ERIC Number: ED454011
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
American Indians' Construction of Cultural Identity.
Glatzmaier, Luann; Myers, Monique; Bordogna, Melissa A.
This paper examines how American Indians construct and describe their own cultural identities. In particular, it focuses on cultural group identity from the perspective of three American Indians living in an urban setting, and on the ways that cultural identity can be communicated and enacted. Two American Indian women and one American Indian man, aged 25-40, were interviewed. Themes related to the construction of cultural identity were identified, and second interviews were conducted to confirm and enlarge those themes. Major themes were: (1) self-identification as Indian or as a member of a specific tribe versus identity imposed by others, particularly the federal government; (2) use of cultural practices and rituals to affirm identity, communicate it to others, and connect with other Indians; (3) story telling as a means of teaching and learning cultural values and heritage; (4) the tensions of balancing traditional Indian ways with living in the modern American world; (5) shared Native history of language loss; (6) silence as a way of communicating; (7) the importance of spirituality and respect for nature; and (8) perpetuating culture and transmitting it to children by modeling values and practices. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A