Models of American Ethnicities

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic group, White American Pages: 3 (639 words) Published: October 26, 2014
Models Of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective How does Fredrickson distinguish between race and ethnicity? How and under what circumstances can ethnicity become racialized’ (para.2)?

Fredrickson says that “It can be misleading to make a sharp distinction between race and ethnicity when considering intergroup relations in American history” He means that these terms do not have clear distinctions and have evolved over time. In paragraph 2, he writes that ethnicity can become racialized “whenever distinctive group characteristics...are used as the basis for a status hierarchy of groups who are thought to differ in ancestry or descent.”

What does Fredrickson mean by “the burden of ‘otherness’”? Summarize the ways in which racial categories and definitions of “whiteness” have changed during the course of American history.
Fredrickson means that throughout the course of American History being labeled as an “other,” has changed. From the 1860s to the 1920s there were different kinds of race quotas on immigration. Definitions of “whiteness have changed drastically as we can observe in Fredrickson’s writing. In the late 19th and early twentieth centuries the ideas of euguenics, scientific racism, and social Darwinism, all accumulated in different definitions of “whiteness.” Fredrickson writes that “In the minds of many(during the period of the 1860s to the 1920s) true americans were not merely white but also Northern European….some even harbored doubts about the full claim of “whiteness” of swarthy immigrants from southern Italy.”

What are some of the ways that ethnic hierarchy has been eliminated? In what ways does it persist, according to Fredrickson? What evidence can you think of that would support or challenge this contention? Ethnic hierarchy was almost wholly eliminated after WWII among White people of different European background as well as Jews. The ethnic hierarchy shifted from ethnic background to color. After the civil rights...
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