discussion reply


reply to these two discussions below. 

Discussion 1


Naming is powerful. The choice of the name adopted by a specific group identifies its members, and people make assumptions or judgments based on their preferred name. The assumptions help place the different races in a social context that explains their power and interaction with other parties. This, therefore, raises the power issues and meanings associated with the name of a group. According to Healey & Stepnick (2020, p.300), group names are important because they reflect power dynamics; similar debates exist about the terms Latino and Hispanic. Latino is an abbreviation of Latino- Americano and emphasizes the geographic origin of the Latin American groups that excludes people of Spanish origin. In comparison, "Hispanic" emphasizes the Spanish / European heritage, excluding the cultural roots of Latin Americans related to African or Native American groups. Hispanic and Latino labels basically highlight the social construction of race and ethnicity (Alcoff, 2005; Healey & Stepnick, 2020).

The issue of power in naming persons or groups is discussed comprehensively by Alcoff (2005), who demonstrated that ethnic names reflect on the political power of the members from a specific culture. Alcoff (2005) uses the names "Latinos" and "Hispanics" to present his case. While Gracia views the use of "Hispanics" to denote people with cultural commonality, Alcoff (2005) believes that it describes a political condition. Alcoff (2005) argues that  analysis fails because it does not consider Latino culturalism and anti-imperialist struggles in America.

Ethnic names represent the political struggles and political position in society. There is a strong connection between the use of names, such as African Americans, and the struggle for equality. According to Alcoff (2005), ethnic names often carry the lived experiences of their members. The minorities unwillingly create a class segment different from the rest, predominantly comprising members from the superior race (Alcoff, 2005; Maclean & Williams, 2008). The minority groups end up occupying the lower class. They are assigned lower-level jobs, unlike employees of white origin, because they have lesser powers. As noted Alcoff (2005), ethnic names often carry the lived experiences of their members. Hispanic and Latino labels basically highlight the social construction of race and ethnicity (Healey & Stepnick, 2020, p.300). Ethnic minorities like the Latinos have used their names for social and political mobilization.

Discussion 2

A name is a first impression. It is the first thing that explains to others who you are, what you do and what you are all about. Group names can elicit immediate emotions and those emotions can cover a wide range. Different groups will also react to different group names as well. A group gains a lot of power by choosing a name that is meaningful to them. On the other side, they can lose a lot of power by being referred to as something they disagree with or do not believe in. Names can also vary depending on politics and regions. Hispanic was used more often by the right while Latino was used more by the left and the southwest used the term Hispanic almost exclusively (Alcoff, 2005). When looking at the power and meaning behind a group name, it is also important to look at what lens is being place on the group. Is it regional, political, cultural? There is a reason more than one name exists. When naming groups, different people looked at them through different perspectives. They would take different aspects into consideration. It is not necessarily always done with any specific intent, positive or negative, but names may end up taking on other connotations down the line. No group wants to be referred to with a name that brings them negative emotions. So, groups look for name changes at times to regain power they feel that they have at some point lost. It is not fair to call a group by a name that they disapprove of, however, even people within the same group may disagree. Recognizing their name can help propel a group forward and even bring a cohesiveness. The bigger concern is that there are many facets and reasons behind names and name changes (Alcoff, 2005).

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