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Selectively, Reluctantly Global: The Isleños of Louisiana

Author(s): Felice Coles

Journal: Globality Studies Journal : Global History, Society, Civilization
ISSN 1557-0266

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 27/October 29;
Start page: 43;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Ethnicity | Globality | Irish | Isleño Spanish | Italian | Minority

The Isleños of south Louisiana have selectively acknowledged their connections to their historical associates in the Canary Islands and the Caribbean for centuries. However, after Hurricane Katrina forced the evacuation of most Isleños, the community became reluctantly global: living outside the enclave, interacting with American English and Spanish speakers of other varieties, and waiting to go home. Their reluctant globalization through forced evacuation has made some community members determined to be selective once again. Those who have returned to the New Orleans area have connected with other sympathetic minorities who claim the area as their legitimate territory; for example, the Irish-Italian-Isleño Parade featured some community members celebrating their homecoming to New Orleans. Although their dialect is unlikely to be revitalized by the connection with Irish, Italian, or American English, the Isleños persevere in their efforts to maintain their culture in their traditional territory.
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