In this assignment, you will examine the United States Unincorporated Territory of Puerto Rico. This assignment covers topics learned in the lessons covering language, ethnicity, and nationalism. Therefore, you will have two weeks to work on this assignment. Download or copy this document, you can answer the questions on this document and submit it as the completed assignment.
Your first step for this assignment is to explore the ethnic history of Puerto Rico through the intersection of colonialism, slavery, politics and language. You will do this by visiting this Story Map on the Library of Congress Website. Explore the story map and then address the questions:
What is a colony?
Provide a brief history of the Taino people including their language.
Provide a brief history of the Spanish colonization of Puerto Rico including how this affected the culture and language of the people.
How has slavery affected the development of culture and language in Puerto Rico?
How have religion/religious institutions affected the development of the culture of Puerto Rico?
How did the Spanish use the institution of education to influence the language and culture of Puerto Rico?
How did the Spanish American War affect Puerto Rico?
How did the ethnocentric attitude of the US affect the people of Puerto Rico?
What political rights do the people of Puerto Rico have as an unincorporated territory?
What is Spanglish?
What syntax is used in Puerto Rico?
What phonology is used in Puerto Rico?
How is the language of the Puerto Rican people intertwined with their political status as an unincorporated territory?
How have language and politics intersected with age (generation) in regard to Puerto Rican nationalism?
As you have learned Puerto Rico has been a territory of the US for more than a century. Its people have been U.S. citizens since 1917, but they have no vote in Congress. As citizens, the people of Puerto Rico can move throughout the 50 states just as any other Americans can—legally, this is considered internal migration, not immigration. However, in moving to the mainland, Puerto Ricans leave a homeland with its own distinct identity and culture, and the transition can involve many of the same cultural conflicts and emotional adjustments that most immigrants face. Some writers have suggested that the Puerto Rican migration experience can be seen as internal immigration—as the experience of a people who move within their own country, but whose new home lies well outside of their emotional home territory. According to the US Census, there are now more Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states, 5.6 million, than on the island of Puerto Rico, 3.4 million people.
In this part of the assignment, you will examine Puerto Ricans living in the US. First read through this article from the Pew Research Center that looks at some basic information about Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states.
You will then read this Opinion: The Misunderstood Puerto Rican Diaspora which combines a personal experience, events and Puerto Ricans in New York, and how this is connected to the population still living in Puerto Rico.
I find it interesting that the article opens with an observation of language. Do you think that this demonstrates the importance of language to ethnic identity? Explain.
The text notes that for most of the world’s people, ethnicity is not a pressing matter in daily life; instead, it only becomes an active factor when power relationships undergo negotiation in a community or nation. Explain how ethnicity has been activated to accomplish some end for Puerto Ricans. Explain the power relationship under negotiation, who was involved, and how ethnicity was activated to accomplish the goal. Then, describe the outcome of these efforts.
Address the following questions, you may need to do some additional research to answer these questions:
Symbolism is an important part of ethnicity – how does an individual’s ethnic identity change when they migrate from Puerto Rico to the US mainland?
Do you think Puerto Ricans experience assimilation or multiculturalism when they migrate to the US mainland? Explain.
Explain what is meant when we say that a nation is an imagined community, how is Puerto Rico itself an imagined community?
The concepts of ethnicity, nation-state, nationality, and nationalism are closely related, and the terms themselves can have a serious impact on countries in the world today. Discuss the situation of Puerto Rico in regard to nation, nation-state, ethnicity, and nationality, and provide examples to support your points.
How are Puerto Ricans using nationalism to achieve certain goals?
Required Textbook: Stark State College. 2020. Cultural Diversity. Norton.