Introduction                                                                              Page : 2

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Dr. Jatin
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scientists have, however, accepted acculturation as an important aspect of the study of social change which especially denoted the transformation of cultural or social elements from one society to another (Beals : 1951; Eaton : 1952; Keesing : 1964; Hallowell : 1957; McGee : 1960;Gould and Kolb : 1964; Moore : 1965; Task and Nelson : 1974; Lewis : 1976; Friedle : 1976).
             In the world perspectives, various works have been conducted onthe process of acculturation indifferent societies (e.g. Mead : 1932; Herskovitz : 1938; Linton : 1940; Malinowski : 1945; Sharp : 1952; Redfield : 1953; Newcomb : 1956; Bacon and Herskovitz : 1959; Wilson and Wilson : 1965; Alba : 1976). In this context, Mead's study of the plains Indians (1930) and Herskovitz's study of Carebeans (1938) are of special significance. As the plain's Indians were not in the position to adjust with the demands of new culture, Mead tried to see the problems of disorganisation as a result of contact. She pointed out how the Indian indigenous religious practices suffered due to the settlements of whites with the Indians. Due to the acceptance of Presbyterianism, the American Indians were regarded neither as the followers of indigenous religion nor Presbyterianism. Amidst this situation, Mead discussed the disorganisation and disintegration of the traditional way of life which was the product of the culture contact between the whites and the Indians. Herskovitz's major concern was with the reinterpretation of the new cultural elements so that it can be adjusted with the traditional culture of the people. He pointed out that the blacks have always tried to find out relationship between their African Gods and the Catholic saints. The ultimate result is the acculturation among the blacks in spite of their obligations to old norms and values.
           On the basis of the studies of Mead and Herskovitz on acculturation, the following conclusions have been derived :

>           (a) The acculturation results as a contact between two societies or cultures where the dominant culture often influences the weaker or primitive culture.

           (b) As a result of the influence of the dominant culture, the weaker culture is either changed totally or gradually.

           (c) The contact between the dominant and the weak cultures leads to   disorganisation of the religious practices and the traditional way of life of the latter. It creates  marginality among the members of the weak culture.

          (d) In certain situations, the people belonging to the weak culture try to find out the common elements between their culture and the dominant culture.

            The main focus of this study is to analyse the process and impact of contact between a tribe with features of primitive organisations (micro level), regional Assamese


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