Ethnic Options Choosing Identities in America

ISBN-10: 0520070836

ISBN-13: 9780520070837

Edition: 1990

Authors: Mary C. Waters
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Description: In this perceptive and revealing study, Mary Waters explores the "reinvention" of ethnicity in the lives of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of European immigrants, asking how their ethnic heritage is lived, maintained, and celebrated. Through in-depth interviews with sixty third and fourth generation white ethnics in suburban California and Pennsylvania, the author discovers a surprisingly resilient sense of ethnicity among people who could reasonably label themselves simply "American." Mary Waters' research brings to light a fascinating history of American immigration, revealing aspects of a shared culture and ideology and the unique ways in which ethnic identities fulfill very American needs. Describing the "symbolic ethnicity" of later generation white ethnics as a quintessential American phenomenon, she argues that ethnicity has retained its importance in our lives precisely because it allows people to reconcile the contradictory American values of choice, individuality, and community. In addition to her exploration of the symbolic ethnicity of later generation middle-class whites, Mary Waters addresses its cost to society, contrasting it with the optionless ethnicity of non-white Americans. Her conclusions inEthnic Optionsconstitute an invaluable contribution to our understanding of contemporary American life.

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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 1990
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 8/9/1990
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Mary C. Waters is M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. She is author most recently ofThe Next Generation: Immigrant Youth in Comparative Perspective,and ofEthnic Options: Choosing Identities in America(UC Press), among other books. Patrick J. Carr is Associate Professor at Rutgers University. He is the author ofClean Streets: Controlling Crimes, Maintaining Order, and Building Community ActivismandHollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America.Maria J. Kefalas, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Saint Joseph's University, is the author ofPromises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage(UC Press) among other books. Jennifer Holdaway is Program Director and China Representative at the Social Science Research Council. She is the author most recently ofEnvironment and Health in China: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives.

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