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popular culture

No America, You can’t claim Monica Puig’s Puerto Rico gold medal win as your own

“Like many boricuas on Saturday, Aug. 13, I celebrated when tennis player Monica Puig won gold in the single women’s division and became both Puerto Rico’s first gold win and a woman’s first gold win for the island. It was an overall historic moment that everyone back in the island basked in with full pride. I’ve noticed a trend on social media regarding the Olympics: multiple posts and tweets about how Puerto Rico shouldn’t compete independently, confused as to why Puerto Rico is competing in the first place or that a victory for Puerto Rico supposedly ‘counts’ because it’s a U.S. commonwealth.”


This is good article showing the distinct nationalism of Puerto Rico and its political ties with the United States.  This is but one of the many example of how you can link students’ interest in the Olympics to expand their understanding about the world.  Also, this protest of Iran’s gendered spaces is another poignant article.


Tags: Puerto Rico, political, autonomysport, popular culture.


Cartograms of the Olympic Games

The distribution of medals shows the existing Olympic inequalities: The overall patterns are a reflection of wealth distribution in the world, raising the question whether money can buy sporting success. Besides investment in sports by those countries who can afford it, the medal tables also reflect a battle for global supremacy in political terms.


Tags: sport, popular culture, mapping, historical, cartography.


Break Dancing, NGOs, and Global Lives

Deported to Cambodia, Former Gang Member Gets A Second Chance. When Tuy Sobil was deported to Cambodia from the U.S., it was the first time he had ever stepped foot in the Southeast Asian country.


My students have enjoyed this video about a break-dancing NGO that was created by a former refugee from the United States who was subsequently deported to Cambodia (this article serves as some added background and a follow-up to the story).  This story shows the influence of urban youth culture and various strands of geography in this young man’s global life.


Tags: Cambodia, diffusion, cultureNGOs, globalization.

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