Monday, July 25, 2005

I began this as a response in the comment section of the previous post. As I kept on writing, I decided to transfer it to a new post.

Ironically you are probably the only reader that knows Latin, so perhaps you are more Latino than anyone else.

Yes, there is debate as whether Spanish, Italians, Portuguese, and the French (mon dieu!) can also be place in the L/H/H category.

Re: Immigrants from Guyana - that is one of the key questions. There seems to be a seperate category that places them in the West Indies.

Just as a question the L/H/H categories, I also question the overarching "white" category. There are so many differences and subtle forms of discimination that occurs within that category too. Of course, skin color is the prima facie (I just had to use some Latin here - I could not resist!) form of classification, yet our categories don't fit skin color. Language is a close second and this is where there is a lot of distinction even among "whites." Southern accents are frowned upon in New England. Student in the classroom would respond very differently to my lectures if I delivered them with either a "barrio" accent or a Mexican accent.

More irony - L/H/H having to speak in English in order to understand each other.

You are in one of those places where cultures intersect (Puerto Rico - for those of you who do not know). It is usually in these places that the validity of our categories are shown to be false. I look forward to reading more about your experiences there.

I think the previous post and the ensuing discussion illustrates the disconect between the way the collective and social "we" contructs and visualizes culture and the way cultures exist. We see culture as categories, entities, things, yet cultures are more like processes and experiences. Thus culture continually changes and by doing so challenges our categories. It is what makes culture so fascinating (at least to me), yet at the same it can make it distressing. If we use culture(s) to construct our identites (what we are/what we are not), we expect it to be stable and it can be alarming when we discover that it is not.

Ok, I will end my brain deluge there. If people are interested, we can continue the discussion, if not I will ponder these things on my own.

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