American Ethnic History
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American Ethnic History : Themes and Perspectives

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  • Hardback
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Description

This book provides a new framework for examining and comprehending the varied historical experiences of ethnic groups in the United States. Thematically organized and comparative in outlook, it explores how historians have grappled with questions that bear upon a key aspect of the American experience: ethnicity. How did the United States come to have such an ethnically diverse population? What contribution, if any, has this ethnic diversity made to the shaping of American culture and institutions? How easily and at what levels have ethnic and racial minorities been incorporated, if at all, into the social and economic structures of the United States? Has incorporation been a uniform process or has it varied from group to group? As well as providing readers with an accessible yet authoritative introduction to the field of American ethnic history, the book serves as a valuable reference tool for more experienced researchers. Key Features: *Adopts a comparative and thematic approach that helps to demystify this complex and controversial subject. *Provides an orderly and readable introduction to the main issues and debates surrounding the topic. *Detailed and broad-ranging discussion of historiography enables readers to find more specialized works on topics in which they are interested.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 24mm | 544g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 0748616330
  • 9780748616336

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; I. DEFINING ETHNICITY; 1. The Origins and Nature of Ethnic Identity; Introduction; Terminology: Ethnic, Ethnicity, Ethny; Ethnicity: Inherited or Invented?; Race: Variant of Ethnicity or Independent Variable?; Summary; II. PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN ETHNIC DIVERSITY; 2. The Making of American Ethnic Diversity; Introduction; Hegemonic Origins: Conquest; Hegemonic Origins: Involuntary Migration; Overcoming Biases in Immigration History; Causes of Immigration; Summary; 3. Ethnic Adaptation; Introduction; Assimilation: The Melting Pot; Assimilation: Challenging the Melting Pot; Assimilation: Anglo-Conformity; Pluralism; Beyond the Assimilation-Pluralism Dichotomy; Summary; III. MAINSTREAM SOCIETY'S PERCEPTIONS AND POLICIES; 4. Ethnicity and the American Creed; Introduction; A 'world-wide welcome'?; 'Land of the Free': Equality or Inequality?; 'Safety': Ethnic Violence; Summary; 5. Ethnic Incorporation; Introduction; Residential Patterns; Education: 'The Great Equalizer'?; Social Mobility: The 'Land of Opportunity'?; Summary; IV. MINORITY GROUP RESPONSES TO AMERICAN LIFE; 6. Ethnic Collective Action; Introduction; Causes of Ethnic Collective Action; Varieties of Ethnic Collective Behaviour; Passive Participation: Accommodationism; Passive Non-Participation: Separatism; Active Participation: Reformism; Active Non-Participation: Irredentism, Radicalism; Inter-Ethnic Relations; Summary; 7. Confronting Challenges to Ethnic Allegiance; Introduction; Ethnic Boundaries: Fixed or Impermanent?; Agents of Particularism; Culture, Language; Institutions, Religion; Family; Competing Particularisms: Class; Competing Particularisms: Gender; Intermarriage and Boundary Erosion; Summary; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.show more

Review quote

Jason McDonald has written an elegant book introducing the main debates concerning ethnicity in American history and society. The central achievement of the book is to present in a methodical way the main points of contention among historians and social scientists regarding the making of American ethnicity, the place of ethnicity in American culture and ethnic collective action. This book is a very useful tool for students entering the field of American ethnicity and for specialists searching for a comprehensive discussion of the work in the field. -- Jose Itzigsohn, Associate Professor of Sociology, Brown University Jason McDonald's new book will be welcomed by all students of American ethnic history, whether they are newcomers to the field or seasoned experts. It offers a penetrating overview of the central issues of the American ethnic experience, unsurpassed in its coverage. Not only does it clearly and insightfully frame the major historiographical debates, it does what few works have tried -- examine the histories of groups with European, African, Asian, and Latin American ancestry as part of a broader, inclusive framework. -- James Ralph, Professor of History, Middlebury College Jason McDonald has written an elegant book introducing the main debates concerning ethnicity in American history and society. The central achievement of the book is to present in a methodical way the main points of contention among historians and social scientists regarding the making of American ethnicity, the place of ethnicity in American culture and ethnic collective action. This book is a very useful tool for students entering the field of American ethnicity and for specialists searching for a comprehensive discussion of the work in the field. Jason McDonald's new book will be welcomed by all students of American ethnic history, whether they are newcomers to the field or seasoned experts. It offers a penetrating overview of the central issues of the American ethnic experience, unsurpassed in its coverage. Not only does it clearly and insightfully frame the major historiographical debates, it does what few works have tried -- examine the histories of groups with European, African, Asian, and Latin American ancestry as part of a broader, inclusive framework.show more

About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald has taught at the University of Winchester, Brunel University, and Iowa State University.show more

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