Search results for symbols

Ryan sent in a story about the video game Border Patrol, in which you try to keep three types of Mexicans from crossing the border: drug dealers, Mexican nationalists, and “breeders,” who are of course pregnant women on their way to the welfare office:

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According to Kotaku,  a city representative in Georgia emailed it to colleagues with the following note:

THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes you feel better anyway, I did my part today, I kept a few from coming over!!! GET READY —- THEY ARE FAAAST! ! !

Classy.

And the Star of David on the American flag is a nice touch.

NOTE: A number of commenters have made various suggestions about what the Star of David might mean–support for Israel, a conflation of Jewish and Christian values as “American,” etc. I don’t know for sure, but my best guess is that it’s an added little bit of racism. If a few of my relatives are any indication, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic sentiments often seem to go well together. One of my relatives who is virulently anti-immigrant also once gave my mom a video to watch and when she turned it on she realized it was this anti-Semitic thing about how Jews are trying to institute a New World Order. So I tend to think it’s supposed to indicate, as one commenter said, that the U.S. has been weakened and taken over by ineffectual liberalized Jews who are letting all the immigrants in as part of their master plan to….well, I don’t really know what the master plan is. I will see if I can find out when I visit my family members and let you know so we can all prepare. Or, for our Jewish readers, take part, I guess. Oh, wait, duh. Our Jewish readers already know. I forgot. One of my long-lost relatives from Arkansas explained to my mom how Jews communicate through all the symbols on packaging (you know, like TM, (R), and so on) to spread instructions for…well, again, since I don’t know the Mysterious Master Plan, I don’t know what the instructions are about. My poor mother has asked me on multiple occasions why people seem to think she’d want to hear bad things about Jewish people. My mother has her faults, but anti-Semitism isn’t one of them, so I’m going to have to chalk it up to the bad luck of being related to a lot of crazy racist people.

Anyway, that was my rambling way of saying I don’t think the Star of David on the flag is a pro-Israel thing.

NEW! (Oct. ’09) Katie J. sent us a link to the video game El Emigrante, in which you (in sombrero) ride a bike and try to avoid the police after you jump the border wall:

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Mercedes DeM. sent in this Vanity Fair cover (for April 2009)…

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…spoofing this previous cover:

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The women on the original cover are sex symbols.  We should expect gratuitous nudity.  The men in the spoof, in contrast, are comedians and so a direct comparison, arguing that men’s bodies are more off-limits, would be misguided.  (Not that I think an argument couldn’t be made, but I don’t think this set of images supports it.)

Nor do I think that these images support the idea that we’re more accepting of variation in men’s bodies than women’s.  If that were so, I think the men would actually be nude.  Instead they’re covered up.  My sense is that they’re covered up because their bodies are, according to rigid cultural standards, gross. 

 The relevant comparison, I think, would be between the spoof cover and a similar spoof cover featuring non-skinny women in nude body suits.  The fact that the former is funny points to how men are allowed to be many things.  They can be good-looking and fit, OR they can be not-so-good-looking, but rich, nice, or funny.  And we still like them.  There is no disdain for these men.  We may even like them MORE because they’re willing to pose in ways that reveal how imperfect their bodies are.

I think we would be unlikely to see a similar cover featuring women, even women comedians, because women are allowed to be rich, nice, or funny but they must ALSO be good-looking and fit.  A cover featuring chubby women would JUST be gross.  It wouldn’t be gross and funny.

Being good-looking and fit is ONE way for men to be admire in our society.  Being good-looking and fit is a REQUIREMENT for women to be admired, no matter what else she brings to the table.

I asked myself: in the entire history of Vanity Fair, would we be able to find three women with a similar body type to those men on the cover?

I found two, both featuring Roseanne Barr (images here and here):

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The covers feature a comedian who is well-known for being successful while bucking social expectations for women.  She’s the exception to the rule that proves the rule.  Or is she?  I certainly think so.  That “Oh, Roseanne!” is about how crazy she is.

In any case, notice that she’s still a sex symbol, while the men in the spoof are decidedly not.  They’re spoofing such symbolism.  Roseanne, despite her wacky resistance, still has to abide by it.

