Ethnic Geography. The Human Mosaic Chapter 9. Examples of ethnic enclaves in the United States. North Boston Mounted statue of American hero Paul Revere is in an Italian neighborhood Most businesses have Italian names
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Ethnic Geography The Human Mosaic Chapter 9
Examples of ethnic enclaves in the United States • North Boston • Mounted statue of American hero Paul Revere is in an Italian neighborhood • Most businesses have Italian names • Women lean out of upper-story windows conversing —Naples-style — to neighbors across the street • Italian-dominated outdoor vegetable market • Pilgrimage to the site where the American Revolution began has become a trip to Little Italy
Examples of ethnic enclaves in the United States • Wilber, Nebraska, bills itself “The Czech Capital of Nebraska” • Holds an annual “National Czech Festival” • Authentic food, and locally made handicraft are offered for sale • Many shops are decorated in Czech motif and ethnic music is played on the streets • The festival draws thousands of visitors each year
Examples of ethnic enclaves in the United States • Other ethnic festivals held in Nebraska • Newman Grove—”Norwegian Days” • Bridgeport—”the Greek Festival” • Dannebrog—the Danish “Grundlovs Fest” • McCook—”German Heritage Days” • Stromsburg—the “Swedish Festival”O’Neal—the “St. Patrick’s Day Celebration” • Several Indian tribal “powwows” are held in other cities
Examples of ethnic enclaves in the United States • An ethnic crazy-quilt pattern exists in both urban and rural areas of the United States • Same kind of pattern exists in Canada, Russia, China, and many other countries
Problems encountered when defining ethnic group • Controversy has surround attempts to formulate an accepted definition • Word ethnic derived from Greek word ethnos meaning “people” or “nation” • For this text defined as people of common ancestry and cultural tradition, living as a minority in a larger society, or host culture • Strong feeling of group identity, of belonging characterizes ethnicity
Problems encountered when defining ethnic group • Membership in an ethnic group is involuntary • He or she must be born into the group • Often individuals choose to discard their ethnicity
Problems encountered when defining ethnic group • Main problem is different groups base their identities on different traits • The Jews—primarily means religion • The Amish—both folk culture and religion • African-Americans—skin color • Swiss-Americans—national origin • German-Americans—ancestral language • Cuban-Americans—mainly anti-Castro, and anti-Marxist sentiment
Problems encountered when defining ethnic group • Politics can also help provide the basis for the we/they dichotomy that underlies ethnicity
Role of ethnic groups • Keepers of distinctive cultural traditions • Focal point of various kinds of social interaction • Provide group identity, friendships, and marriage partners • Also provides a recreational outlet, business success, and a political power base • Can give rise to suspicion, friction, distrust, clannishness, and even violence
How ethnic minorities can be changed by their host culture • Acculturation — an ethnic group adopts enough of the host society’s ways to be able to function economically and socially • Assimilation — a complete blending with the host culture • Involves loss of all distinctive ethnic traits • American host culture now includes many descendants of —Germans, Scots, Irish, French, Swedes, and Welsh • Intermarriage is perhaps the most effective assimilatory device
How ethnic minorities can be changed by their host culture • In reality few ethnic groups have been assimilated in the so-called “melting-pot” • It was assumed all ethnic groups would eventually be assimilated • The last 25 years has witnessed a resurgence of ethnic identity in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere • Ethnicity easily made the transition from folk to popular culture • Popular culture reveals a vivid ethnic component
Ethnic geography • The study of ethnic geography is the study of spatial and ecological aspects of ethnicity • Ethnic groups often practice unique adaptive strategies • Normally occupy clearly defined areas—urban and rural
Culture regions • Ethnic regions • Cultural diffusion and ethnicity • Ethnic ecology • Ethnic cultural integration • Ethnic landscapes
Culture groups typically occupy compact territories • Ethnic formal culture regions can be mapped • Geographers rely on diverse data • Surnames in telephone directories • Census totals for mother tongue • Each method will produce a slightly different map • Such regions exist in most countries
Culture groups typically occupy compact territories • Two distinct geographical types of ethnic regions exist • Ethnic minorities who reside in ancient home territories • Lands where their ancestors lived back into prehistoric times • Became ethnic when their territory was annexed into a larger independent state • Examples — Basques of Spain, Navajo Indians of American Southwest • Place and region provide a basic element in their ethnic identity
Culture groups typically occupy compact territories • Two distinct geographical types of ethnic regions exist • Results from migration when people move great distances • Emotional attachment tends to be weaker toward new homeland • Only after many generations pass do descendants of immigrants develop strong bonds to region and place
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Ethnic homelands • Cover large areas, often over-lapping state and provincial borders • Have sizable populations • Residents seek or enjoy some measure of political autonomy or self-rule • Populations usually exhibit a strong sense of attachment to the region • Most homelands belong to indigenous ethnic groups
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Ethnic homelands • Possess special, venerated places that serve to symbolize and celebrate the region — shrines to the special identity of the group • Combines the attributes of both formal and functional culture regions • Regarded by some as incompletely developed nation-states • Because of sex, age, and geographical segregation tend to strengthen ethnicity • Long occupation helps people develop modes of life, behavior, tastes, and relationships regarded as the correct ones
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Examples of ethnic homelands in North America • Acadiana — Louisiana French increasingly identified with the Cajun people and recognized as a perceptual region • Spanish-American — highland New Mexico, Colorado, and South Texas • Navajo Reservation — New Mexico and Arizona • French-Canadian — centered on valley of lower St. Lawrence River in Quebec • Some include Deseret— Mormon homeland in the Great Basin of the Intermontane West
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Some ethnic homelands have experienced decline and decay • Pennsylvania “Dutch” — weakened to almost extinction by assimilation • Southern “Black Belt” — diminished by collapse of plantation-sharecrop system resulting in out-migration to urban areas • Mormon absorption into the American cultural mainstream • Non-ethnic immigration has damaged the Spanish-American homeland
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Most vigorous homelands are the French-Canadians and South Texas Mexican-Americans • Ethnic substrate • Occurs when a people in a homeland are assimilated into the host culture and a geographical residue remains • The resultant culture region retains some distinctiveness
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Ethnic substrate • Geographers often find traces of an ancient, vanished ethnicity in a region • Italian province of Tuscany owes both its name and some uniqueness to the Etruscan people who ceased as an ethnic group 2,000 years ago • Massive German presence in American Heartland helped shape cultural character of the Midwest, which can be said to have a German ethnic substrate
Ethnic Island: Westby, Wisconsin • This small town is in America’s ethnically diverse rural heartland. • Westby was a Norwegian pioneer and the town’s population is primarily Norwegian.
