HIST 107 American Settler Colonialism Natives Turned Outsiders Foreigners Questions


Settler Colonialism refers to a form of ongoing colonization in which colonizing powers create permanent or long-term settlement on land owned and/or occupied by other peoples, often by force.  This form of colonization is an ongoing system of power that perpetuates the genocide and repression of indigenous peoples and cultures.  Settler colonialism normalizes the continuous settler occupation, exploiting lands and resources to which indigenous peoples have genealogical relationships. Settler colonialism includes interlocking forms of oppression, including racism, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism. This is because settler colonizers are Eurocentric and assume that European values with respect to ethnic, and therefore moral, superiority are inevitable and natural.  Understanding settler colonialism as an ongoing structure rather than a past historical event serves as the basis for an historically grounded and inclusive analysis of U.S. race and gender formation.  The concept is linked to imperialism, an ideology of global empire building, and colonialism which is the external control of foreign territories and indigenous people by a European-derived system of domination.
Ethnocentrism is a concept used to interpret or evaluate groups of individuals and their cultures based in terms of one’s own cultural norms, traditions, customs, and religious systems.  It views one own culture as “normal” and, perhaps, universal or correct.  In this way, it centers one’s ethnic experience while displacing all other experiences by other ethnic groups as outside acceptable forms of culture. Ethnocentrism is responsible for creating the idea of outside groups that are less than “insiders” within the same environment.  For example, Takaki explains early in A Different Mirror that early European settlers conveniently labeled Native Americans as “savages” in order to justify European domination and indigenous extermination.  In other words, the culture and traditions of indigenous people are not worth preserving from a European with an ethnocentric view.  The most common form of ethnocentrism in both colonial and modern history is Eurocentrism, which privileges European culture and identity above all other human forms of expression, tradition, and worldviews.
The White Spatial Imaginary refers to the principal way the “racialization of space and the spatialization of race” take place in the United States. (Lipsitz 2007).  The concept is marked by “exclusivity and augmented exchange of value” (Lipsitz: 13).  For example, the creation of “white-only” neighborhoods where the monetary value of houses is exponentially more than similar homes built in segregated or racially-mixed neighborhoods.  The White Spatial Imaginary (henceforth, WSI) “functions as a central mechanism for skewing opportunities and life chances in the United States along racial lines.  Whiteness, as used here, is an analytical category that refers to the structured advantages that accrue to whites because of past and present discrimination” (ibid).  Furthermore, it must be noted, that “not all people who are white consciously embrace the white spatial imaginary, and not all whites profit equally from their whiteness, but all whites benefit from the association of whiteness with privilege and the neighborhood effects of spaces defined by their racial demography” (ibid).  WSI was necessary to ensure the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny, a white nationalist protest mission to expand the U.S. across the continent, whereby Europeans took territorial possession of much of the continent without remorse or hesitation.
Sovereignty is an idea of organized territorial authorities (e.g. states, nations) with clear boundaries.  Sovereignty is expressed in the various relations and activities by “nations” or “states,” and is arguably the most fundamental idea that outlines borders where each territory is expected to have a name and government. Sovereignty as a concept first emerged with exclusive application by European powers abroad. In other words, only European empires or kingdoms had a right to claim sovereignty over foreign lands and also to have such claims be respected or acknowledged by other European powers. In this way, sovereignty emerges as a conceptual tool used to confront the challenge for Europe’s division of the world for itself. The legacy of colonial powers and influences, and the importance behind efforts to decolonize, are embedded in the concept of sovereignty. All territorial authorities seek sovereignty but it was never designed to be achieved by all equally.
Citizenship refers to an individual’s status within the law and the rights, interests, and obligations that come with the institutional status. It also refers to the perceived, fantasized, and imagined social relation among strangers where personal identity intersects nationality.  Citizenship is a form of political training at an early age which reinforces not only ideological distinctions but also responses of “insiders” and “outsiders” (Burgett et al. 44). It dictates social belonging as well as legal belonging, manipulating the narrative used to describe a nation’s history and those who contribute to it. In other words, citizenship directly influences what or who is spoken about in the Master Narrativeand how they’re represented within it. Race, class, gender, and sexuality are mechanisms by which to examine the uneven access to the full benefits of citizenship in the United States.
Begin to think and think again
You have a mind; what’s it thinking?
Instructions: Write 100+ words on one (1) course concept above.*  
Define what the concept means in your own words (3 pts).
Think of a useful description or example of the concept (4 pts).
Create your own reason that explains why this concept is significant to Ethnic Studies (3 pts).
Guidance: Follow the three (3) requirements above to receive maximum points.  No other rules apply (citations, format, etc.). Base your response on what you already know, not the unit lecture.  In other words, use your own knowledge to create knowledge about a concept: you can tie in your own personal experiences, stories, and examples.

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