Human Geography is Everything!
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Language: The cornerstone of national identity

Language: The cornerstone of national identity | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"Of the national identity attributes included in the Pew Research Center survey, language far and away is seen as the most critical to national identity. Majorities in each of the 14 countries polled say it is very important to speak the native language to be considered a true member of the nation."


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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, February 6, 9:03 AM
The link between language and national identity is important as shown in this article as Europeans believe it is the the number one link and most important.  From an American standpoint this was interesting to read as the trend nowadays, especially in America is to be more open to multiple languages and always viewing Europe as a place where many of the people that would live their would speak multiple languages as well.  How we communicate with people is very important obviously and now it has even become a political issue.  If you tend to lend more left you link national identity and language less and if you lean more right you tend to link national identity and language more. This is something that will continue to play out in the United States over the next decade as the Hispanic community continues to grow in the country and language will come to the forefront. While America has always been a melting pot of people, English has always survived as its dominate language and a way to identify Americans. Twenty or Thirty years from now will that continue? Will Americans lose that as and Identity, how will that effect them? Will this become a major political battle as well, how will this play out in elections in 2020, 2024, 2028, and beyond. Some very interesting trends to look at.  
Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 9, 3:37 PM
For most of Europe, but especially older and more conservative Europeans, being able to speak the language of the country you live in is incredibly closely tied to national identity. Therefore, immigrants who arrive and do not speak the language are viewed as "others" and not belonging. This close tie between language and national identity serves as one of the fuels for anti-immigrant sentiments in many European nations. Although this sentiment is not confined to just Europe.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2:26 PM
(Europe) Throughout Europe and North America, the majority of citizens believe the national language is essential to the country's identity. For immigrants to be considered a part of these countries, the majority believe proficiency is required. In the United States, age, education, and religion are all factors contributing to this view, however race has little effect on people's view of language. Like America, older and more conservative Europeans place a higher emphasis on language. National identity can be a geopolitical problem for the European Union because some countries believe the 24 official languages subvert autonomy and internal unity. Interestingly Canada, a country with two official languages, places a lessor importance on language, with only a 59% majority believing it is fundamental to identity.
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These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa

These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"African countries are also quite diverse from an ethnic standpoint. As the Washington Post's Max Fisher noted back in 2013, the world's 20 most ethnically diverse countries are all African, partially because European colonial powers divvied up sections of the continent with little regard for how the residents would have organized the land themselves. This map above shows Africa's ethnographic regions as identified by George Murdock in his 1959 ethnography of the continent."

 

Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, political, language, ethnicity.


Via Seth Dixon
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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:54 AM

Africa is a very diverse and complicated continent due o mistakes made in the Berlin Conference. The strange boundaries drawn restrict these African nations to be one with their own people not with their enemies.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:51 PM

We have seen the repercussions of ethnic tensions play out in the Balkans, the Middle East, and even in the United States, and Africa is no exception. Arbitrarily drawn national borders- the remnants of European colonialism- means that there is often significant ethnic diversity within many African nations. Although this creates interesting blends of language and culture, it has often bred violence in many countries, perhaps most notably in South Africa and Rwanda. Although many members of the West like to lump the entire continent into a single category, this could not be further from the truth. The second largest continent with extreme biodiversity, it has bred thousands of languages and hundreds of different cultural backgrounds, sometimes within a single country. It is important for the West to understand the complex make-up of the African continent in order to avoid the Eurocentric assumptions many Westerners make when discussing the continent. There isn't a single "Africa"- there isn't even a single "Nigeria," but rather a multitude of different peoples and cultures, equally as complex as those found in other regions of the world. This map does a very good job at illustrating the complexity and richness of the continent.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:20 AM

People often underestimate how diverse Africa really is. We often have the tendency to lump all Africans together in one large ethnic group. The actual number of different ethnic groups in Africa is rather staggering. This map can also be used as a partial explanation for the amount of ethnic conflict in Africa. Often times, these ethnic groups are squashed together in states with poorly drawn borders. Under that situation, ethnic conflict becomes inevitable.

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The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang

The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"China is in the midst of a crackdown on what it describes as 'terrorism driven by religious extremism'. The campaign is focused on the western province of Xinjiang, home to China's Uighur ethnic minority who are predominantly Muslim."


