Cultural Variation within the usa native American Families

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Cultural Variation within the USA

Native American Families

  • Issue of being grouped together versus diversity

Native American History

  • Huge drop in population historically.

  • War, disease

  • Early 1800s: Europeans; Assimilation

  • Government Goal: Assimilation

  • Educational system 

  • By mid-1800s, Native Americans no longer perceived as a threat

  • Reservations or “sanctuaries.”

History, Cont.

  • Early 1900s: 1924–citizenship. Right to vote determined by state

  • 1960s–Activism. Financial aid

  • More say re: children 

  • 1975–Education 

Native American Values

  • Harmony with Nature–similar to Schwartz’s idea of harmony versus mastery

  • Mainstream culture: Mastery.

  • Native-American culture: Harmony.

  • Chief Seattle–letter

Native American Values

Values: Relationships and Family Roles

Children: Self-sufficience & collectivism

Age Expected to Accomplish (years)


Anglo- Afro- Native-

American American American


Dress self 3.7 4.0 2.8

Do regular

chores 6.1 6.3 5.4

Go downtown

alone 13.5 12.8 10.6

Left alone in

evening 14.4 13.6 9.2

Take care of

younger sibling 13.1 12.9 9.9

Go on dates 16.4 16.5 15.7

Milestones not always similar. European v.s. Native American

Relationships and Family Roles


  • Health

  • Traditional ceremonies versus mainstream health care.

  • Religion



  • Berry: People vary in terms of 1) valuing their culture of origin, and 2) valuing mainstream culture

  • Thus integrated/bicultural, separated/traditional, assimilated, marginal

  • Bicultural families versus marginal families

  • Trends for separated/traditional and assimilated

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