"For each people is a people ; it has its national culture and its language;the zone in which each of them is placed has sometimes put its stamp. sometimes only a thin veil, on each of them, but it has not destroyed the original ancestral core construction of the nation. This extends itself even into families..."
In class we discusses whether or not these divisions were good or bad, as well as whether they were useful or not. I would like to bring up another question that deals more directly with the constraints of the definition of a "people" (or volk). In the text Herder gives a loose definition of what it means to be identified as a people and then goes on to state that these divisions can continue on down into families. It would seem like families may be a far division to go to yet it does not seem implausible that the divisions of the "people" would go past what would be the most obvious division Herder may be trying to define, nationalities (i.e. people having common origins or traditions and often comprising a nation). If the divisions consists of common language, culture, and zone I would argue that this would constitute for the different lines of division that we constitute as nation-states. Examples of these peoples would include Germans, French, Japanese, Kenyans, Australians, Brazilians, Americans, Canadians, and so on. Yet, I would also argue that within these large divisions of peoples there are smaller divisions of the peoples. For example, I would argue that in America there is support for the peoples of the North and South as well as the East and West. It can be observed that there are differences in culture, language, and region between the North and South, and East and West. I would argue that this division follows the lines of Herder's argument and the evidence is supportive and observable.
I would ask if you think that this division can continue even further on than divisions like the North and South, and East and West. The example I would ask us to view is the Cajun "people" of Louisiana. There is evidence to support that the culture and language of the Cajuns is very unique and specific to their region. Would a group as small as the Cajuns constitute a "people" or "volk"? If yes, would this mean that groups such as the Amish or even more specific groups, such as a sports team or college campus population? Where do the divisions stop? Do they stop? Is there a more precise definition for a people?