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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69559 Find in a Library
Title: Anomie and Violence Among Native Americans
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:75-84
Author(s): L A French
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: By providing a psychohistorical analysis of significant policy controls which have regulated American Indians, this article examines cultural anomie among Indians and its contribution to Indian violence and aggression.
Abstract: The principal perspective on minority conflict considered is that of Robert E. Park, who developed a race relations cycle which addressed itself to western colonialism. The cycle asserts that competitive-oriented, colonializing forces represented the majority society, while the 'underdeveloped' cooperativeoriented, traditional cultures were assigned a minority status. Within this perspective, the article explores the effect of primary conflict generated by the policies of slavery, Indian wars, removal, allottment, reorganization, termination, relocation, and self-determination. It links these official policies to conflicts existing within Indian communities, also. Park recognized that majority-minority relations are relevant to power and authority and do not necessarily reflect population characteristics per se. Basically, Park contended that interracial adjustments resulting from colonialism usually progressed through four stages starting with initial 'contact,' followed by 'competition/conflict,' 'accommodation,' and eventual 'assimilation.' Reciprocal animosity between cultural groups within a society tends to strengthen both groups' internal cohesion while at the same time maintaining the rigid class or caste lines and social distances between these groups. Furthermore, the more rigid the group divisions within the society, the more serious will be the psychocultural ramifications experienced by those caught up in the majority-minority cultural gap--the alienated marginals. Indian marginality, the direct result of cultural ambiguity, is believed to be the major cause of Indian violence today. Viable solutions to Indian violence must address the sources of conflict, and they must be culturally relevant. Twenty references are provided.
Index Term(s): Aggression; American Indians; Minorities; Political influences; Race relations; Violence; Violent crimes
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