Saturday, February 13, 2010

Brutal Mixing: Indian Residential School in Canada and Rape as tools of Ethnic Cleansing in Sudan.

Globalization could be seemed to the entrenched and enduring patterns of interconnectedness. It suggests a growing magnitude or intensity of global flows of capitals, goods, services and labours.[1] Furthermore, it also proliferate the analysis mere than economic point of view. Globalization also affected the cultural dimension, where Hyland Eriksen[2] see that culture mixture happened in a multidirectional manner. It is to say that people in the west also absorb eastern symbols.

Development of transportation, Information and communication technology drives different mixture from the past. Nederveen[3] see that previously migrants chose between two overall monoculture settings, now they can navigate between two or more multicultural environments. This influence the identity formation of a person. Mendieta[4] stressed out that identity are never discovered or fixed, it is a social locus that is always imaginary and always in process of making.

Identity also have a power dimension, whereas political project such as nationalism, ethnonationalism, or class struggle led to a fixation of culture particularities as an imaginary community of “us” thus creating binary opposition of identity toward others as “them.” The organization of identity diversity often led to tension. For example is tension arise between Islam values and secular French as Sarkozy’s France attempt to acculturated Islam to be more “French” in a corridor of uniformity, but still claiming it as multicultural. Nederveen[5] coined it as monoculture multiculturalism. But more brute attempt to assimilate differently perceived culture also exists, such as the Indian Residential School in Canada and the usage of rape as a tool for ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan.

Founded in the 19th century and ended in 1960’s, Indian Residential School was projected to assimilate Indian Aboriginal society to integrate into the European Canadian Society.[6] The practice is building an educational facility in which very young children taken from their home, far from their society. The attempt of brutal assimilation included punishing children for speaking their own language or practicing their own faith. Also widespread physical and sexual abuse, overcrowding, poor sanitation, and a lack of medical care led to high rates of tuberculosis and increasing high death rates. This policy has had a lasting and damaging impact towards the aboriginal culture, heritage and language. On June 11, 2008, Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially issued an apology for the wrongdoing of this past policy.[7]

More brute attempt of mixing occurred in Sudan. Since 2003, the civilian population in Darfur, Sudan has been ravaged by terrors. Conflict arose between the Sudanese government in close coordination with the Arabic group Janjaweed, in one side against civilian population as a conflict target alongside the rebel army, in the other side. Massive massacre, torture and rape against women occurred in the devastating conflict.

Justin Wagner[8] stated that one element of violence against women has been the desire to populate the region with Arab babies and hinder the ability of certain African tribes to repopulate them self. A number of victims have been specifically told by their rapists that their goal was to produce Arab babies and weaken African ancestral lines. Local customs and practice dictate that rape victims are often ostracized publicly and are severely devalued as future brides, resulting in a stigma that makes having children in the future difficult for the victims of rape.

Beside a brute way of mixture, both case above embedded a message that both policy imposer use a dominant viewpoint of which is in the Canada case is to modernizing “barbaric” civilization whilst the Sudanese see women as an object and use it as a tools of war. As Carla Freeman[9] said the unrecognizing of invisible actors in the global practices will lead to undermining their significance in Globalization. Furthermore as a worldview it could led to a policy that begets identity conflict itself.

[1] Held, David and Mcgrew, Anthony,“The Great Globalization Debate: an Introduction”, p.3, in David Held & Anthony Mcgrew (eds.), 2000, The Global Transformations reader; an introduction to the globalization debate. Cambridge, Polity press.

[2] Eriksen, Thomas Hylland, Globalization. Oxford, Berg.

[3] Pietersee, Jan Nederveen, “Global Multiculturalism, flexible acculturation,”p.1, in K.Archer, M.Bosman, M.Amen, and E.Schmidt (eds.), Cultures of Globalization: Coherence, Hybridity, Contestation. London, Routledge. Available at [accessed at 14 Okt 2009]

[4] Mendieta, Eduardo, 2003. ”Afterword: Identities – Postcolonial and Global” (pp.407–417) in Linda Martin Alcoff and Eduardo Mendieta (eds.) Identities: Race, Class,Gender, and Nationality. Oxford: Blackwell.

[5] Pietersee, Jan Nederveen, “Global Multiculturalism, flexible acculturation,”p.8, in K.Archer, M.Bosman, M.Amen, and E.Schmidt (eds.), Cultures of Globalization: Coherence, Hybridity, Contestation. London, Routledge. Available at [accessed at 14 Okt 2009]

[6] “Indian Residential School”, Available at [accessed at 14 Okt 2009]

[7] Harper, Stephen, “Apology to former Students of Indian Residential Schools”, available at [accessed at 14 Okt 2009]

[8] Wagner, Justin, “The Systematic Rape as a tool of war in Darfur: A blueprint for international war crimes prosecution”, Oct 1 2005, Georgetown Journal of International Law, available at [accessed at 14 Okt 2009]

[9] Freeman, Carla, ”Is Local: Global as Feminine: Masculine? Rethinking the

Gender of Globalization” in Signs. 26(4):1007-1037. Available at [accessed at 14 okt 2009]

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