Ethnic Island: Westby, Wisconsin • Although traditional events such as the fall lutefisk dinner and the May 17th Norwegian Independence Day celebration are celebrated, this ethnic group has essentially assimilated with the host culture. • Note the various popular cultural organizations and activities in this community.
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Ethnic islands in North America • Small dots in the countryside • Usually occupy less area than a county • Much smaller than a homeland-serve as home to only several hundred or several thousand people • More numerous than homelands or substrates • Many found in large areas of rural North America
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Ethnic islands in North America • Crazy-quilt pattern found in some areas of Midwest • Germans form the largest group found in ethnic islands—southeastern Pennsylvania and in Wisconsin • Scandinavians — primarily Swedes and Norwegians —came mainly to Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas, and western Wisconsin • Ukrainians settled mainly in the Canadian Prairie Provinces • Slavic groups — mainly Poles and Czechs —established scattered colonies in the Midwest and Texas
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Ethnic islands develop because “a minority group will tend to utilize space in such a way as to minimize the interaction distance between group members” • The desire is to facilitate contacts within the community and minimize exposure to the outside world • The ideal shape of an ethnic island is circular or hexagonal • People are drawn to rural places where others of the same ethnic background are found
Ethnic culture regions in rural North America • Survive from one generation to the next because most land is inherited • Sale of land is typically confined within the ethnic group, helping to preserve its identity • Social stigma is often attached to sale of land to outsiders • Small size makes populations more susceptible to acculturation and assimilation
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • Formal ethnic culture regions occur in cities throughout the world • Minority people tend to create ethnic residential quarters • Ethnic neighborhood — avoluntary community where people of like origin reside by choice showing a desire to maintain group cohesiveness
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • Benefits of the ethnic neighborhood • Common use of language • Nearby kin • Stores and services specially tailored to a certain group’s tastes • Presence of factories relying on ethnically based division of labor • Institutions important to the group — churches and lodges
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • The ghetto — traditionally been used to describe an area within the city where a certain ethnic group is forced to live • An involuntary community and as much a functional culture region as a formal one • Discrimination decides whether a ethnic group lives in a ghetto or voluntarily forms its own neighborhood • American society discriminates more against blacks and Asians
Jewish Ghetto: Salzburg, Austria • The name of this street is Judengasse – Jew Street. • Here, as in many European cities, Jews were forced to live in a specific walled and gated area.
Jewish Ghetto: Salzburg, Austria • Judengasse had 3000 residents by 1610. • Virtually all of Salzburg’s Jewish population succumbed to the Nazi Holocaust. • The term ghetto derives from the Jewish quarter by the Ghetto Novo or New Foundry in Venice.
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • Study of Cleveland, Ohio, by John Kain • Blacks are confined to a ghetto by discriminatory housing practices • Blacks more highly segregated residentially than white ethnic groups • Italians, Poles, Jews, Appalachian folk, and other white ethnic groups occupy neighborhoods rather than ghettos • These other white ethnic groups disperse to suburbs more readily than African-Americans
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • Ethnic clustering survives relocation from neighborhoods to suburbs • Example of the Chinese in the San Gabriel Valley near Los Angeles • In ancient times, conquerors often forced vanquished native people to live in ghettos • Religious minorities usually received similar treatment • Sometimes walls were built around ghettos • Islamic cities had Christian districts • Medieval European cities had Jewish ghettos
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • North American cities are more ethnically diverse than any other urban centers in the world • Ethnic neighborhoods became typical after about 1840 • Immigrant groups clustered together instead of dispersing • Ethnic groups generally came from different parts of Europe than those who moved to rural areas
Urban ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos • North American cities are more ethnically diverse than any other urban centers in the world • Catholic Irish, Italians, Poles, and East European Jews became the main urban ethnic groups • Other non-European groups later came to urban areas — French-Canadians, southern blacks, Puerto Ricans, Appalachian whites, Amerindians