Posts tagged ethnicity

Calling race a “social construct” does not mean that the biological ancestry — and specifically West African ancestry — of African Americans is mythical. It also doesn’t mean that my ancestry has no actual implications. (See the map of sickle-cell density above.) And in the future, it may mean even more. Ancestry — where my great-great-great-great grandparents are from — is a fact. What you call people with that particular ancestry is not. It changes depending on where you are in the world, when you are there, and who has power.
Ta-Nehisi Coates  (via theatlantic)

Despite the fact that constructivism is the dominant perspective on nationalism (only instrumentalist, which could be thought of as a peculiar subtype of constructivism, rivals it) in academia, it’s one of the toughest concepts for many students to grasp. Especially since so many academic works implicitly rely on primordial it’s assumptions whenever they tackle ethnicity, culture, religion, or other similar concepts. And especially if they do so in quantitative studies.

From globalvoices:


Cecile Kyenge has already been welcomed by the worst of Italy as we should have expected. But she will not be afraid.

Two months after the February 2013 Italian general election, Prime Minister Enrico Letta, selected by President Giorgio Napolitano to create a consensus government, revealed the members of his team. Among the surprises was the nomination of Doctor Cecile Kyenge, specialist in Opthamology, as Minister of Integration.
Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she is the first immigrant ever to accede to a ministerial position in Italy. 

Emphasis mine. Interesting to see Europe countries becoming increasingly more aware of their status as an “immigrant” countries. I’m curious to see how this changes national imaginaries (yes, I’m a constructivist) in one of the most “nationalist” of continents. 

From globalvoices:

Cecile Kyenge has already been welcomed by the worst of Italy as we should have expected. But she will not be afraid.

Two months after the February 2013 Italian general election, Prime Minister Enrico Letta, selected by President Giorgio Napolitano to create a consensus government, revealed the members of his team. Among the surprises was the nomination of Doctor Cecile Kyenge, specialist in Opthamology, as Minister of Integration.

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she is the first immigrant ever to accede to a ministerial position in Italy. 

Emphasis mine. Interesting to see Europe countries becoming increasingly more aware of their status as an “immigrant” countries. I’m curious to see how this changes national imaginaries (yes, I’m a constructivist) in one of the most “nationalist” of continents. 

From theatlantic:

How Cuban Villagers Learned They Descended From Sierra Leone Slaves

Even the Afro-Cubans who kept alive the songs and dances of this specific chiefdom had lost all knowledge of where they originated. Only by a long and arduous search, and with a great amount of luck, did my thousands of informants lead me here, where on my first visit the people looked at my screen in utter astonishment, said “they are we,” and then joined in with the songs.
Read more. [Image: They Are We]


Fascinating.

From theatlantic:

How Cuban Villagers Learned They Descended From Sierra Leone Slaves

Even the Afro-Cubans who kept alive the songs and dances of this specific chiefdom had lost all knowledge of where they originated. Only by a long and arduous search, and with a great amount of luck, did my thousands of informants lead me here, where on my first visit the people looked at my screen in utter astonishment, said “they are we,” and then joined in with the songs.

Read more. [Image: They Are We]

Fascinating.

Code Switch: How Code-Switching Explains The World

From nprcodeswitch:

imageGene Demby, Code Switch’s blog host, writes:

So you’re at work one day and you’re talking to your colleagues in that professional, polite, kind of buttoned-up voice that people use when they’re doing professional work stuff.

Your mom or your friend or your partner calls on the phone…

This should be awesome. Instant follow on Tumblr.

The slideshow for the talk I gave today (hopefully YouTube clip to follow) on “Being Hispanic/Latino in Academia.” Thanks to everyone who came out to hear me.

The first part (mostly pictures) was just a backdrop for me to talk about my least favorite question: “Where are you from?” It’s a complicated question to answer for a lot of reasons. I was born in Bolivia, but grew up in Michigan. But, mostly, the assumption that I can’t be “from here” (even though I’m a natural-born citizen—for some reason SlideShare crops my US passport oddly).

