YOUR NAME HERE YOUR TUTOR HERE YOUR COURSE HERE DATE HERE Analysis of Becoming Native by J. Lockwood The notion of living backwards, as described by Lockwood, has to do with the inherent characteristics of human beings as it has been identified through social psychology and anthropology…
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Lockwood is suggesting that is part of human nature to avoid change and generally fear situations or ideas that are unfamiliar or unknown. This is the first part of living backward where people tend to revert back to what they feel comfortable with rather than embracing new ideas, thoughts, or people. This is part of being held hostage to the past that is based in inherent biology rather than being more flexible and adaptive to changing surroundings. Lockwood compares this attitude to a type of xenophobia in his essay, suggesting that there has always been a “fear and loathing of foreigners” all throughout history (Lockwood, 140). He compares situations throughout history that reinforce this fear against foreign or alien peoples. He informs the reader that Irish people were treated poorly as well as Chinese immigrants, showing again how difficult it is to overcome this inherent fear of strange peoples and avoid flexible changes in society. Lockwood further reinforces how this type of attitude is even present in government leadership by describing a conflict between himself (as an expert) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lockwood was attempting to warn the agency that there would be significant problems if the agency continued about its naturalistic activities, such as his concern over different diseases and wasps being introduced into native lands. The department argued with him about the potential for this type of natural situation, not because he is not an expert but rather because their value system was much like living backwards. The department offered, “…it is our contention that one factor that contributes to species pest status is inefficiency of the native biological control agents…” (Lockwood, 41). What the author is illustrating is that even government figures are unwilling to see beyond what they have already established as the truth, much like a fixed and rigid schema of thinking. Rather than accepting the advice of Lockwood, the agency uses its power and control to force compliance by Lockwood to simply accept their judgment despite his expert opinion and knowledge. The scientists involved in this particular conflict, Lockwood believed, are not taking a more active role as “cosmopolitan educators” (Lockwood, 141) and therefore the importance of a particular place is not being expressed properly. He seems to believe that the government agencies would have a much better sense of place at the psychological level with this type of support from the scientific community. Lockwood also describes the idea of who came first when describing the value or importance of native peoples. Lockwood believes that there is a juvenile attitude with a “finders keepers approach to the world” (Lockwood, 142). He believes that people in society tend to always look behind them in an effort to define who they are today and therefore become locked into thinking about previous struggles for land domination such as Eastern European history. In many ways, the author is suggesting that people are becoming too locked into historical records, none of which could ever be undone, and miss opportunities for expanding knowledge, culture and creativity in this process. This coincides with the concepts discussed by Lockwood about an inflexibility in society that is in-bred where people simply want to reject change and the unknown. When it comes to determining whether the right self-classification is indigenous or native, Lockwood suggests instead to think about
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