ERIC Number: ED220557
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Ethnic Studies and the Politics of Higher Education.
Harvey, William B.
The shift in focus of ethnic studies in American universities from Western European nations toward the developing nations of the Third World represents a growing recognition of the reality of international interdependence versus the myth of American independence. American economic and political interests in the Third World emphasize the importance of considering Third World outlooks and opinions which were largely ignored in the past. Ethnic studies have thus emerged as the academic community's response to the general need to study and understand Third World cultures. Because of the tendency in the United States to regard Third World peoples as exotic, ethnic studies face the challenges of presenting accurate and realistic perspectives on developing nations, avoiding an inherent Western cultural slant in such studies, and employing cultural relativism instead of imposing culturally biased judgments on Third World experiences. Those involved in ethnic studies have an obligation to ensure that information and knowledge about the Third World are used in ways that are useful and not detrimental to the peoples of those nations. By combating myth and prejudice with fact, and by revealing commonalities of human experience, ethnic studies can contribute to promoting communication and understanding among peoples from different backgrounds. (Author/MJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For related document see ED 206 232.