Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Latino: The Recreation of Nations

The term "Latino" is a perfect platform to discuss nationalism. Nationalism, according to Anderson, is the love for a political community imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign. Nationalism is created through historical events. Dr. Chun even expanded on these ideas by saying that Nationalism is fundamentally about love.

Latino, as the way it is generally used/defined in American (another complex sign) society, is a term born out of peoples of Central America and South America immigrating to the United States. The word attempts to describe and group these peoples.

This term points to some sort of nationality (though this nationality refers to 20 different sovereign nations with distinct cultures) and is historically created as result of immigration. Nations are both closed and open; the term Latino allows the United States to recreate South and Central American countries as part of one larger nation. "Latino" literally recreates or ERASES the existence of these distinct nations.

In the Americas, the United States has Americans and everyone else (forget Canada for the sake of my argument) is positioned as latinos or the 'other' in its own America.

What is the relationship between nationalism and "outside" nations? How does nationalism attempt to position the "other"? How able are nations without power (as defined by the situation) allowed to form their own nations and therefore their own nationalism? Even more generally, how does language inform/create nationalism (some Foucault musings would be perfect here)?

-Jamie Lynn

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