2Ethnic Diversity The United States is ethnically diverse Germans are the largest ancestral group1/6th of Americans said they had at least some German ancestryGermany is one of twenty-one European nations from which at least 1 million people claim to have ancestry
3Immigration from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Poland
4Why Don’t We Study Whiteness? Two aspects of White as race are to be considered:The historical creation of whitenessHow contemporary White people reflect on their racial identityEstablished English immigrants, as the political founders of the U.S., came to define what it meant to be WhiteWhite Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP)Other groups regarded as White today were not always considered White in the eyes of the EnglishIrish, Germans, Norwegians, and SwedesIrish viewed by English as sociallyand culturally inferior
5Contemporary White Americans give little thought to “being White” As European immigrants and their descendants assimilated and distanced themselves from other oppressed groups such as American Indians and African Americans, they came to be viewed as WhiteTransparent racial divide of the South during slavery allowed ignorance of how Whiteness was constructedWhites don’t think of themselves as a race or have a conscious racial identityContemporary White Americans give little thought to “being White”Little interest in studying “Whiteness” or considering “being White” except that it is “not being Black”
6White PrivilegeThe social identity of Whiteness exists if one enjoys the privilege of being WhitePeggy McIntosh – study on the privilege of being whiteConsidered financially reliableTaking a job and your race is not questioned (anonymity)Never having to speak for all or represent all of one’s raceSeeing one’s race represented widely in the mediaRace does not work against you in court or medical care etc.
8The Rediscovery of Ethnicity Principle of third generation interestMarcus Hansen (1952)What the son wishes to forget the grandson wishes to rememberHansen’s contention that ethnic interest and awareness increase in the third generation, among the grandchildren of immigrantsThe civil rights movement played a role in reinvigorating Whites about their ethnic heritageWhite ethnics (Irish, Poles, Germans, Italians, etc.,) only a half step above Blacks in social status, viewed this emerging consciousness as working for them alsoToday’s growing popularity of genealogy – researching your family tree or historyAncestry.com
9Symbolic EthnicityExpressions of ethnicity involving symbols of one’s cultural heritageMuch of ethnicity today is expressed symbolicallyFoodIrish stew, paczki, sauerkraut, gnocchiClothingkilts, lederhosen, kerchiefs, sarafans, wooden shoesFestivals and holidaysOktoberfest, St. Patrick’s Day, San Gennaro DayEthnic organizationsEmerald Society, Sons of Poland, National Italian American Foundation, Independent Order of VikingsSupporting specific political issues or issues confronting the old country
10Ethnicity that does exist may be more a result of living in the U. S Ethnicity that does exist may be more a result of living in the U.S. than importing practices from the past or old countryparticipate to reconnect with an ethnic past they never actually experiencedEthnicity ParadoxMaintaining ethnicity can be a critical step toward successful assimilationFacilitates full entry into the dominant culture through economic and psychological strength and positive self-esteemEthnicity gives continuity with the past in the form of an affective or emotional tie
11The Prejudice of Ethnics White ethnics have often been portrayed as bigoted hard hatsthe bastion of blue collar racism – dominating labor and industryEthnic neighborhoods and racial conflictsWhite Ethnics have distinguished themselves from both Blacks and White Anglo-Saxon ProtestantsCatholics, Orthodox, JewsWhite ethnics have been antagonistic to African Americanseconomic competitionattempts to ally themselves with sociallydominate, upper class whites
13The German AmericansIn the late 1700s religious dissenters from Germany arrived to the United StatesPeople with German ancestry were roughly 10% of the population in 1800s in the United Statesmid-1800s not enough viable farming land and available work in Germany led to more emigrationattracted by free land grants in Americaduring the 19th century many German men left to avoid military conscription
14Twentieth-Century German America Fought in World War I and World War IIfighting against the Fatherlandfaced suspicion and bigotry during the war yearsPost-World War II, many East Germans escaped to the democratic west (including the U.S.) during the Cold War period of communist controlIn the last ten years, immigrants from Germany have been 5,000 to 10,000 people annually
16The Irish Americans Diversity based on Time of entrySettlement areaReligionFled not for a better life but from certain deathPotato crop failure and famineReawakened old religious hatreds in the dominant New English aristocracymemories of their treatment back in Ireland at the hands of the dominant Protestant British
17According to dominant Whites, Irish worse than Blacks, because unlike slaves or freed Blacks, who “knew their place,” the Irish did not suffer their maltreatment in silenceEmployers mixed immigrant groups to prevent unified action by the laborersBegan to experience slow advancement as “white” identity overcame “immigrant” statusPast issues with immigration led to Irish support of protests for procedures to allow illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship
19The Italian Americans Concentrated not only in time but in geography Received their jobs through ethnic labor contractors – PadroneCatholic church very important to their livesWith assimilation began constructing a social identity as a national group and successfully became indistinguishable from other WhitesControversial aspect involved organized crime as typified by Al Capone ( )Characterization as criminals, even in the mass media, is another example of respectable bigotryglorified/vilified in film and TV - The Godfather, Goodfellas, Sopranos
20Immigration was slowed by the National Origins System Current popular shows promote the exaggerated personality and behavior of Italian-Americans (Guidos)Jersey ShoreImmigration was slowed by the National Origins SystemItalians considered “new immigrants” and faced tighter quotasEven becoming educated did not ward off prejudicePolitically, Italian Americans have been more successful, at least at the local level, where family and community could translate to votesGeraldine Ferraro, 1st Italian to get a cabinet position
21Constructing Social Identity Among Italian Immigrants Over time, Italian Americans moved from seeing themselves in terms of their provincial or village identity, and then they successfully became indistinguishable from other Whites.
