Ethnic Options by Mary C. Waters
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Ethnic Options
By Mary C. Waters

Ethnic Options

Choosing Identities in America

By (author) See other recent books by Mary C. Waters
Format: Paperback

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Ethnic Options by Mary C. Waters

Book 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 in "Ethnic Options" constitute an invaluable contribution to our understanding of contemporary American life.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520070837
ISBN-10: 0520070836
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 9-Aug-1990
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Mary C. Waters

Coming of Age in America by Mary C. Waters Coming of Age in America, Paperback (September 2011)

What is it like to become an adult in twenty-first-century America? This book takes us to four very different places - New York City, San Diego, rural Iowa, and Saint Paul, Minnesota - to explore the dramatic shifts in coming-of-age experiences across the country.

Next Generation by Mary C. Waters Next Generation, Paperback (April 2011)

An exploration of how the integration of immigrants affects subsequent generations in developed countries

New Americans by Mary C. Waters New Americans, Hardback (January 2007)

The United States has always been a nation of immigrants, shaped by successive waves of new arrivals. The most recent transformation began when immigration laws and policies changed significantly in 1965. Edited and written by a group of prominent scholars, this book provides an authoritative account of the most recent surge of immigrants.

» View all books by Mary C. Waters

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Author Biography - Mary C. Waters

Mary C. Waters is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.

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Coming of Age in America by Mary C. Waters
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