Demography and migration


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Death and the word; William conquers Harold and the English language. From Cotton Vitellius A XIII(1) f3v. Photo courtesy British Library

Essay/
Language and linguistics
English is not normal

No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language

John McWhorter

Shanghai, July 2012. All photos by Bruno Barbey/Magnum

Essay/
Demography and migration
The balinghou

Chinese parents bemoan their children’s laziness and greed, but this generation of young people has had enough

James Palmer

Portuguese actor Diogio Morgado plays Jesus in the History Channel’s The Bible mini-series. Photo courtesy Lightworkers Media / Hearst Productions Inc

Essay/
Demography and migration
The white man Jesus

There’s a reason why the Bible is silent about the colour of Jesus’ skin. So why has this become an issue for our age?

Edward J Blum

A grandmother and granddaughter from Cape Verde. Photo by O. Louis Mazzatenta/National Geographic

Essay/
Demography and migration
The future is mixed-race

And so is the past. Migration and mingling are essential to human success in the past, the present and into the future

Scott Solomon

Saturday night in Borgarfjörður eystri, Iceland, 2007. In 2018, 70 per cent of births in the country were outside of marriage. Photo by Jonas Bendicksen/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
Is marriage over?

Marriage is practised in every society yet is in steep decline globally. Is this it for longterm intimate relationships?

Manvir Singh

At a concert in Hyde Park, London. June 1975. Photo by Selwyn Tait/Sygma/Corbis

Essay/
Demography and migration
Against generations

Generational thinking is seductive and confirms preconceived prejudices, but it’s a bogus way to understand the world

Rebecca Onion

Don’t step on me; the porcupine has become the symbol of the Free State Project. Detail from a 1929 motivational poster. Photo by David Pollack/Corbis

Essay/
Demography and migration
A libertarian utopia

Libertarians are united by opposition to government, but when it comes to planning a new society they are deeply divided

Livia Gershon

New York, 1955. Photo by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum

Essay/
Political philosophy
A history of alienation

In the postwar period it was understood to be the fundamental malaise of modern life. Why aren’t we ‘alienated’ any more?

Martin Jay

First-grader Angel Huerta reads a book during a guided reading group. Photo By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Essay/
Language and linguistics
Talk the talk

A push for English to be the official language of the US has both a dark history and a regressive vision for the future

Eric C Miller

Photo by Stefan Kuhn/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Demography and migration
The marriage calculus

Women with money and education tend to get and stay married in America. Why aren’t working-class women the same?

Naomi Cahn & June Carbone

Photo by Rengim Mutevellioglu/Getty

Essay/
Demography and migration
Losing my voice

When I left Nigeria for Belgium, I made my husband’s home my own. But homesickness lodged like a stone inside

Chika Unigwe

Found in translation; a girl writes on the blackboard “C’est la rentrée”. Photo by Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Language and linguistics
Speaking in tongues

In a world that converses only in English, we’ll talk only of banal things: that’s why I want my children to be bilingual

Ben Faccini

Jewish and Christian children playing at Le Chambon-sur-Lignon during the Second World War. Local people rescued thousands of Jews during the war Photo courtesy the Chambon Foundation

Essay/
Demography and migration
What is peace?

Forget ideals of milk and honey. Peace is found in the grit of everyday life, in a town that takes in troubled strangers

Margaret Paxson

Hans Baluschek’s Großstadtlichter (1931), oil on canvas. Stadtmuseum, Berlin. Photo of painting courtesy of Michael Setzpfandt

Essay/
Cities
A metropolitan world

Urbanisation might be the most profound change to human society in a century, more telling than colour, class or continent

Michael Goebel

Women of Phoenicia (1879) by Robert Fowler. Image by Public Catalogue Foundation. Supplied by National Museums Liverpool

Essay/
The ancient world
Phantasmic Phoenicia

The British, Irish and Lebanese have all claimed descent from the ancient Phoenicians. But ancient Phoenicia never existed

Josephine Quinn

A crucifix hangs on a wall map of Europe in a school classroom in Rome, November 3, 2009. Photo by Tony Gentile/Reuters

Essay/
Cosmopolitanism
How to hobble religion

Contrary to popular belief, migration from Muslim countries is one reason why Europe is becoming more secular, not less

Ronan McCrea

At a crossroads in the Maitama district of Abuja, Nigeria. Photo by Kassim Braimah

Essay/
Cosmopolitanism
This is your morning

I left the US, the land of my birth, sickened by racial injustice. But the return to a homeland is not a simple matter

Enuma Okoro

Ruth Behar outside her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. All photos courtesy of the author

Essay/
Demography and migration
Searching for home

My connection to place is fluid and complex. In a nomadic world, do we still need a home?

Ruth Behar

Jump around: fans of Pakistani rapper Adil Omar at a concert in Islamabad, Pakistan. Photo by Anjum Naveed/AP

Essay/
Demography and migration
I’m no terrorist

Young Pakistanis have more opportunity than ever to change the country. But what will they do with their freedom?

Samira Shackle

James Donovan, an Irish sweeper at the Fall River Iron Works who said he was 17 years old, Massachusetts, June 1916. Photograph by Lewis Hine/Library of Congress

Essay/
Global history
The Irish diaspora

There are 70 million people around the world who claim Irish ancestry. What shaped and made the great Irish emigration?

Kevin Kenny

At a tea house in Kashgar’s Old City, China, 2009. Kashgar, now in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has a rich and ancient history and was an important city on the Silk trading routes. Photo by Michael Christopher Brown, Magnum

Essay/
Economic history
The heart of the world

The Silk Road – from the Eastern Mediterranean to China’s Pacific shore – is once again the centre of the world

Peter Frankopan