Thursday, November 27, 2008

Becoming an American: identity and geography

With Thanksgiving this week, NPR has been “spending time thinking about what it means to become an American” during the "most American" of holidays. Yesterday, author Joseph O'Neill (raised in Holland, half-Irish, half-Turkish, now living in New York City) spoke about identity and geography.

O'Neill's view is that in this age of globalization, migration as we knew it (Irishmen coming to the US due to a potato famine and never returning home) has changed. It's easier to travel, speak on the phone or use electronic means.

NPR paraphrased him well saying that of Americans, people are less inclined to make judgments based on race or class – but also not particularly interested in learning about his background.

[Maybe that's perhaps another reason why Americans don't know geography.]

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Goethe Girl said...

This reminds me: when I was in college and brought foreign friends home (in Louisville), I always told me parents to speak slowly. Instead, they simply spoke louder! I think most Americans don't even recognize a foreign accent.