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Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 2015 7:37 PM

This art seems like a logical extension of the government’s use of power although I personally don’t agree with their abuse of power. In China the government will uses its authority to monitor the personal activities of its citizens as demonstrated by the pictures dictating what people should and shouldn’t wear. When the citizens don’t follow through with China’s rule, violence typically happens. In fact, a fair deal of the paintings showed violence (i.e. the tank running people over). I actually find those depictions more offensive and disturbing than any of the other pictures because the end result is clearly that of dath rather than disapproval. Now, I understand that some places need to be ruled with an iron fist (i.e. Iraq), however I don’t really see how threatening people with more violence solves the issue of extremism. If anything, doesn’t this just give the extremist more of a reason to dislike the government? As such, is the government just creating more resentment that will lead to demonstrations in the future? I say this because eventually when a local population is subject to such horrible treatment, there isn't much else to lose and very little reason no to fight back. 

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:20 PM

This article has great insight on the way government influences popular belief. We have seen these many times in American society also when government was afraid of communism during the cold war for instance. Often we have prejudgements or beliefs and we are not sure where they even stem from. Pushed Propaganda can be very influential over the mass population, in instilling certain beliefs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:45 PM
The point the Chinese are trying to make is that the Muslim people are bad, they do unacceptable things and it needs to be taken care of. They are making it hard for a couple to get married and if they do it is with special permission. They even banned anyone under the age of 18 to enter a mosque. Praying in Xinjiang is highly regulated and comes with strict rules and consequences. In all their propaganda you can see how they represent getting rid of the muslims because they are wearing black. If you ask me, it seems like the government is doing this because they are afraid of being taken over and losing the area, just like we used to use propaganda in the wars.
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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:38 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, this article is about Aborigines in Australia protesting "racist" government policies. It sounds like the Australian version of what would happen if America's Native Americans teamed up with a racial oppression organization. They are apparently threatening to shut down the most famous landmark in Australia to visitors if the government doesn't change it's position. I don't blame them, fight the power!!

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 10, 2015 7:08 PM

the government punishing a whole culture for crimes is outrageous. Not all are guilty but all are punished. it is proven fact that more minorities in this country are incarcerated for drug usage than whites but that doesn't mean you jail all black people. The government is being racist because the aboriginal are poverty stricken group who do not contribute to society, they only have a population of 300,000 people. In the governments eyes they just exist on the land and do nothing for the economy. Well it must have some influence because they are protesting by not allowing tourists climb Uluru or Ayers rock. I guess the government will not be collecting permit fees or other fees associated with the climbing of the rock. Tourism should take a hit from hotel accomendations  to hiking tour guides to purchasing gear etc...

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:22 PM

Australia has always had troubles dealing with their past actions against the native population of their island, and this will hopefully be a wake up call on the policies they have taken.

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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.

Via Seth Dixon
Scarpaci Human Geography's insight:

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 14, 2012 9:18 AM

While the idea of everyone of the same nationality belonging to the same country might be considered an ideal situation, the world's ethnic geography is too jumbled to create perfect nation-states.  South Tyrol is a part of Italy that is one of those places with mixed a ethnic, linguistic and political heritage.  By different criteria, many of the residents could be considered German, Austrian or Italian or a combination of the them.  Since the Euro Zone fiscal crisis, the push for political autonomy in South Tyrol has intensified, in part because this region has avoided the crisis and is economically fairing better than the rest of Italy.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How do political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?  

 

Tags: Italy, states, autonomy, ethnic, language, devolution.

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 8:14 PM

Being an eighth Tyrolean, I remember my great uncles and other family members complaining about this at every family reunion. Newer generations in my family would refer to themselves as Italian, and the arguments would ensue. That being said, it is no surprise that those living in what was once Tyrol have faced conflict. Historically, peoples with languages, cultural heritages, or religions that differ from the rest of a country usually hold grievances. During the time of Mussolini, Italians were encouraged to move to the northern reaches and Italian was forcibly taught in the school systems. Italy's past of forcing the Austrian speaking Tyroleans to assimilate into a more Italian culture may remain, but fortunately, they have worked to preserve their culture. The bilingual nature of this region allows for the people to thrive in business and tourism. Unfortunately, this autonomous state is facing dark times as Italy's financial crisis puts pressure on South Tyrol by increasing taxes. Many see this as a continuation of Italian oppression on a not so Italian demographic. 

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Language: The cornerstone of national identity

Language: The cornerstone of national identity | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"Of the national identity attributes included in the Pew Research Center survey, language far and away is seen as the most critical to national identity. Majorities in each of the 14 countries polled say it is very important to speak the native language to be considered a true member of the nation."


