The Invention of Ethnicity in the United States & Race, Nation, Culture in Recent Immigration Studies

The Invention of Ethnicity article brings up a new definition of ethnicity to the field of immigration history. They discuss the two previous and dominant definition of ethnicity. Two Anthropologist wrote that ethnicity was a “basic group identity.” They thought that even later generations fall under it because of genes. The other definition was Glazer and Moynihan thought of it as an interest group. This was created to show how different immigrant groups came together to do something, like the ways of politics. They defined ethnicity as not something placed upon you but something you choose to believe yourself as. This definition was created so the authors could explain the changing actors on the stage of American immigration effects. The groups stayed together if the people kept thinking they were together, an active thought process.

George Sanchez wrote a study of how Asian and Mexican Americans faced particular problems in the 20th Century. Sanchez believes that by better understanding that ideas we think are hard and true facts are often ideas that change over time like the idea of a nation. By deciding that a citizen of the US must be ‘white’ Asian Americans could not become naturalized and thus only their children by being born here are citizens. Sanchez ends the piece by thinking to advance immigration history to connect different waves of immigration through races and wars that took place and created hotly contested immigration.

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