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Conclusion: Introduction

Guadalupe San Miguel Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

This brief history focused on one of the most contentious and misunderstood policies in the country: federal bilingual education. It traced and explained, in bold sketches, the rise and fall of federal bilingual education policy during the years from 1960 to 2001 and the role played by the contending groups of supporters and opponents in its development.

Three major findings were presented in this book. First, this study showed that contestation, conflict, and accommodation were integral aspects of federal bilingual education policy development. From its origins in the 1960s to the present, different groups with competing notions of ethnicity, assimilation, pedagogy, and power have contended, clashed, struggled, and negotiated with each other for hegemony in the development and implementation of bilingual education. Second, contextual forces over time, especially electoral politics and a changing political climate at the national, state, and local level, significantly shaped the contours and content of this policy. Finally, those supportive of or opposed to federal bilingual education displayed a wide array of political, educational, and social reasons for their actions.

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4: Changes in Policy

Guadalupe San Miguel Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF

THE FINAL PUSH, 1990S

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CHANGES IN POLICY

As in the prior decade, the opponents of bilingual education also sought legislative changes to this policy. Between 1995 and 2001, several pieces of legislation aimed at eliminating or modifying the federal bilingual education bill were introduced.

One of the most publicized efforts to eliminate bilingual education was submitted by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-TX. In March and April of 1998 DeLay drafted and introduced legislation that would have removed the federal mandate on bilingual education by abolishing the Education Department’s Office of Bilingual Education and effectively ended federal involvement in this program. This legislation, English for Children Act, was modeled after the proposition to be voted upon by California voters in the general election in November of 1998. If enacted, it would have voided the consent decrees that encouraged the establishment of bilingual programs in return for federal funding. More specifically, it would have effectively ended federal funding for about 750 bilingual programs nationwide that allowed the teaching of immigrant children in their native language until they learned English. It also would have saved the government an estimated $215 million a year. Once these decrees were voided, state and local school officials would decide for themselves whether they wanted to continue funding bilingual education programs.23 LULAC as well as Gene Green and Sheila Jackson, both members of Congress from the Houston area, denounced DeLay’s bill.24

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CHAPTER SEVEN. Amazonian Ritual Communication in Relation to Multilingual Social Networks

Alf Hornborg University Press of Colorado ePub

Ellen B. Basso

In this chapter I describe several approaches to how we might enhance our understanding of Amazonian ritual communication, offering suggestions for incorporating aspects of language use in the region into the new orientation to regional ethnogenesis (Hornborg 2005). As we have learned from studies of Amazonian welcoming rituals and other ceremonial dialogues, ritual practice probes the sources of community, helping participants to understand how latent hostility and tension among participants are transformed into some concrete, positive social relationships. Writers exploring this subject have adopted processual, affective, and ultimately evolutionary models involving the “sensory preconditions of meaning” (Urban 1986, 1988, 1989, 2002; Erikson 2000; Surrallés 2003). Along the same lines, a look at the more private “little” rituals of everyday life (Haviland 2009) demonstrates their considerable overlap with public discursive contexts (Basso 2007, 2009a, 2009b). Joking and avoidance relations, greetings, leave-takings, protests, and the languages of trade and marketing seem to have important resonances within the far-better-known public ceremonial practices of Amazonia. Furthermore, linguistic anthropology oriented to psychological questions about experience and personal meaning is also one of the rare sites of interest in the specific details of non-communitarian “chaotic” discourse and of “language ordeals” (Basso 2009a), communicative phenomena that have quickly led us away from assuming the presence of social “community” and “solidarity,” the idea of inherently unified communities. This suggests that people can belong to many communities or cultures at once, an idea that may be combined with the fact that “many traditional communities have had elaborate internal differentiation from time immemorial” (Gumperz 1996b:362). What these data suggest are the benefits of (1) an orientation to social networks rather than to sodalities; (2) a recognition of multilingual discursive areas rather than an assumption of monolingualism; and (3) the value of looking at stance alignments between participants in ritual practice, particularly the epistemic and evidential aspects of ritual communication and how these are manifested in what has been called the “I” of discourse (Urban 1989; Rumsey 2000).