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, February 6, 9:03 AM
The link between language and national identity is important as shown in this article as Europeans believe it is the the number one link and most important.  From an American standpoint this was interesting to read as the trend nowadays, especially in America is to be more open to multiple languages and always viewing Europe as a place where many of the people that would live their would speak multiple languages as well.  How we communicate with people is very important obviously and now it has even become a political issue.  If you tend to lend more left you link national identity and language less and if you lean more right you tend to link national identity and language more. This is something that will continue to play out in the United States over the next decade as the Hispanic community continues to grow in the country and language will come to the forefront. While America has always been a melting pot of people, English has always survived as its dominate language and a way to identify Americans. Twenty or Thirty years from now will that continue? Will Americans lose that as and Identity, how will that effect them? Will this become a major political battle as well, how will this play out in elections in 2020, 2024, 2028, and beyond. Some very interesting trends to look at.  
Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 9, 3:37 PM
For most of Europe, but especially older and more conservative Europeans, being able to speak the language of the country you live in is incredibly closely tied to national identity. Therefore, immigrants who arrive and do not speak the language are viewed as "others" and not belonging. This close tie between language and national identity serves as one of the fuels for anti-immigrant sentiments in many European nations. Although this sentiment is not confined to just Europe.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2:26 PM
(Europe) Throughout Europe and North America, the majority of citizens believe the national language is essential to the country's identity. For immigrants to be considered a part of these countries, the majority believe proficiency is required. In the United States, age, education, and religion are all factors contributing to this view, however race has little effect on people's view of language. Like America, older and more conservative Europeans place a higher emphasis on language. National identity can be a geopolitical problem for the European Union because some countries believe the 24 official languages subvert autonomy and internal unity. Interestingly Canada, a country with two official languages, places a lessor importance on language, with only a 59% majority believing it is fundamental to identity.
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London's second languages mapped by tube stop

London's second languages mapped by tube stop | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"Walk along the streets of London and it’s not uncommon to hear a variety of langauges jostling for space in your eardrums. Step inside a tube carriage on the underground and the story is no different.

Oliver O’Brien, researcher in geovisualisation and web mapping at University College London’s department of geography, has created a map showing what the most common second language (after English) is at certain tube stops across the capital.

Using a map of tube journeys and busy stations that he had previously created, O’Brien used 2011 Census data to add the second most commonly spoken language that people who live nearby speak."


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 11, 2015 9:12 AM

This map is an excellent way to introduce the concept of ethnic neighborhoods and show how they spatially form and what ties them together.  This other article shows how the spatial arrangement of London's population has changed from 1939 to today. 


Tags: London, urbantransportation, ethnicitylanguage, culture.

Bharat Employment's curator insight, February 12, 2015 11:45 PM

http://www.bharatemployment.com/

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 6, 2015 9:29 PM

This made me think of how this could be done in New York City.  I imagine results would be similar.  You could map out the languages for sure.  

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Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."


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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

The Soviet Union forced vast amounts of people and ethnic groups out of their historical homelands to settle new areas during the early and mid 20th century. Many of those forced into resettlement died, and today some consider it a genocide or crime against humanity. As ethnic groups were moved out, ethnic Russians were moved in to take their places, and explains why many places outside of Russia (Ukraine) have populations that still maintain strong Russian identities. It also explains why places like Chechnya have such a long history of insurgency and extremism against Russian authority and power.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:37 PM

This graph represents the areas where many of the Chechnes had been displaced to in the era of Stalins regime. Many of these people were displaced from their homes and forced to move. Many of them either had to leave family behind of they were forced to move together and had no initial home to live in.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:51 PM

i see this as history retelling itself. for some reason throughout history terrible men think that their race is better than another, this is not true and if a person wants to think this that is their prerogative, but some men think it to such an extent that they seek to eliminate the entire other people. nothing good can come of this and it turns into mass conflict every time. it destroys countries and breeds hate on all sides.

Rescooped by Scarpaci Human Geography from Geography Education
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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.

Via Seth Dixon
more...
Scarpaci Human Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:13 AM

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 8:14 PM

Being an eighth Tyrolean, I remember my great uncles and other family members complaining about this at every family reunion. Newer generations in my family would refer to themselves as Italian, and the arguments would ensue. That being said, it is no surprise that those living in what was once Tyrol have faced conflict. Historically, peoples with languages, cultural heritages, or religions that differ from the rest of a country usually hold grievances. During the time of Mussolini, Italians were encouraged to move to the northern reaches and Italian was forcibly taught in the school systems. Italy's past of forcing the Austrian speaking Tyroleans to assimilate into a more Italian culture may remain, but fortunately, they have worked to preserve their culture. The bilingual nature of this region allows for the people to thrive in business and tourism. Unfortunately, this autonomous state is facing dark times as Italy's financial crisis puts pressure on South Tyrol by increasing taxes. Many see this as a continuation of Italian oppression on a not so Italian demographic.