The Idea Of A National Community In A Different Mirror By Takaki

1031 Words5 Pages
The idea of a national community is an idea that is changing as we as members of this national community change as well. Technology continues to become more advanced and is affecting the way people choose to live their lives. The definition of a community is “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.” National can be defined as “of, pertaining to, or belonging to a nation. Peculiar or common to the people of a nation.” When understanding these two words and combining them, the definition of a national community can be defined as a large community of people who live within the same region, and share a common culture with everyone surrounding…show more content…
Takaki highlights these ideas in his book A Different Mirror. Takaki recounts U.S history in the voices of Native Americans, Irish Americans, African Americans, Asian American, Latinos and others. Takaki challenges the idea of what it really means to be an American. Throughout the first chapter, Takaki talks about the idea of being an American, and how we have been taught in a way where we see our national identity as being “white” and anything other then that would be considered different. If you were not a white American back in the day, you were considered less of a person in the eyes of many people. This is what white American people considered a “national community” back in the day. Because of this, the minority groups were forced to work the same jobs and almost become apart of their own community themselves. Takaki states in the first chapter that “Despite antagonisms, minorities also had much in common: labor experiences, hopeful dreams, and, above all, values.”(Takaki, 11) Takaki is stating here that although they were of different heritages, they were apart of a community of minorities. African Americans were cultivating cotton, which was then sent to New England where Irish factory workers were operating the machines, and then Jewish women would sew the clothes. There were connected in their own separate community apart from the “national community”. Another example of this comes when “In 1903, Mexican and Japanese farm laborers went on strike together in California.”(Takaki, 13) This is another example where these minorities came together and formed a common interest and created their own labor community. These examples go to show how even in our history, the idea of a national community has only been an idea and that our nation consists of many different. Individual

More about The Idea Of A National Community In A Different Mirror By Takaki

Open Document