Emily K. sent me a link to this story about a soccer team in Amsterdam, Ajax, known as the Jews. According to this New York Times article, the team got the nickname from opposing teams, who began calling the club the Jews because of the supposed history of Jews on the team. There isn’t any particular connection between the Jewish community and the team today–the team doesn’t have a large number of Jewish players, nor is the fan club made up of a higher number of Jews than other soccer teams.

This leads to some interesting situations. Most notably, fans (the vast majority of whom are non-Jewish) have adopted symbols of Judaism and Israel to show team spirit. Here’s a fan wrapped up in an Israeli flag:

And this fan has tattooed the Ajax logo along with a Star of David on his arm:

(Both images from the NYT article.)

Fans sometimes display gigantic Israeli flags in the stands during games (image found here):

This brings up some interesting issues about the appropriation of cultural symbols. When I first saw the pictures, I thought it was a bit disturbing that people use the Israeli flag as a prop to express support for an athletic team. But then I remembered that people do this all the time–I’ve seen pictures of soccer fans wrapped up in, for example, the Spanish flag, or wearing shirts with pictures of flags on them (not to mention people wearing clothing with American flags). Of course, that is often by people who are citizens of those countries. So is it weird to have non-Israelis using the Israeli flag in this way? I’ve thought about it, and I think maybe the strong association between Israel and Judaism makes this seem a little different than those other examples, since it then appears to be the appropriation of a religious symbol, even though the Israeli flag is not, technically speaking, itself a religious item (as opposed to, say, if fans were wearing yarmulkes or something). And clearly the people using the flag in this way are doing so because of its association with Jewishness, not because they have any particular interest in Israel or like an Israeli team.

The other problem that arises is opposing fans’ heckling. Because Ajax is nicknamed the Jews, fans of other teams often use anti-Semitic chants during games. Some examples (found at the Ajax USA site):

Ssssssssssssssssssssssssss… (the hissing sound of gas)

We’re hunting the Jews!

There is the Ajax train to Auschwitz!

Sieg! Sieg! Sieg! (German for ‘victory’, yelled while performing the Hitler’s Salute)

According to the NYT article, they have also yelled “Hamas! Hamas!”, a reference to the Palestinian political party. And there’s this, from Ajax fans themselves:

…during a game against a German team late last year, a group of Ajax supporters displayed a banner that read “Jews take revenge for ’40-’45,” a reference to the Holocaust.

Some Jewish fans now report that they have stopped attending games because they find the behavior offensive.

This would be a great example to use in a discussion of sports mascots, particularly how it compares to American Indian mascots (for examples, see this post) and Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish mascot (see post here). Critics of American Indian mascots often ask questions along the lines of “What would happen if a team called itself the Fighting Jews?” (see here and here for examples of this rhetorical strategy), but it’s always presented as an unimaginable, completely hypothetical situation. And yet it turns out not to be so hypothetical after all. My guess is students would generally have a much more negative reaction to the Ajax Jews than to teams like the Washington Redskins, and it would be useful to discuss why that might be (keeping in mind that fans of teams playing against teams with Indian mascots sometimes use images that depict violence against Indians).

And of course there’s also the whole issue of the appropriation of Jewish culture and the trivialization of the Holocaust and Nazism by both Ajax and opposing fans. The whole thing is creepy.

Thanks, Emily!

Last year, Fender Guitars unveiled the new Joe Strummer Signature Series ™, a pre-stressed replica of Strummer’s beloved guitar: a 1966 Fender Telecaster, which he played in the 101ers, the Clash, and with the Mescaleros from 1975 until his death in 2005. Here’s Strummer with his guitar:

Here are some screenshots of the replica from the website:

Some of the items available for customization:

A customized version:

Let’s just pause for a moment and appreciate the irony of that one. (For those of you with little knowledge of the Clash, let’s just say that they were pretty much the exact opposite of this guitar, ideologically speaking.)

According to Fender’s write-up, this guitar is cool because “All his life, [Strummer] vigorously championed individuality, self-expression and change-tenets often reflected in the constantly altered look of his favorite instrument – his Telecaster” and this guitar was built “to celebrate Strummer’s fierce sense of individuality.” Buy the thing and you can champion individuality and self-expression just like Joe! Well. . .just like Joe and the 1,499 other folks who buy the limited edition with the stickers.

