AP Human Geography Education
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What’s in a Nickname? In the case of Chiraq, a Whole Lot

What’s in a Nickname? In the case of Chiraq, a Whole Lot | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nicknames are important branding strategies used by civic boosters, and Chicago’s namesakes are frequently employed to market the city and its surrounding region as 'The Jewel of the Midwest' and 'Heart of America.' At the same time, urban monikers can arise from the wider public and they have sometimes been used to draw attention to negative qualities of Chicago life."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 11, 2015 9:37 PM

Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  Xinjiang or Eastern Turkestan?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf?  Names and nicknames have political and cultural overtones that can be very important.  As the author of this AAG article on the Chicago's nickname, Chiraq says, "city nicknames are more than a gimmick; they can define geographies of violence, marginalization, and resistance."


Tags: Chicago, urban, place, language, toponyms.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:07 PM

Illinois has been stigmatized by many negative nicknames such as "Killinois," "Shot-town," and "Chiraq." Urban crime hs always been a problem in the city of Chicago, and the most remarkable areas are on the south side of Chicago. High unemployment, poor neighborhoods, and lack of parenting/mentoring, and failing school districts all contribute to the number of young people turning to steet crime in order for survival. With so many gangs acitivities on the street, Chiraq is a city of violence and war. Chaos on the street and the killings of many innocent people increasing, government  officials needs to react with strict regulations in order to stop this violence. Poor economic status has played a significant role in the deterioration of the city. Citizen who were once classified as middle have become a part of the poor class. The relocation of housing projects in proximity to wealthier communities has instilled fear of the expansion of gang violence and activity within residents of these communities.

Lauren Quincy's curator insight, March 19, 2015 12:53 PM

Unit 3: Cultural Practices and Processes

 

This article is about how Chicago's many nicknames represent its culture and people's sense of the place. Many people have began to call Chicago by the name of "Chiraaq" and mixture of Iraq and Chicago. This is due to the violences in the city and resemblence to the action in Iraq. The nickname’s power, politically, is the way in which naming functions as a form of shaming and the name has been advertised on shirts, posters and even songs putting it into the category of pop-culture. As suggested in research, place names are not confined to official nomenclature on maps, but also include competing, vernacular systems of naming. Chicago’s many nicknames provide insight into the different ways that people frame and reconfigure the image of the city for the wider world.


This relates to unit 3 because it deals with vernacular regions and popular culture. The different names of Chicago are often not defined with a definite boundary of the city, rather an individuals opinion or idea of the area. They are often very vague with the names such as "Paris on the Prairie" that not only include Chicago but neighboring towns and cities as well. Or the opposite, where the name "Sweet Home" may only be referring to a portion of the city rather than the entire city of Chicago. The names, such as Chiraq, also fall under pop-culture when they become a widely known idea and are adopted by many sources. The advertisement and use of the nickname in songs and merchandise shows the wide range of distribution for the nickname. The use of the word is often changing and will be popular for a short period of time as popular culture is always changing. 

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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Pentagon has upset patriots by labeling the body of water between Korea and Japan in an exhibition depicting various battles fought during the 1950-53 Korean War as "Sea of Japan" rather than "East Sea."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 13, 2013 10:14 AM

Earlier this week I posted on whether a group of islands off the coast of Argentina should be called the Falkland Islands or Las Malvinas.  There is some geopolitical significance to which name you ascribe to particular places.  Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if someone else refers to this same body of water west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?"  For many years the Sea of Japan has been the defacto name internationally and South Korean officials have lobbied (quite successfully) to bolster the legitimacy of the name within the media, publishers and cartographers and other governments.  Last summer, a worker in the South Korean government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that I share some resources that state South Korea's position(see also this 10 minute video), showing their commitment to this rebranding effort.  Also see this GeoCurrents article on the subject in 2012, after South Korea's failed attempt to get international recognition.


Questions to Ponder: What other places have multiple names?  What are the political overtones to the name distinctions? What are other tricky places on the map where distinct groups would label/draw things differently?  Is the map an 'unbiased' source of information? 


Tags: language, toponyms, South Korea, historical, colonialism, cartography.

Justin McCullough's curator insight, October 17, 2013 10:16 AM

I agree with Peter Kim and others that are fighting to have the name changed to the East Sea. The term "Sea of Japan" was used in colonial times of South Korea. Now that those times are long gone, it I can understand why South Korea would want to get rid of anything related to that time period. This actually reminds of something that I'm going over in my colonial history class; the Pueblo Revolt (1680). During this time Indians revolted against the Spanish colonizers oppressing them and taking away their traditions, forcibly converting them to Christianity. During their revolt the Indians destroyed many of the Spanish institutions, especially those related to religion. They destroyed churches and even defaced the statues of the saints, and returned to their traditional practices.

This article also reminded of Sri Lanka changing the its colonial name on Government institutions from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. This happened not to long ago. The Island's colonial name (Ceylon) was dropped when they became their own country in 1972. However, the name Ceylon remained on many of the Government institutions (e.g. Bank of Ceylon or Ceylon Fisheries Corporation). However, in 2010 the name was dropped for good.  

James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 9:55 PM

(East Asia topic 10 [an independent topic])

{And finally a topic outside of China...}

Just as mentioned in a Scoop from a previous topic section, names can be viewed as more than a word which identifies a place. The context of a name can run very deep and be highly contentious. In this case "Sea of Japan" and "East Sea" are contenders for the official name of the body of water between Japan, Korea, and Russia. Sea of Japan is an older term with more of a history, which especially invokes mentioning of the Korean War. East Sea is a post-war term hopes to remove national tension form its name.

