Seventeenth-Century North American Travel Narratives: Nation-ness and Self-Reflectivity

Binney, Matthew
October 2006
Seventeenth Century;Autumn2006, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p383
Academic Journal
This study seeks to explore the reciprocity inherent in cultural relations between Europeans and North American natives at the beginning and end of the seventeenth century. Using four chronologically decisive and representative narratives of European mind-sets by John Smith, Samuel de Champlain, John Josselyn, and Baron de Lahontan, the author argues that the universalist perceptions of foreign cultures within the early seventeenth century evolve into an acceptance of particular differences by the end of the seventeenth century, acknowledging the importance of differing individual and cultural positions. The author uses the sociological theories of Benedict Anderson's imagined community and Niklas Luhmann's systems theory to argue that the European community evolves towards recognizing cultural differences.


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