Techniques for Culture Change

  • Philip D. Curtin


Among British enthusiasts for a more active West African policy, the theme of induced culture change was a constant feature. Many civilizations—perhaps most—have overvalued their own way of life and undervalued that of their neighbors. This attitude was one of long standing in the Western tradition, and it increased in force throughout the nineteenth century; but it was accompanied by another, less common belief. Most Europeans thought their own way of life represented values of universal application. Barbarians might therefore acquire “civilization.” Even more, for some Europeans, to carry civilization to the barbarians was not only possible, it was desirable. It might even become a moral duty.1


Culture Change African State Slave Trade Gold Coast African Institution 
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  • Philip D. Curtin

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