Quickdraw

December 15, 2017

In this extract from Quickdraw, the character is both literally and metaphorically in a hole. It is believable that the character would have better knowledge of the Comanche culture because of his Harvard course. However, he approaches the culture in a reductive and condescending way, worsening his situation instead of bettering it. Even though the Comanche speaker does not look insulted by the actions of the sheriff described to him, he is rightfully offended when the sheriff uses the word "costume" to describe his clothing. By the end of the conversation, he has dug himself deeper in the metaphorical hole and probably made another enemy.

This reminds us that each culture is complex. Having a reductive approach of a culture - like the sheriff - can makes whichever knowledge of said culture into a burden instead  of an advantage. Being partially savvy about a culture or a topic can sometimes be more dangerous than knowing nothing at all because it can give the illusion of expertise. That's why when having to do culturally-aware work, it is often better to bring in an expert than relying on limited knowledge on said culture.

 

 

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