By Dr. Jason J. McDonald
The U.S., it's always acknowledged, is among the such a lot ethnically various nations on this planet. yet what, accurately, will we suggest once we communicate of "ethnic" teams or "ethnicity"? what's the contrast, for instance, among "race" and "ethnicity"? How do numerous teams meld with the remainder of American society? should still we expect by way of assimilation, integration, pluralism, or another dating among ethnic teams and the mainstream? it truly is those and plenty of different questions that Jason J. McDonald tackles during this well timed and insightful e-book. Chapters discover a number issues, together with how assorted ethnic teams arrived within the United States--whether via violence and coercion or keen immigration; the abnormal id of local americans as "ethnic," although they're indigenous to the land; even if the yank public's attitudes towards and therapy of distinction has been in step with the nation's professed egalitarian beliefs; and the way elements reminiscent of language, faith, type, gender, and intermarriage play in both strengthening or weakening ethnic id and crew cohesion. an enticing and significant examine a time period that is still stubbornly ambiguous in either scholarly dialogue and the vernacular, this booklet makes a big contribution to the continuing debates approximately "difference" in American society.
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Extra info for American Ethnic History: Themes and Perspectives
Conversely, the aim of the situational perspective is to demystify ethnicity by revealing how it emerges out of identifiable real life contexts and historical experiences. Ethnicity, according to this view, is a social construction not a natural human trait. Although occasional efforts have been made to broach the differences between the primordialist and situationalist perspectives by acknowledging the fact that pre-existing loyalties and immediate social circumstances both play a role in the formation of new ethnies, these attempts at synthesis usually founder upon the realization that even apparently primal allegiances must at some point have been socially constructed.
Were they pushed out of their homelands by adverse or deteriorating conditions or were they pulled to the United States by the allure of the opportunities thought to exist there? Moreover, is it possible to fully comprehend such a vast and complex phenomenon as international migration by viewing it through the prism of either the push–pull or any other paradigm? The approaches historians have adopted to resolve these problems are the subject of the remainder of this chapter. It is important to note that two ingrained biases in traditional scholarship the making of american ethnic diversity 35 on immigration history have had particular relevance for the debate over the origins and complexity of American multiethnicity.
Ethnicity has become the generic term. While Bonacich claimed that the distinction between an ethny and a race is determined by an inherent characteristic of the group itself (that is size of ancestral place of origin), Susan Olzak implied that the difference lies more in the eye of the beholder. Despite starting from the different premise that ‘‘racial and ethnic boundaries are socially and politically constructed’’, Olzak arrived at the same conclusion as Bonacich of viewing race as subordinate to ethnicity: ‘‘Since ethnicity is an outcome of boundary creation and maintenance, there is no obstacle to treating race as a special case of an ethnic boundary, one that is believed to be correlated with inherited biotic characteristics’’ (1992, pp.
American Ethnic History: Themes and Perspectives by Dr. Jason J. McDonald