23Polish Americans Experience similar to Irish and Italians Primary reason for their exodus was changing political status of PolandHad to adjust to a new culture and urban way of lifePredominant in coal-mining occupations, which paid little and were dangerousPolonia-meaning Polish AmericanMore common in Midwest cities such as Chicago
24Made use of a rich structure of self-help voluntary associations Religion played an important role among immigrants and their descendantsJewish-Catholic distinction was most distinguishing factor among Polish AmericansOther divisions are Kashubes and MazuriansMade use of a rich structure of self-help voluntary associationsStigmatized as outsiders and stereotyped as simple and unculturedMany have retained little of their cultural tradition
25Religious PluralismPluralism used in US to refer explicitly to religionThe United States reflects a society based on religious pluralismOver 1,500 religious groupingsDenominationsSectsCultsIn 1900:Ninety six percent of the nation was ChristianOne percent was non-religiousThree percent was of other faithsIn 2001Seventy-six percent of the nation was ChristianFourteen percent was non-religiousFour to six percent was of other religions
26The vast majority of religious people belong to a denomination Diversity of beliefs, rituals, and experiences reflects nation’s immigrant heritage and First Amendment prohibition against a state religionThe vast majority of religious people belong to a denominationDenomination is defined as a large formally organized church or churches not officially linked to the StateFour non-Christian religious groups in US whose numbers are comparable to any large denominationJews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus all number more than 1 million
27One notable characteristic of religious practice in the US is its segregated nature at the local levelLegacy of racism in religious expression leads to segregation in worship that allows churches to be identified as Black or WhiteEven with broad representation, tendency is homogenousReligion in the US is an ever-changing phenomenon
28Racial and Ethnic Makeup of Selected Religions in the U. S Racial and Ethnic Makeup of Selected Religions in the U.S. “Other” includes self-identified mixed race. Evangelical includes Baptist, Lutheran, and Pentecostal among others. Mainline Protestant includes Methodist, Lutheran (ELCA), Presbyterian, Episcopal, and United Church of Christ, among others, but excludes historically Black Churches.
29Income and Denominations Denominations attract different income groups Income and Denominations Denominations attract different income groups. All groups have both affluent and poor members, yet some have a higher proportion of members with high incomes while others are comparatively poor.
30Education and Denominations There are sharp differences in the proportion of those with some college education by denomination.
31Religion in the United States Civil ReligionThe religious dimension in US life that merges the state with sacred beliefsRobert Bellah (1967)The emergence of civil religion - the interrelationship between the State (Secular) and sacred beliefsFunctionalists view religion as reinforcing central American values that may be more patriotic than sacred
32Diversity Among Roman Catholics Social scientists tended to ignore diversity within the Roman Catholic Church in USRoman Catholic Church experienced growth through Latin America immigrationDespite its ethnic diversity, has been a powerful force in reducing ethnic ties of its members, making it a significant force in assimilation
33Diversity Among Protestants Often portrayed as a monolithic entitySharp differences in religious attitudesFour “generic theological camps”Liberals: Unitarians, United Church of Christ (Congregationalists), and EpiscopaliansModerates: Disciples of Christ, Methodists, and PresbyteriansConservatives: American Lutherans and American BaptistsFundamentalists: Missouri Synod Lutherans, Southern Baptists, and Assembly of God
34Women and ReligionReligious beliefs have often placed women in an exalted but protected positionException in the United StatesChristian Science churchMajority of practitioners and readers are womenLargest denomination, Roman Catholicism, does not allow women to be priestsLargest Protestant denomination, Southern Baptist Convention, voted against ordaining womenWomen play a significant role as volunteersNotable rise in female clergy in last 20 yearsWomen continue to face sexism after ordination
35Religion and the U.S. Supreme Court Religious pluralism owes its existence to the First AmendmentFOUR ISSUES:1. Issue over prayer in school2. Secessionist minorities3. Creationism and intelligent design4. Public display of religious symbols
36Secessionist Minorities In conflict with the rest of society in that they reject assimilation and coexistence in some form of cultural pluralismAmishNative AmericansPolygamistsCreationistsPeople who support the literal interpretation of the Bible and have formed various organizations to crusade for creationist treatment in schools and universities
37Edwards v Aguillard (1987) Intelligent Design Ruled that states may not require the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in public schools if the primary purpose of such legislation is to promote a religious viewpointIntelligent DesignThe idea that life is so complex it could only have been created by a higher intelligenceSupporters advocate a more accurate account than DarwinismKitzmiller v. Dove Area School DistrictJudge found intelligent design to be a religious belief
38Limits of Religious Freedom: The Amish Practice self-segregationYoder v. Wisconsin (1972)Allowed Wisconsin Amish to escape prosecution from laws that required parents to send their children to school to age 18Conflict theorists observe that as long as the Amish remained totally apart from dominant society in the US, they experienced little hostility
39Rumspringa“Running Around”Young Amish test their subculture’s boundaries during a period of discoveryAttend barn dances where taboos like drinking, smoking, and driving cars are commonly brokenGrowing area of Amish-English clashes is over young Amish children working as laborersOld Order Amish developed a pluralistic position that has become increasingly difficult to maintain as their numbers grow and they enter the economy in competition with the English or non-Amish