New York City is known as a magnet for various immigrant groups that come and settle here to realize the freedom of the American dream. Unfortunately, once most immigrants reach New York City the reality of cultural differences and language barriers drive most new immigrants to settle in neighborhoods that are predominantly dominated by one ethnicity. There is no better depiction of this process than a trip on NYC’s 7 train, which takes you through one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the country. In class, we watched a documentary about the different ethnic and immigrant communities living in the neighborhoods off the 7-subway line in Queens, NY. It delved into the emotional, financial and political issues that are born out of these very separate homogeneous communities that wholly represent the heterogeneity of the ethnic and cultural melting pot that New York City is known for. The article “Ethnic Groups” by Max Weber, explores the relationship between ethnic identity and ethnic membership and their influence on forming political groups and or cities (polis).
I think an important observation of Weber’s is that racial identity can be boiled down to being part of a “common descent”. Such in the case of the predominantly Indian communities who have settled in queens from South Asia. India in itself is a country of cultural plurism. In India there are various different languages, diets and religions. Yet these immigrants who might of lived in separate areas in their country of origin now live homogenously as one ethnically Indian neighborhood. Similar to the Spanish speaking neighborhoods of Jackson Heights were Ecuadorians, Mexicans and Columbians live together as one ethnic community of South American Immigrants. In these ethnic enclaves according to Weber also emerges this belief of “Ethnic Honor”. Such in the case of the Indian women who came over to be with her husband as he finished medical school. She immediately became... [continues]
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(2010, 10). Ethnic Idenity. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ethnic-Idenity-436746.html
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"Ethnic Idenity." StudyMode.com. 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ethnic-Idenity-436746.html.