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Ethnicity / Edition 1

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Overview

The phrase 'ethnic group' is now part of daily news and political discourse. More ominously, the term 'ethnic cleansing' has entered the language in the aftermath of the collapse of Yugoslavia. Despite phrases such as this, we often think of ethnic difference as benign_whether exemplified in food, dress, or music. But is it? Are the kinds of sentiments that we call ethnic_or national_as potentially destructive as those we call racist? Are marches and drumbeats heartwarming traditional rituals or the signs of bitter division? Many books on ethnicity and racism have concentrated on a single country. This book takes the reader through key analytical debates drawing on a range of case study material from around the globe, including: Britain and migration; America as a post-slavery society; Hawai'i as a land dispossession society; and Malaysia as a 'plural' post-colonial society. In doing so, it addresses the question of whether there is a universal resurgence of ethnicity and coolly addresses competing theories of ethnicity and racism. Providing the reader with a clear conceptual frame within which to see long-standing debates afresh, it will be of relevance and value to both students in a range of social sciences and to specialists in the field.

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Editorial Reviews

Joe R. 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.
Choice
[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.
CHOICE
[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: 9780847695294
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: New Social Formations Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 0.58 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Fenton is currently professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol. He has taught in universities in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, where he was a visiting British Council Scholar at Massey University. He is the author of Durkheim and Modern Sociology.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Conceptualizing Ethnicity Chapter 2 Ethnicity and the Modern World: Historical Trajectories Chapter 3 Ethnicity and Racism Chapter 4 Hot and Cold Ethnicity: Theories of Origin and Intensity Chapter 5 Radicalization and Ethnicity in the Economic Context Chapter 6 Class Structures, Ethnic Formations: Malaysia, Hawai’i, Britain Chapter 7 Politics and Ethnicity Chapter 8 The Politics of Ethnicity: Hawai’i, Britain, Continental Europe Chapter 9 Concluding Remarks: Ethnicity, Racism, and Social Theory

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