But perhaps a more interesting question is this: does any of this affect what you can actually do with it? The kinds of songs you could write with it? The kinds of shows you could play? It probably wouldn’t, or at least no more so than any other Telecaster would by virtue of its technical specifications. But put it in the context of a room full of other musicians, who tend to hold strong ideas about the art/commerce relationship, and you may find yourself the proud owner of a Fender Stigma-caster, depending on the room and the musicians.

On the other hand, Strummer – an artist whose work often wrangled around the intersection of art and commerce  – was by many accounts a complex person who disdained orthodoxy in all its forms. He might have been tickled pink by the tensions and artistic possibilities inherent in such a symbolically loaded guitar. The Clash did, after all, write songs about their recording contracts. (Also, the surviving Strummers have to eat and how they manage their husband’s/father’s estate is no business of mine.)

What else can we unpack from this guitar? Pretty much the history of modernity. You start with “the guitar” – an instrument traditionally produced by artisans called luthiers. But this particular style of guitar – the Fender Telecaster – is the first commercially successful mass-produced solidbody electric guitar. (Henry Ford:Driving::Leo Fender:Rocking.) Introduced in 1950 as the Esquire,* renamed after slight design changes and then a lawsuit re: the name Broadcaster being property of Gretsch Instruments, assembled on a factory line from mass-produced interchangeable parts, sold in stores and catalogs, heard most often via media and broadcast for most music consumers, the 1966 Fender Telecaster is truly a Modern guitar.

But this particular model of the genus Telecaster is Late Modernity to its elusive core:  a simulacrum of a particular instrument that trades on symbols of authenticity. With its “road worn” look, its namesake’s reputation and artistic output, and the genre of music it evokes, it’s a composite replica of the idea of the guitar wielded by a working musician known to most of us as mass-mediated collective representation. It’s also worth remembering that the idea of “Joe Strummer” is itself an elusive symbol, one of a number of names and personas adopted by John Graham Mellor over the course of his lifetime, that has now taken on a life of its own.

Sure, there are more properly postmodern guitars out there, but they all belong to Sonic Youth.

* Technically speaking, the Esquire and the Broadcaster/Telecaster are different guitars – the former has one pickup and the latter two, and there are some refinements to the design – basically, the Telecaster is the “finished” product. But to the average eye – and especially so when they debuted, given their shared differences from 99% of the other guitars out there at the time –  they’re pretty much the same guitar. [Editor’s note: Potts can really geek out sometimes, as evidenced in this footnote.]

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Brady Potts is an entirely awesome sociologist specializing in soc of culture, co-editor of the book The Civic Life of American Religion, and the person we can always count on to geek out about “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the Drive-By Truckers.

If you would like to write a post for Sociological Images, please see our Guidelines for Guest Bloggers.

For other examples of the commodification of sub- (counter?) cultures, see here and here.

Recently I saw this wood sign for sale in a catalog (available here, if you really want one):

Looking around online I found this t-shirt here, which combines the “My Indian name is” element with a twist on “kicks like a girl”:

I have seen things like this before, and they always irritate me (and I blame the movie “Dances with Wolves” for the whole “Indian names always follow the pattern ‘Present-Tense Singular Verb + With + Noun'” idea). There’s an element of othering here–the idea that American Indian names are funny or weird. Part of what I think is considered funny is that the names are presumably tied to actual activities or things (for example, Mankiller or Redbird). Of course, many European surnames originated the same way (for instance, “Smith” was a surname often used to indicate the person was a blacksmith, silversmith, etc.), but they now hold the status of “normal” surnames that are unremarkable (although Smith has become somewhat remarkable as a symbol of White non-ethnic normality, such that it is often used in movies and TV shows as an alias by spies and others wishing to avoid attention).

That website led me to this one, where there were lots of “Native American” t-shirts. As far as I can tell, it’s not a Native-owned company, it’s just a bunch of shirts with Native people or themes on them. Some, like these, associate American Indians with animals:

Whereas the t-shirts with men on them tend to show them in battle or hunting, those with women generally have romanticized, sometimes vaguely sexualized images. I noticed several have a common element: the upturned face, often with closed eyes, as well as stereotypically “Caucasian” features, except with darker skin and hair. This one is called “Purity”:

You might use these in a discussion of representations of Native Americans, particularly how they continue to be worn as symbols by other groups. The things associated with American Indians–wildlife (particularly wolves), nature, and the warrior tradition–tend to romanticize their connection to the natural environment and even portray them as part of nature themselves, able to communicate with the other “wild things.”

