Ethnicity / Edition 1

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In this extensively revised edition, Steve Fenton updates his concise and accessible introduction to ethnicity, drawing on new published work and recent social and historical changes. Discussing an extended range of theorists and illustrations from around the world, Fenton explores clarifies the core meanings and the shifting ground of this contested concept. More space is given to ideas of 'threat' and 'competition' in conceptualizing ethnicity, as well as to recent issues in migration, especially increased migration to the USA from Central and South America. Fenton situates ethnic identities and interest in the changing modern world, and seeks to explain the contemporary conditions that lead to delineation along ethnic and racial lines. Without assuming the centrality of ethnic difference, this book asks: Does it matter? When does it matter? Is it as important as many have assumed?

The second edition of Fenton's highly regarded Ethnicity will continue to be an invaluable text for students of sociology, politics and international relations coming to the subject for the first time. Its innovative and challenging approach will also appeal to more advanced scholars of race and ethnicity.

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Editorial Reviews

[A] wide ranging and articulate disquisition on the state of ethnic studies. . . . Fenton should be commended.
Contemporary Sociology
Fenton's attempt to make the notion of ethnicity both dynamic and historically specific makes a useful contribution to the development of more lively and situated approach to this urgent topic. Greater insights into contextual detail is a vital first step; this book reminds us of its importance and illustrates the direction we might follow in beginning to deal with this extremely important and urgent topic.
Brad Breems
Given the fluidity and confusion in both popular and non-specialized scholarly treatments of [social] difference, Fenton's book does great service in unambiguously, yet profoundly, distinguishing and unpacking the terms "race" and "ethnicity". His use and amplification of Erikson's typology is brilliant.
[A] wide ranging and articulate disquisition on the state of ethnic studies. . . . Fenton should be commended.
Peter Ratcliffe
This book in many ways represents a remarkable achievement. This is a book which has much to commend it.
Joe Feagin
Fenton challenges us to think in comparative terms about contemporary racial-ethnic conflicts. Accenting historical, political, and economic variations, he underscores the broad range of racial-ethnic conflicts and changes today—from indigenous peoples and ethnonational groups to ethnic groups in plural societies, urban minorities, and post-slavery minorities.
From the Publisher
"This is an excellent book and a very worthy contribution to the field. Fenton does a remarkably good job of synthesizing key debates in a contentious, very active field, doing so in a lively manner. Ranging broadly, he deals equally well with more conceptual as well as more empirical matters. He straightforwardly presents his own, quite sensible point of view, all the while consistently retaining an open, fair-minded approach to the intellectually and disciplinarily diverse set of authors that he discusses. The many historical and international cases discussed by the book make it of particular value."
—Roger Waldinger, University of California

"This new edition of Steve Fenton's Ethnicity updates what was in any case one of most acute studies of the relation between ethnicity and other factors such as class. In the New Edition these issues are looked at in a wider context geographically including Latin America and Asia, while also bringing them up to date in the light of contemporary politics, new statistical material and recent theoretical debates."
—John Rex, University of Warwick

"This new edition, even more than the original, is an exceptionally useful teaching tool. It is comprehensive, comprehensible, and concise, the three attributes we all look for when assigning books to our students. While it can serve well for undergraduates being introduced to the analysis of ethnicity, it is also a very good review of the scholarly work in this area so that advanced graduate students would do well to read it."
—Daniel Chirot, University of Washington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745622873
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/4/2003
  • Series: Polity Key Concepts in the Social Sciences Series , #1
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 0.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Fenton is Professor of Sociology at University of Bristol.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Ethnos: Descent and Culture Communities 13
2 Discourses of Ethnicity in Three Settings: The USA, the UK and Malaysia 25
3 The Demise of Race: The Emergence of 'Ethnic' 51
4 The Primordialism Debate 73
5 Key Points in the Ethnicity Literature 91
6 Migration, Ethnicity and Mobilization 113
7 Conditions of Ethnicity: Global Economy and Precarious States 135
8 States, Nations and the Ethnic Majority: A Problem of Modernity 160
9 Ethnicity and Modernity: General Conclusions 179
Bibliography 198
Index 210
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