Race and Ethnicity : An Anthropological Focus on the United States and the World

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Covering basic concepts and research, this book presents state of the art, highly readable essays on both the theoretical issues and empirical studies of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and throughout the world.It introduces the concepts of race, the fallacies of scientific racism, and theoretical perspectives on ethnicityfollowed by fourteen chapters that share the empirical findings of anthropologists on race and ethnicity in the U.S. and the world.For individuals interested in getting a global perspective on race and ethnic relations, and reducing some of the superficial media-based characterizations and representations of race and ethnic issues throughout the world.

Table of Contents

Preface v
The Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity
Raymond Scupin
The Concept of Race in Anthropology
Scott MacEachern
A History of ``Scientific'' Racialism
Lenoard Lieberman
Raymond Scupin
Ethnicity and Ethnocentrism: Are They Natural?
Donald E. Brown
U. S. Ethnic Relations: Anglos and the ``White Ethnics''
Raymond Scupin
American Indians
Rachel A. Bonney
African Americans
Susan Love Brown
Jewish Americans
Jack Glazier
Hispanic Americans/Latinos
Ellen Bigler
Asian Americans
Janet Benson
Arab Americans
Barbara C. Aswad
Latin America and the Caribbean
Ronald Kephart
Sheilah Clarke-Ekong
The Middle East
Laurie King-Irani
Raymond Scupin
The Pacific Islands
Karen Brison
Pamela Ballinger
Norman Buchignani
Raymond Scupin
Contributors 468(3)
Credits 471


Ethnic unrest and tension are prevalent in the contemporary world. Newspapers and television news are rife with stories about ethnic violence among the peoples of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Ireland, the Middle East, and the United States. Thus, as globalization rapidly expands and both undermines and strengthens ethnic and national identities, an understanding of race and of ethnicity issues becomes more pertinent. This book is an introductory survey of the basic concepts and research in the field of anthropology on race and ethnicity in the United States and throughout the world. Anthropologists have been doing research on race and ethnicity for more than a hundred years and have developed a profound understanding of race and ethnicity issues. However, these anthropological insights have not been communicated widely. Race and ethnicity issues: have had immense effects on both U.S. and global political trends and have created innumerable tensions and misunderstandings among different groups. An anthropological understanding of race and ethnicity has clarified some of these misconceptions and may help relieve some of these tensions. One of the major objectives of anthropology is to comprehend both the differences and the similarities among different groups of humans throughout the world. A major lesson derived from anthropological research is that as different groups learn about each other''s cultural values, norms, behaviors, goals, and aspirations, the less likely they are to maintain rigid stereotypes and misconceptions about one another. Thus, one of the practical results of anthropological research is a reduction in racism, ethnocentrism, and animosities and tensions. As students learn to discern what anthropologists have learned about race and ethnicity issues, they are more likely to be able to adjust and become more productive citizens in an increasing multicultural and globally integrated world. A comprehensive understanding of race and ethnicity issues is a fundamental aspect of a well-rounded liberal arts education. This text is a collection of state-of-the-art but highly readable essays for undergraduate students. Part I deals with the basic concepts of race and ethnicity. Chapter 1 introduces the discipline of anthropology to students who may have never had a course in anthropology. Chapter 2 focuses on the concept of race, and what anthropologists have learned about "race" based on paleoanthropological, archaeological, population genetics, and other related research for the past hundred years or so. The concept of race has been subject to extensive investigations by both physical and cultural anthropologists, and these research findings need to be communicated to the student in a comprehensible manner. Chapter 3 is devoted to the history of "scientific" racialism and how it emerged as a means of promoting simplistic understandings of race and culture, which, in turn, have fostered forms of racism and misunderstandings throughout the world. One of the major lessons that has emerged from anthropological research, beginning with Franz Boas, is that culture is separate from biology or so-called "racial" characteristics. Students need to have a fundamental understanding of this important finding. Chapter 4 addresses the various features that are expressions of ethnicity or ethnic boundary markers, such as religion or linguistic differences. This chapter discusses concepts and theories of assimilation, pluralism, prejudice, discrimination, primordialist and circumstantialist approaches, nationalism and identity politics, and other basic concepts and theories for understanding race and ethnicity issues. Chapter 5 is an essay on the research of psychological anthropologists and others who have been investigating the universality or naturalism of ethnicity and ethnocentrism. This chapter is provocative and will result in a great deal of critical thinking for the undergraduate student. Part II of the text addresses the patterns of race and ethnic relations in the United States based on anthropological research. An introductory essay, Chapter 6, delineates the basic patterns of race and ethnicity established by the Anglo and "white" ethnic groups based on immigration patterns and assimilation processes. This chapter includes some basic material highlighting the influence of WASP, or Anglo American, culture that established definitive contours of race and ethnic relations in the United States. Following are chapters (712) on American Indians, African Americans, Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans/ Latinos, Asian Americans, and Arab Americans, written by anthropologists who did ethnographic research among these ethnic groups. This part of the text fulfills the need to have a basic understanding of various ethnic groups in an increasingly multicultural U.S. society. Part III is globally focused. Its chapters cover race and ethnic relations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Europe, and Canada--all written by anthropologists who have ethnographic research experience in these different regions of the world. They draw on local-level ethnic processes to illustrate general macrolevel tendencies. Chapter 13, on Latin America and the Caribbean, focuses on how colonialism has influenced ethnic relations among Indians, Spanish, Portuguese, and African peoples. The chapter (14) on Africa describes how different patterns of colonialism have affected race and ethnic relations in various regions of the continent. The chapter discusses apartheid in South Africa, as well as the tragic episodes of ethnic conflict and genocide in Rwanda. The Middle East is the subject of Chapter 15, which discusses the internal ethnic tensions and differences within Middle Eastern societies. Chapter 16, on Asia, includes discussions of race and ethnicity in South Asia (India and Sri Lanka), East Asia (China and Japan), and Southeast Asia (Thailand and Malaysia). The Pacific Islands chapter (17) discusses various patterns of colonialism and their consequences for ethnic relations throughout Oceania, including recent ethnic trends in Fiji and Hawaii. Chapter 18, on Europe, includes a general discussion of nationalism and identity, as well as the ethnic conflicts in the Balkans and Ireland. Chapter 19 focuses on Canada and the French-Anglo conflict and how ethnic patterns differ from those in the United States. A final, brief chapter concentrates on the United States and other ethnic trends and tendencies that are influenced by globalization. In particular, this chapter critically examines the controversial thesis of Samuel Huntington''s Clash of Civilizationapproach in understanding ethnic and cultural trends. The local-level ethnographic fieldwork that anthropologists have done on ethnic trends throughout the world tends to demonstrate that global theses such as those of Huntington and other political theorists are not adequate in explaining race and ethnic issues. The editor would like to thank all of the contributors, who provided excellent chapters representing the most recent anthropological research on the various aspects of race and ethnicity. These contributors have also reviewed and suggested revisions for the chapters written by the editor. The editor, and the contributors, would also like to thank Bernard Bernier, University of Montreal; John J. Bukowczyk, Wayne State University; Martin Cohen, California State University, Fullerton; Pamela A. DeVoe, St. Louis Community College, Meramec; Francisco Gil-White, University of Pennsylvania; Dru Gladney, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Phillip Hamilton, Lindenwood University; Robert M. Hayden, University of Pittsburgh; Sharlotte Neely, Northern Kentucky University; Mary O''Connor, University of California, Santa Barbara; Susana Sawyer, University of California, Davis; Paul Shankman, U

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