The rest of the talk was based on the limited research I was able to find that look at minority representation in academia. 

The word cloud is made out of my cv. I thought it was a fun way to think about “who I am” and “what I do” academically.

Brazil Approves Racial Quotas in Higher Education

From globalvoices:

The Supreme Court of Brazil has unanimously approved the adoption of racial quota policies in higher education institutions across the country. The approval of the policy brings up again the controversial debate on racial discrimination and racial inequality in the country.

If you want a great background on this issues, I highly recommend the PBS Wide Angle documentary, “Brazil in Black & White.” I regularly assign it to my POL 102 students. Because the documentary also shows the differences in how public university systems work in Brazil (students pay almost no tuition and entrance is based on a single standardized test), it tends to generate a good deal of discussion.

If you think airport security is a hassle … try going through it with a “funny” last name, an accent, or a certain “ethnic” look. 
From aljazeera:

Dear America: My name is Khan. I’m not a terrorist

If you think airport security is a hassle … try going through it with a “funny” last name, an accent, or a certain “ethnic” look. 

From aljazeera:

Dear America: My name is Khan. I’m not a terrorist

Political Representation & Social Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala | Americas Quarterly
Researchers from the Americas Society & Council of the Americas (AS/COA) have just released a white paper comparing the effects increased representation of indigenous and Afro-descendant minorities in the legislatures of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Guatemala. It’s a great brief resource on the subject. 

Political Representation & Social Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala | Americas Quarterly

Researchers from the Americas Society & Council of the Americas (AS/COA) have just released a white paper comparing the effects increased representation of indigenous and Afro-descendant minorities in the legislatures of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Guatemala. It’s a great brief resource on the subject. 

Surprisingly powerful. Even if not as clever as http://muslimswearingthings.tumblr.com.
From life:

A self-described “visual anthropologist” and social explorer,  27-year-old photographer Umair Jangda has created a  remarkable series of images based on a simple, sneakily powerful  concept: namely, that photographing Muslims of different ages and  backgrounds dressed in both contemporary clothes and in traditional  Islamic attire might well be one way to alter the perception of Islam in  the West.

“After a bit of a false start with this project,” Jangda told LIFE.com,  “I realized that, ironically, I needed to show the stereotype [of how  Muslims appear to Western eyes] in order to to battle that stereotype.

LIFE.com presents a selection of images from Jangda’s work-in-progress: The Muslim Behind Islam.

Surprisingly powerful. Even if not as clever as http://muslimswearingthings.tumblr.com.

From life:

A self-described “visual anthropologist” and social explorer, 27-year-old photographer Umair Jangda has created a remarkable series of images based on a simple, sneakily powerful concept: namely, that photographing Muslims of different ages and backgrounds dressed in both contemporary clothes and in traditional Islamic attire might well be one way to alter the perception of Islam in the West.

“After a bit of a false start with this project,” Jangda told LIFE.com, “I realized that, ironically, I needed to show the stereotype [of how Muslims appear to Western eyes] in order to to battle that stereotype.

LIFE.com presents a selection of images from Jangda’s work-in-progress: The Muslim Behind Islam.

An interesting example of within-case comparison. And significant food for thought.
From npr:

Experts say the Great Recession is erasing slow but steady economic gains made by blacks in recent decades. The foreclosure crisis is having a particularly devastating impact, they say, erasing years of racial progress. (via Racial Gap In Homeownership Widens In U.S. Slump : NPR)
Graphic Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Graphic Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

An interesting example of within-case comparison. And significant food for thought.

From npr:

Experts say the Great Recession is erasing slow but steady economic gains made by blacks in recent decades. The foreclosure crisis is having a particularly devastating impact, they say, erasing years of racial progress. (via Racial Gap In Homeownership Widens In U.S. Slump : NPR)

Graphic Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Graphic Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR