Reflection PaperIn the article “The Return of the Native” Adam Kuper discusses the importance of the essentialism and its application in contemporary world. Kuper argues that essentialism should be addresses with the purpose to avoid criticism as, for example in the case of modern anthropology hat was strongly criticized by postcolonial and postmodern anthropology.
Actually, despite people have contributed to public recognition of collective rights, the rights of indigenous people are still ignored and discriminated. I think the author is quite right when he recommends not simply criticizing the foundation of essentialism, but to find alternatives without reformulating the culture and the identity. In the article “On the Return of the Native” Ash and Samson provide critical overview of the Kuper’s arguments about collective rights and indigenous people. In particular, they raise two key arguments against Kuper’s claim. They argue that the claim that all people in the New World are immigrant and, therefore, indigenous people couldn’t come before is not sound and valid. Secondly, they oppose the idea that contemporary anthropology has changed its attitudes towards indigenous people as primitive people. For example, in Canada support for indigenous rights doesn’t distinguish between ‘primitive’ and ‘indigenous’ people.
In the article “Relativism and Rights” Niezen considers some of the peculiarities of the relativism and states that indigenous rights should be widely recognized. Modern world should avoid ethnic, racial and gender discrimination. Indigenous people should be provided with equal collective and private rights. The idea of collective rights of indigenous people was strongly opposed in many states, and even today some resist collective rights, especially the right to self-determination. The author recommends recognition of indigenous rights not to encourage strident irredentism. I think that relativism and collective rights are two the most important problems that human rights movement is facing today.ReferencesNiezen, Ronald.
Relativism and Rights, pp.95-141.Kuper, Adam. (2003, June).
The Return of the Native. Current Anthropology, 44, 13, pp.389-395.Ash, M., & Samson, C. (2004, April). On the Return of the Native.
Current Anthropology, 45, 2, pp. 261-262.