The Invention of Ethnicity

The Invention of Ethnicity

by Werner Sollors
     
 

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This important new collection of interdisciplinary essays sets out to chart the cultural construction of "ethnicity" as embodied in American ethnic literature. Looking at a diverse set of texts, the contributors place the subject in broad historical and dynamic contexts, focusing on the larger systems within which ethnic distinctions emerge and obtain recognition. It

Overview

This important new collection of interdisciplinary essays sets out to chart the cultural construction of "ethnicity" as embodied in American ethnic literature. Looking at a diverse set of texts, the contributors place the subject in broad historical and dynamic contexts, focusing on the larger systems within which ethnic distinctions emerge and obtain recognition. It provides a new critical framework for understanding not only ethnic literature, but also the underlying psychological, historical, social, and cultural forces. Table of Contents: On the Fourth of July in Sitka, Ishmael Reed. Introduction: The Invention of Ethnicity, Werner Sollors. An American Writer, Richard Rodriguez. A Plea for Fictional Histories and Old-Time "Jewesses", Alide Cagidemetrio. Ethnicity as Festive Culture: Nineteenth-Century German-America on Parade, Kathleen Conzen. Defining the Race, 1890-1930, Judith Stein. Anzia Yezierska and the Making of an Ethnic American Self, Mary Dearborn. Deviant Girls and Dissatisfied Women: A Sociologist's Tale, Carla Cappeti. Ethnic Trilogies: A Genealogical and Generational Poetics, William Boelhower. Blood in the Market Place: The Business of Family in the Godfather Narratives, Thomas Ferraro. Comping for Count Basie, Albert Murray. Is Ethnicity Obsolete, Ishmael Reed, Andrew Hope, Shawn Wong, and Bob Callahan.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sollors reminds us that the value of any social construction depends on how it is used, and these essays present cogent analyses of how our use of 'ethnicity' has evolved over the years....Deserves a reading by anyone who is involved in the creation, criticism and dissemination of American culture."—VIA: Voices in Italian Americana

"The introduction alone makes this book significant. With both learning and keen insight, Sollors approaches ethnicity as a modern, self-conscious construct, yet 'language does not here emerge as the new Ersatz essence that would substitute for history, the individual, or the social realm.'"—American Literature

"Given a cultural moment in which the concept of "ethnic minorities" is rapidly becoming an outdated, and inaccurate, assessment of the American landscape, this is a valuable, perhaps indispensable, book.—"Journal of Modern Literature

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198021490
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/14/1991
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
557 KB

Meet the Author

Harvard University

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