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Month: August 2020
Names and Selves: Transnational Identities and Self-Presentation among Elite Chinese International Students
What accounts for name choices in a transnational context? What does the choice of ethnic or English names reveal about global identities and the desire to fit into a new culture? Drawing on the sociology of culture and migration, Philip Jun Fang and Gary Fine examine the intersection of naming, assimilation, and self-presentation in light of international student mobility. Based on 25 semi-structured interviews with mainland Chinese students enrolled in an elite Midwestern university, they find that these students make name choices by engaging in both transnational processes and situated practices. First, Chinese international students negotiate between multiple names to deal with ethnic distinctions. While ethnic names can signal distance from other ethnic communities, they also distinguish individuals from others. For these students, names are multi-layered and temporal: their name choices evolve throughout school lives, shaped by power relations in American cultural contexts and channeled by images of their home country. Second, multiple names allow these students to practice situated performance, incorporating the reflective self, the distinctive self, and the imagined self. The authors address “cross-cultural naming” that accounts for identity in transnational social spaces.
Fang, J., Fine, G.A. Names and Selves: Transnational Identities and Self-Presentation among Elite Chinese International Students. Qualitative Sociology (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11133-020-09468-7
How Chicago got its name
At its first appearance in records by explorers, the Chicago area was inhabited by a number of Algonquian peoples, including the Mascouten and Miami. The name “Chicago” is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum, from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as “Checagou” was by Robert de La Salle around 1679 in a memoir. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the wild garlic, called “chicagoua”, grew abundantly in the area. According to his diary of late September 1687: “when we arrived at the said place called Chicagou which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region.”
List of name changes due to the George Floyd protests
After George Floyd, an African American, was killed during a police arrest in Minneapolis, United States, many people protested, in the United States and internationally. During the course of these protests, many controversial monuments and memorials were vandalized or toppled by protestors, prompting those in charge of other similar monuments to remove them from public view.
Similarly, many controversial names, mascots, and other forms of symbolism were changed, due to increasing public pressure or otherwise. In some countries, other race-related and colonial issues were also raised, and some were acted upon. In some cases changes that were planned or under consideration before the protests were expedited consequent to the protests.
The list with over 200 ergonyms (names in public space) may be found and edited on Wikipedia.