   Should officials really 'rename the wheel', or can the original name be accepted just because of its location and historical use? Or perhaps neither of these options, or even a national-level split as is currently the case?

   Personally, I see it as the difference between Aquidneck Island and Rhode Island (the actual island, of course), or even relatable to French fries vs. freedom fries. Physical things don't change just because their names do. In my view, perhaps everybody should just choose whichever they are more familiar with and comfortable using, while taking into consideration and expressing that their reference of a location is not meant to imply any political views.

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England, Britain and the UK

England, Britain and the UK | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

This is the short version of the differences between these interrelated places and terms; the long version is much more complicated than this. 

 

Tags: Europe, political, unit 4 political, states, toponyms.


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James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 2014 11:05 PM

(Europe topic 7)

Perhaps this "short" version would've been a better starting point for those less familiar with the terminology. :-) And at least this doesn;t have to be edited to include an independent Scotland, which might've sparked a debate about the terms "U.K." and "Great Britain."

Nonetheless, this serves as a great example of the often-overlooked contrast between physical and political boundaries. Perhaps a simpler example would be "the Americas" (physical) and "the United States of America" (political).

Perhaps one peculiarity which I can relate to this example is that of "Bristol County", a term used seemingly interchangeably between all towns in east-central Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. Though currently these are 2 separate counties in 2 different states which just happen to bear the same name, realizing the history behind all of these types of examples can offer further insight into the geographic contexts (physical, political, personal, etc.)

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:52 PM

Its no wonder people often get confused when referencing the UK, Britain Isles and Great Britain. I sometimes struggle with the terms and being able to locate where each of the 5 countries fall under. This diagram does a good job at pinpointing where each of the 5 countries on the eastern border of Europe lies.Great Britain consist of Scotland, England, and Wales. The United Kingdom consist of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, While Ireland consist of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And finally the British Isles consisting of all the countries within. This raises the question, if Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, is their identity shared also with the Republic of Ireland?

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 3:20 PM

To be honest here, this map clarifies a lot of things for myself. I never understood what the British Isles were compares to the UK, Great Britain and England. People used to confuse me all the time and they would refer to England as the UK or Great Britain. Now, I understand England is it's own country and it is part of the UK which is a combination of countries, where as Great Britain is just Three areas, which also include England in it. Now, I fully understand the concept of the United Kingdom and Great Britain. . 

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.
Alexis Rickey's curator insight, March 30, 9:20 PM
Pakistan is probably the most interesting "Stan" country this is. "Stan" is short for land, and the beginning of whatever comes before it usually means that those or the people from that country. Some examples being: Afghanistan, which means, "land of the Afghans and Turkmenistan, which means, "land of the Turkmen". Yet what does Pakistan mean? Pakistan is young nation with many people form it. A group of students at Cambridge University studied this country, and came up with the conclusion that Pakistan is an acronym which names the major population groups within the nation. 
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The Geography of Language

"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."


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Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 2014 6:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 2014 9:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

Chris Plummer's curator insight, January 11, 2015 11:46 PM

Summary- This video explains how so many languages came to be and why. By the early existence of human there was a such smaller variety of languages. Tribes that spoke one language would often split in search of new recourses. Searching tribe would develop in many new different ways than the original tribe. new foods, land, and other elements created a radically different language than the original. 

 

Insight- In unit 3 we study language as a big element of out chapter. One key question in chapter 6 was why are languages distributed the way they are. It is obvious from the video that languages are distributed they way they are is because of the breaking up from people which forced people to develop differently thus creating a different language. As this process continues, there become more and more branches of a language family.  

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The Names Behind The States

The Names Behind The States | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

An infographic of the etymology and cultural origins of the names that made the United States of America.


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Seth Dixon's comment, May 6, 2013 3:21 PM
@Carly, Texas is also inaccurate...
Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 12, 2013 8:52 PM

The Names Behind The States | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

Aulde de Barbuat's comment, May 18, 2013 7:08 AM
quite interesting, thanks. Unhappily, the link seems broken..Do you happen to have another one?
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A Rio Runs Through It: Naming the American Stream

A Rio Runs Through It: Naming the American Stream | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

Displayed is a map originally produced by Derek Watkins.  This map is a fantastic combination of physical and cultural geography.  While most flowing bodies of water will be called rivers or streams, the lesser used terms (brook, fork, bayou, run, arroyo, etc.) show a striking regionalization of toponym regions.  What do these patterns indicate?  Why are in those toponyms found in those particular places? 


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cookiesrgreat's comment, February 2, 2012 5:12 PM
This is one of my favorite maps. Combines geography, language and history
Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 5, 2014 8:23 PM

unit 3

Devyn Hantgin's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:27 PM

How to define regions and evaluate the regionalization process

This maps shows the different names to describe a river. The colors show regions based on what they call the body of water. Language is a great way to separate a population into regions.

This relates to our unit of study because we talk about regionalization and the different ways populations are divided into regions. When we look at the USA we tend to see patterns between the North and the South and the way they name things differently. 

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Daily Show: The Amazing Racism - Geographical Bigotry

Wyatt Cenac reports on racially charged geographical names in America.

 

Discretion is advised since there is some offensive language in this comedy sketch.  Yet underneath is a serious point about racially insensitive toponyms and their legacy in the United States (recently in the news with Gov. Perry in Texas).  Geographer Mark Monmonier tackles this topic in his book, "From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame."


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