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CHAPTER THREE. Deep History, Cultural Identities, and Ethnogenesis in the Southern Amazon

Alf Hornborg University Press of Colorado ePub

Michael Heckenberger

Ethnogenesis is a widely discussed aspect of cultural change in indigenous Amazonia, generally taken to mean the emergence of a discrete “ethnos” through the mixing of two or more distinctive cultural groups, particularly within the context of European colonialism (Hill 1996). However, little is known in most cases about the actual processes of change, particularly over the long term, including different perspectives on change and continuity operating at multiple scales. Processes of cultural transformation, including major changes within societies and across regional systems, as well as cultural pluralism, are particularly poorly understood for pre-Columbian periods. This is due to a lack of well-documented long-term trajectories of sociohistorical change in discrete regions, especially such that can be linked to specific ethnographic cultural groups.

This chapter discusses the southern Amazon periphery and, particularly, the upper Xingú region of the southern Amazon. The Xinguano regional culture has long been known as one of the best cases of ethnogenesis in Amazonia, since peer communities in this regional society speak diverse languages, including Arawak, Carib, and Tupían languages, yet share the same basic cultural pattern.1 Recent research demonstrates that, while post-contact changes, particularly during the period from 1700 to 1800, were critical in the genesis of the plural society known today (composed of Arawak, Tupí-Guaraní, or closely related Tupían- and Carib-speaking peoples), pluralism has been part and parcel of Xinguano society and culture throughout much of its long history. This culture history, which extends from before ca. AD 500–800 to present times, is discussed in relation to several major periods, each of which can be seen as representing different aspects of “ethnogenesis”: (1) the early emergence of settled, hierarchical, and regional social formations and the spread of these cultural features, related specifically to ancestors of Arawak and related ethnolinguistic groups, in the lowlands and, particularly, southern Amazon periphery; (2) colonization by early Arawak agriculturalists, ca. AD 500 to 800 or before; (3) development of the regional social formation, characterized by the integration of small territorial polities within a regional peer-polity, by ca. 1250; and (4) post-contact development of the multilingual Xinguano society documented ethnographically, particularly after 1650–1750.

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN. Captive Identities, or the Genesis of Subordinate Quasi-Ethnic Collectivities in the American Tropics

Alf Hornborg University Press of Colorado ePub

Fernando Santos-Granero

Situations in which different social groups come into close contact and become engaged in a power struggle constitute an especially propitious terrain for the unfolding of processes of ethnogenesis. This is particularly true of colonial situations, where ethnogenesis has been characterized “as a creative adaptation to a general history of violent changes” (Hill 1996:1). In the Americas, the economic, demographic, cultural, and political processes triggered by the presence and pressures of colonial agents have undoubtedly affected indigenous peoples, leading to the disappearance of some identities, the emergence of new ones, and the transformation and reinvention of most. Thus, much of the literature on ethnogenesis in the Americas deals with situations of conflict derived from colonial encounters in what has been labeled the “tribal zone” (Ferguson and Whitehead 1992; Anderson 1999; Schwartz and Salomon 1999; Heckenberger 2001). This chapter focuses instead on processes of ethnogenesis resulting from the activities of native tropical American peoples engaged in large-scale slave raiding and/or the subjugation of enemy peoples as servant groups during pre-colonial and early colonial times (see also Santos-Granero 2009b). It is thus concerned with ethnogenesis as the result of native- rather than foreign-induced sociopolitical dynamics. In such situations, captors were faced with the problem of how to incorporate large numbers of war captives and servant populations, whereas the latter were faced with the dilemma of resisting or giving in to the forces of assimilation. The tensions derived from this relationship had important consequences with regard to the identities of both masters and servants. Through the examination of three historical cases—Taíno/Naborey, Tukano/Makú, and Chiriguaná/Chané—I will assess the role of Amerindian forms of slavery and servitude in the transformation of existing identities and the production of new ones, a process that, from an Amerindian point of view, involves the transformation of less-than-human subordinates into “real people” and, eventually, into friends and kin. In other words, I propose to determine the role of relations of extreme dependence in the genesis of subordinate, quasi-ethnic collectivities and identities.

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