It’s a weird double bind: on the one hand, presumably American Indians are more “noble” than other groups–surely they wouldn’t have driven wolves, bald eagles, and bison to the verge of extinction, given their close connection to nature. But at the same time, they are depicted as relics of the past, brave fighters from the glory days. American Indians who drive cars and wear t-shirts and blue jeans (and have last names like Smith and Thomas) don’t have a place in our romanticized images of Native groups.

NEW! D. Cho sent in three more t-shirts that draw on Native American icons or images. Here is Spirit Happy Fox:

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Chief Many Feathers:

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How the West Was Fun:

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In the 1800s, the Irish (whether in Ireland, Britain, or the U.S.) were often very negatively stereotyped. In many cases the same negative characteristics attributed to Africans and African Americans (sloth, immorality, destructiveness) were often also associated with the Irish. In fact, some scientists believed the Irish were, like Africans, more closely related to apes than to other Europeans, and in some cases in the U.S., Irish immigrants were classified as Blacks, not Whites.

The next three political cartoons from the 1800s were found on the Nevada Department of Education website section about racism (as was the quote about the first cartoon).

This one is titled “The Workingman’s Burden” and depicts “a gleeful Irish peasant carrying his Famine relief money while riding on the back of an exhausted English laborer.” It might make a good comparison to how welfare recipients are viewed in the U.S.

This illustration ran in Harper’s Weekly magazine. Notice how the Irish are depicted as more similar to “Negros” than to “Anglo Teutonic” individuals, and both the Irish and Africans are caricatured as ape-like. It could also be useful for a discussion of scientific racism.

This cartoon, titled “Two Forces,” shows a figure representing Britain protecting a weeping, frightened woman, representing Ireland, from a rampaging Irishman; notice his hat says “anarchy.”

This image, found at the University College Cork website, depicts Daniel O’Connell, a leader of the Irish land reform movement, as an “ogre.” He is ladling poor Irish peasants out of a pot labeled “agitation soup,” and, presumably, cheating them out of money in the guise of helping them.

Here we see the Irish depicted as a Frankensteinian monster in a cartoon that ran in Punch in 1882 (image found at the website for a course at the University of St. Andrews):

These next three all come from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Here we see drunken Irishmen rioting and attacking police:

In this one, John Bull (representing Britain) and Uncle Sam look on as an Irish man engages in reckless destruction; notice the empty bottle in the lower right corner, labeled “drugs”:

Here an ape-like Irish man, again drunk, sits on a powder keg, presumably threatening the entire country:

Finally, this one, published in 1882 (and found at the Michigan State University Museum website), is called “Uncle Sam’s Lodging House” and shows an Irish immigrant causing a commotion while other immigrants (notice the beds are labeled Russian, German, Negro, etc.) try to sleep. The smaller caption under the title says, “Look here, you, everybody else is quiet and peaceable, and you’re all the time a-kicking up a row!”

The message is, of course, that other immigrant groups (including Blacks) settle in and don’t cause problems, while the Irish don’t know how to assimilate or stay in their place.

You might compare these images to this recent post about how symbols of Irishness have lost any real negative implications, such that even politicians in non-Irish-dominated districts feel comfortable using them in campaign materials.

And yes, I know I’ve been posting a lot of stuff about race and ethnicity lately. I’m teaching a class on it this semester–it’s the stuff that I keep coming across while writing lectures.

And I’m dedicating this post to my boyfriend, Burk, who decided to go on a date with me even though, when he asked if I’d have trouble dealing with his hard-drinking Irish-American family, I said I could handle that but wouldn’t put up with any blubbering on about how Angela’s Ashes is the best book ever.

NEW!  This cartoon with poem was published in Life Magazine on May 11th, 1893.  The poem is suggesting that the monkeys in the zoo are sad that they get called by Irish names.

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Text:

As we’ve dared to call the monkeys in the Zoo by Irish names, Erin’s sons, in wrath, declare us snobs and flunkies ;
And demand that we withdraw them–nor should we ignore their claims–
For it’s really very hard–upon the monkeys.

