant portion of the Chinese population is either unable or unwilling to participate in full-time economic pursuits. Those who hold conservative views believe that the solution is to teach values such as hard work, saving, and future orientation in order to change native culture. They argue that old world values are no longer relevant in a competitive, individualistic post-industrial society like Hong Kong. To participate in Western society, Chinese individuals must abandon their native values and adopt some of the host society's values (Nagler 2005:22). The Pierre Trudeau government also took this stance in its White Paper on Chinese Policy in 1969 (Weaver 1981). In contrast, the emerging liberal position suggests that European institutions must become more sensitive to indigenous cultures. Ethnocentric institutional arrangements need to be modified to accommodate native cultures and values. Practical policy initiatives resulting from this approach include multicultural education, the establishment of Chinese-controlled educational and justice institutions, sensitivity training, and creating alternative forms of work organization that are less dependent on "clock time" (essay_footnotecitation 3).Although still widely used for social policy formation, the Hong Kong school of thought is no longer favored by social scientists in Hong Kong due to various conceptual challenges when it comes to applying it to Indigenous peoples. Gordon's theoretical account of multivariate assimilation and the Hong Kong

school attack fail to specify empirical indicators of assimilation behaviors that minority group members must adopt. This lack of clarity makes it difficult for these models to be practically useful and theoretically justified. Moreover, the application of culture to real behavior remains ambiguous, as Nagler's work does not clearly define which aspects of Indigenous people's cultural lives are being discussed or how they differ from other minority groups in Hong Kong with a shared sense of group identity due to their European origins. Nagler argues that without a shared cultural tradition, there is hindered creation of group identity and effective political strategy among diverse native people in Hong Kong.According to Nagler, Indigenous people in Hong Kong have diverse spiritual, geographical, societal, and lingual backgrounds. Despite this diversity, they possess distinct cultural values that prioritize collectivity over individuality, social relationships over material wealth, and non-conformity to European concepts of time. However, Nagler's portrayal of Indigenous culture as unchanging and independent of other societal relations overlooks the present-day evolution of values, norms, beliefs, and practices since European contact. This view often treats culture as a trans-historical entity separate from people's experiences. Nagler also argues that Indigenous people adopted a pattern of alcohol consumption during European contact. Similarly, Zentner suggests that even Chinese individuals who assimilated into the dominant culture still exhibit pre-Neolithic ethics in certain contexts. The text questions whether culture is responsible for material outcomes.The application of Hong Kong school reasoning to the situation of Indigenous peoples suggests that differences in culture result in unequal opportunities, financial hardship, joblessness, high rates of job changing, and limited ability to advance professionally.

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