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Sami Knowledge vs. Western Knowledge

By Mávnos (Joey Mellott)

Sami Knowledge

  • Experiential: knowledge, especially language is gained by doing tasks and experiencing the world.
  • Apprenticeship: knowledge is passed from an older person to a younger person through doing activities together and storytelling.
  • Oral Tradition: informal storytelling serves as a means of transmitting knowledge.
  • Narrational: multiple stories of how people operate in the world (world-views) and cultural knowledge are acceptable.
  • Non-binary: objects in the world are classified mentally and linguistically according to utility or relevance.

Western Knowledge

  • Theoretical: knowledge is based on application of empirical information to a theoretical framework.
  • Teacher-student: knowledge is passed from an older person to a younger person in a one-sided monologue. The teacher is assumed to have more or better knowledge than the student, and therefore power.
  • Written Tradition: knowledge is “unacceptable” until it is validated in writing. Main transference of knowledge is through written materials.
  • Meta-narrational: stories are subsumed under a few overarching narratives that claim to explain everything in a certain terrain of knowledge.
  • Binary: certain knowledge or categories are placed in opposition with others. One group is privileged while the other group is marginalized.