Conversations I Wish I Had

Name Change: Cultural Chameleons

What can you do with anthropology?

In Alisse Waterston’s article World on the Move: Migration Stories, she recounts the numerous names her father took as he traveled around the world: “Across one century, my father Mendeleh from Jedwabne, Poland became Miguelito in Manguito, Cuba, Miguel in Havana, Michael in New York, and don Miguel in San Juan, Puerto Rico” (Waterston).

This statement got me thinking about name changes across cultures not only in the past, but how they affect people today.  I recently read a different article about a man in the United States of America named José Zamora, who had been looking for a job for months. On a whim, he changed the name on his resume from “José” to “Joe”, and within the week “his inbox was full” (Matthews). What I find interesting that correlates between the two men is that they both had to change their name to conform to the standards…

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2014 by .
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