UPDATE: In a comment, Macon D asked how I address the ways in which Whites of some ancestries (Irish, Italian, etc.) often point to the fact that there was discrimination against those groups as a way of invalidating arguments about systemic racism. The logic is that both non-Whites and some White groups faced prejudice and discrimination but European groups overcame it through their own hard work, and thus any other group could too. If they continue to experience high levels of poverty, unemployment, or any other social problem, it is due to their own lack of hard work, intelligence, or some other characteristic.

I do indeed discuss this argument at length whenever I teach about race. A great reading to address it is Charles Gallagher’s article “Playing the White Ethnic Card: Using Ethnic Identity to Deny Contemporary Racism,” p. 145-158 in White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism (2003, Ashley W. Doane and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, editors, New York: Routledge). The tone might put some students off, because it doesn’t baby them or try to sugar-coat the issue of how Whites use their (often imagined) family stories of discrimination as a way to argue that systemic racism doesn’t exist and that they got to where they are by their family’s hard work, and nothing more. I know other professors often use the “How Jews Became White Folks” reading by Karen Brodkin, which also looks at this issue.

I also spend a good part of the semester looking at how government policies have had the effect of transferring enormous amounts of wealth into the hands of European immigrants and helping them accumulate resources over time–we look at the Homestead Act of 1862, the G.I. Bill (which Black veterans were often excluded from using), and how government subsidies for building suburban subdivisions were actively denied to groups wanting to build integrated communities. All these are examples of ways in which White Americans were aided in acquiring wealth and moving up the socio-economic ladder, while non-Whites often were explicitly excluded from these benefits.

I also point out that, while in these images the Irish are negatively stereotyped, it is clear that they are still viewed less negatively than, say, Africans or African Americans. If the Irish are the “missing link” between Africans and Caucasians…that still means they’re considered more evolved than Africans–at least somewhat more fully human. So even at the height of discrimination against White European groups, that did not necessarily mean they were treated “the same” as, say, American Indians or Blacks.

p.j. sent me two images that she received in an email forwarded to her. The subject line of the email was “Harley…Any questions?” and the text said,

Food for thought.  I’m telling you folks, this should be all you need to know to make the right choice.

Here is the first image, of Sarah Palin sitting on a Harley:

The second image showed Barack Obama on a bicycle:

The email also said,

Note:  Her Harley is made in the US and his bike is made in China…..

There are a couple of things going on here. Clearly we’re supposed to take from this that because Palin once sat on an American-made form of transportation and Obama once sat on a form of transportation made in China, that Obama is unAmerican and, thus, unworthy of the presidency. Because trying to use less imported oil and reduce pollution by riding a bike totally makes you unworthy of running the country.

But there’s also a clear gender message here. We are supposed to take from the first image that, because she leans on American-made tough motorcycles, Palin is tough and strong. On the other hand, the picture of Obama riding a bike (in a bike helmet, no less) is, I believe, meant to imply that he is a weak, effete city boy who wouldn’t know how to shoot a moose if the need arose. The effect is that Palin, a woman, is depicted as more masculine than Obama. It’s a good example of how masculinity and femininity are characteristics of not just people, but also things, and that both men and women can adopt symbols of masculinity and femininity. However, because masculinity is more valued in our culture, women usually benefit from associating themselves with aspects of masculinity, whereas men are usually ridiculed for appearing feminine in any way. In this case, Palin’s connection to the hyper-masculine Harley makes her seem, to those forwarding this email around, tough and cool. Obama, on the other hand, can’t benefit from appearing more feminine in the way that Palin can benefit from appearing more masculine, because being feminine is stigmatized.

Of course, you might also discuss how big motorized machines are associated with masculinity, while caring about the environment (including things such as riding a bike to work) is often associated with femininity.

Thanks, p.j.!

UPDATE: Lea R. made a good point in a comment:

I’m not entirely convinced that what’s going on here is the “masculinization” of Sarah Palin. The “Harley babe” is a pretty standard trope of advertising those bikes, particularly when it comes to staking the objects out as masculine in themselves. Palin isn’t riding the motorcycle, after all– she’s posing with it. Pretty women posing with motorcycles aren’t really being presented as “masculine;” they set off the implied masculinity of the motorcycle, and reinforce it as a heterosexual accessory.

