I need help analyzing these sources and making relationships between them. I just need some ideas.
Source 1: The picture of kids reciting pledge of allegiance
Source 2: "I'll be a Quebecker-Canadian. I'm from Quebec and every time I go to a country, I say that it's my roots, my origins, and it's the most important thing to me." Celine Dion
Source 3: "There are no observable rules to clearly define what makes a national "people", as opposed to other forms of commonality. The usual prerequisites are a shared language and culture. But this shared, culture is difficult to define, and we often find as much cultural variation across populations within nations as between them." From against Nationalism, Anarchist Federation of the United Kingdom.
Our topic right now is Nationalism.
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Interesting question! Here are some ideas to get you started.
The image of the kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance definitely has a connection to nationalism—specifically nationalism on a country-wide scale. Children who attend public schools in the US are asked to participate in pledging allegiance to the country. What do you think it means that from the time we're five years old we're taught to love and give our loyalty to our country? Do you think that reflects a strong sense of nationalism in the US? How serious is the Pledge of Allegiance?
The second source has to do with nationalism on a personal level. Celine Dion identifies herself as a "Quebecker-Canadian," and believes that her national identity is the most important thing to her. It sounds like she views her nationality as a fundamental part of her identity. How do you think the kids in the first source feel about their country as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Are they being taught to feel similarly to Celine Dion in terms of prioritizing their nation? Is being "American" a fundamental part of their identities yet? Will it be?
Another thing to note is that Quebec isn't a country—it's a province in Canada with a very distinctive culture (it's the only province in Canada where French, not English, is the official and most spoken language). It seems that Celine Dion feels just as strongly about her province as some people do about their country. Does nationalism only apply to the people of an officially designated country, or can it belong to other groups as well?
The third source raises some interesting questions about nationalism. It suggests that it's very difficult to define what a "nation" is. We might all belong to the same country, but do we all have the exact same culture and speak the exact same language? Do the kids in the first source all speak only English? Are their parents all from the US? Maybe not. But aren't they "American" too? And what about the second source? The people of Canada often speak both English and French, and come from many different cultural backgrounds. Are they united by nationalism?
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