Choosing Ethnic Identity

Choosing Ethnic Identity

3.66 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Choosing Ethnic Identity explores the ways in which people are able to choose their ethnic identities in contemporary multiethnic societies such as the USA and Britain. Notions such as adopting an identity, or self-designated terms, such as Black British and Asian American, suggest the importance of agency and choice for individuals. However, the actual range of ethnic identities available to individuals and the groups to which they belong are not wholly under their control. These identities must be negotiated in relation to both the wider society and coethnics. The ability of minority individuals and groups to assert or recreate their own self-images and ethnic identities, against the backdrop of ethnic and racial labelling by the wider society, is important for their self-esteem and social status. This book examines the ways in which ethnic minority groups and individuals are able to assert and negotiate ethnic identities of their choosing, and the constraints structuring such choices. By drawing on studies from both the USA and Britain, Miri Song concludes that while significant constraints surround the exercising of ethnic options, there are numerous ways in which ethnic minority individuals and groups contest and assert particular meanings and representations associated with their ethnic identities.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 20mm | 299.38g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745622771
  • 9780745622774
  • 1,535,128

Back cover copy

Choosing Ethnic Identity explores the ways in which people are able to choose their ethnic identities in contemporary multiethnic societies such as the USA and Britain. Notions such as adopting an identity, or self-designated terms, such as Black British and Asian American, suggest the importance of agency and choice for individuals. However, the actual range of ethnic identities available to individuals and the groups to which they belong are not wholly under their control. These identities must be negotiated in relation to both the wider society and coethnics. The ability of minority individuals and groups to assert or recreate their own self-images and ethnic identities, against the backdrop of ethnic and racial labelling by the wider society, is important for their self-esteem and social status. This book examines the ways in which ethnic minority groups and individuals are able to assert and negotiate ethnic identities of their choosing, and the constraints structuring such choices. By drawing on studies from both the USA and Britain, Miri Song concludes that while significant constraints surround the exercising of ethnic options, there are numerous ways in which ethnic minority individuals and groups contest and assert particular meanings and representations associated with their ethnic identities.show more

Review quote

"In this intellectually challenging and highly original study, Miri Song mobilizes a wide body of theoretical writing and empirical evidence, originating in both the UK and the U.S. Choosing Ethic Identity presents a new conceptual apparatus for evaluating inequality in societies increasingly confronted by manifold narratives of victimization," Steven J. Gold, Michigan State University "Miri Song has written an enormously stimulating and authoritative account of the changing nature of ethnic identity. Drawing judiciously on a wealth of material from both the US and Britain, she is able to show that the assertion of ethnic identity involves a complex set of political and social relations. Songa s account of these issues should be a must for anybody who is concerned with the formation of ethnic and racial identities." John Solomos, Professor of Sociology, City University, London "Choosing Ethnic Identity makes an important contribution to a developing literature in the field of race and ethnic studies dealing with the subtleties and complexities of both radicalized and ethicized identities, and the political landscapes in which some versions of identity are erased or marginalized. Tracing the intertwining race of ethnicity in Britain and the United States, Song exposes some of the plasticity of ethnicity as a optionsa in the shaping of lives and subjective and the political tensions surrounding them...Overall, this is a readable and valuable contribution to the theorization of race and ethnicity on both sides of the Atlantic." Caroline Knowles, University of Londshow more

About Miri Song

Miri Song, University of Kentshow more

Table of contents

Preface. Chapter 1 Ethnic identities: choices and constraints. Chapter 2 Comparing minorities ethnic options. Chapter 3 Negotiating individual and group identities. Chapter 4 The growth of mixed race people. Chapter 5 The diversification of ethnic groups. Chapter 6 The second generation in a global context. Chapter 7 Debates about racial hierarchy. Chapter 8 The future of race and ethnic identity. Notes. References. Indexshow more

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