By Dr. Jason J. McDonald
The USA, it is usually stated, is likely one of the so much ethnically varied international locations on the 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 a variety of teams meld with the remainder of American society? should still we predict when it comes to 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 ebook. Chapters discover a number themes, together with how assorted ethnic teams arrived within the United States--whether via violence and coercion or keen immigration; the bizarre id of local americans as "ethnic," although they're indigenous to the land; even if the yank public's attitudes towards and remedy of distinction has been in step with the nation's professed egalitarian beliefs; and the way components equivalent to language, faith, category, gender, and intermarriage play in both strengthening or weakening ethnic id and crew unity. an attractive and important examine a time period that continues to be stubbornly ambiguous in either scholarly dialogue and the vernacular, this e-book makes a tremendous contribution to the continued debates approximately "difference" in American society.
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Extra info for American Ethnic History: Themes and Perspectives
Definitions which equate ethnicity with race, therefore, tend by their very nature to homogenize population groups in general and whites in particular. A further insight into the nature of the relationship between race and ethnicity can be gained by examining two of their commonly used derivatives – racism and ethnocentrism. Both of these terms relate to forms of prejudice based upon assumptions of difference and superiority, as is demonstrated by George Fredrickson and Dale Knobel’s (1980, p. 830) definition of ethnocentrism as ‘‘a basic feeling that ‘we’ are different from ‘them’ in ways that make ‘us’ better than ‘they’ are’’.
192). The same imagery is evoked in Philip Taylor’s classic study, The Distant Magnet. The 40 american ethnic history attractions of the United States, noted Taylor, were ‘‘the variety of its economic growth, the freedom built into its institutions, and the abundance of its commercial and intellectual links with Europe’’, all of which guaranteed that for prospective emigrants it ‘‘continued to possess advantages that no other overseas land could rival’’ (1971, p. 26). The orthodox view, therefore, maintained that it was the pull of America’s economic opportunities, above all other factors, which generated immigration.
HEGEMONIC ORIGINS: CONQUEST American ethnic diversity has traditionally been viewed through the prism of nineteenth- and twentieth-century voluntary immigration from Europe, a tendency which inexorably disregards and hence minimizes the hegemonic origins of the population’s heterogeneity. In particular, two significant groups 26 american ethnic history were generally given scant acknowledgment in standard accounts of the peopling of the United States: first, indigenous populations who were incorporated into the nation through conquest and not as a result of their own choosing; and second, involuntary migrants who were transported against their will from Old World homelands to the New World.
American Ethnic History: Themes and Perspectives by Dr. Jason J. McDonald