I think that’s an excellent point, and well said. I do think the Harley pic plays into Palin’s image as a rough, outdoorsy type of woman who engages in other masculine activities, like hunting, which have been been used to make her seem cool, strong, and “authentic.” But at the same time, she reinforces her femininity with her clothes and make-up, so she’s not in danger of being too masculinized, to where she’s threatening or stereotyped as a lesbian.

JT, in another comment, pointed out:

It looks like Obama might have a child on a trailer bike behind him — see the front of the trailer?  Another piece of info that might contribute to the gender roles discussion.

Thanks for the excellent commentary!

UPDATE 2: In another comment, Will asked if the bike Obama was riding is actually manufactured in China, as the email claims. It is a Trek, a very popular brand. According to Wikipedia, there is some “high-end” domestic production and “assembly,” and “Trek also imports bicycles manufactured in Taiwan and mainland China.” I suspect this means that some of the expensive models are made in the U.S., and some cheaper models have the parts imported and put together here, but that most of the cheaper, regular-use bikes, like the one in the picture, are imported. I suppose the type of reader who would make a decision about voting based on these images would not care that Taiwan is not, in fact, China, and so if the bike was manufactured in Taiwan, the statement is technically incorrect.

In her book Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America, Mary Waters discusses the ways in which White Americans are able to pick and choose among their various ancestries, deciding which (if any) ones to actively claim and in what context. Certain White ethnicities tend to be quite popular, so that people are likely to actively identify themselves as, say, Italian or Irish, whereas others, such as Scottish or Scots-Irish, are relatively unpopular and people are likely to drop those ancestries from their ethnic identity.

Here is a screenshot from the website of Kathleen Delaney, a candidate for judge here in Las Vegas:

Although there is no explicit mention of it anywhere in her campaign materials, I presume, by the shamrocks and the use of the colors of the Irish flag, that she is Irish American. By using these symbols, she is able to signal her ethnicity, which she clearly is proud of and also feels will not impact her campaign negatively (thus her willingness to actively bring attention to it when there is no clear reason to do so).

This illustrates some important aspects of Waters’ argument. Whereas non-Whites often cannot get others to ignore or forget their race, Whites generally have the option of going unmarked–as just “plain” Americans, if you will. That doesn’t mean White ancestries are meaningless or unimportant, but it does mean they have different consequences. Whites can choose when to emphasize their ethnicity, and doing so has few negative consequences. Today there are no significant differences among White ethnic groups in terms of major indicators of quality of life or economic status. So the vast majority of the time there are no real downsides to claiming a White ethnicity, since being White trumps being German or Norwegian or Irish (although of course in the past there was significant discrimination aimed at certain groups of European immigrants, particularly the Irish, Italians, and eastern Europeans).

On the contrary, claiming an ethnic identity lets Whites feel special and interesting. One of the weird things about our racial system is that, though non-Whites are often stigmatized and Whites are at the top of our racial hierarchy, Whites are also often portrayed as culture-less and boring (see this post for an example). So being not just “plain” American but instead Swedish-American seems neater.

This might make a good contrast to the ways in which Barack Obama’s race has been discussed in the presidential election. Whereas he has had to actively address issues of race, and try to downplay it and portray himself as a “post-racial” candidate, Delaney can actively bring attention to an ethnicity that would otherwise probably go unnoticed by most voters, and she clearly thinks that doing so isn’t going to harm her chances of getting elected.

UPDATE: In a comment, Megan pointed out that the ability to “mark” yourself with symbols of your ethnicity can be limited by whether or not those symbols are known well enough by the general public to be recognizable. She says,

Being Swedish-American may be “neat” as you say, but putting some Swedish symbols on a bumper sticker won’t really be understood outside of the upper midwest.

It’s a good point–whereas the shamrock is widely recognized as a symbol of Irishness, I can’t think of any similar symbols of Swedishness off the top of my head, and blue and yellow, the colors of the Swedish flag, certainly don’t immediately signal “Sweden” to me when I see them. So of course anyone can use symbols to signify their ancestry, but not all of those symbols are going to be meaningful to observers. If the Delaney sign had been blue and yellow, and she had some Swedish symbol in place of the shamrocks, I probably never would have written this post because I wouldn’t have even recognized it as ethnic signalling.

Thanks, Megan!