American Ethnic History: Themes and Perspectives

American Ethnic History: Themes and Perspectives

by Jason J. McDonald
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813542278

ISBN-13: 9780813542270

Pub. Date: 08/28/2007

Publisher: Rutgers University Press


The United States, it is often said, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. But what, precisely, do we mean when we speak of “ethnic” groups or “ethnicity”?  What is the distinction, for example, between “race” and “ethnicity”? How do various groups meld with the rest of American society?…  See more details below

Overview


The United States, it is often said, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. But what, precisely, do we mean when we speak of “ethnic” groups or “ethnicity”?  What is the distinction, for example, between “race” and “ethnicity”? How do various groups meld with the rest of American society? Should we think in terms of assimilation, integration, pluralism, or some other relationship between ethnic groups and the mainstream? It is these and many other questions that Jason J. McDonald tackles in this timely and insightful book.

Chapters explore a range of topics, including how different ethnic groups arrived in the United States—whether through violence and coercion or willing immigration; the peculiar identification of Native Americans as “ethnic,” despite the fact that they are indigenous to the land; whether the American public’s attitudes toward and treatment of difference has been consistent with the nation’s professed egalitarian ideals; and how factors such as language, religion, class, gender, and intermarriage play in either strengthening or weakening ethnic identity and group solidarity.

An engaging and critical look at a term that remains stubbornly ambiguous in both scholarly discussion and the vernacular, this book makes an important contribution to the ongoing debates about “difference” in American society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813542270
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2007
Pages:
272

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Preface     ix
Defining Ethnicity
The Origins and Nature of Ethnic Identity     3
Perspectives on American Ethnic Diversity
The Making of American Ethnic Diversity     25
Ethnic Adaptation     49
Mainstream Society's Perceptions and Policies
Ethnicity and the American Creed     69
Ethnic Incorporation     91
Minority Group Responses to American Life
Ethnic Collective Action     135
Confronting Challenges to Ethnic Allegiance     170
Bibliography     209
Name Index     253
Subject Index     258

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