Essay On Symbolic Ethnicities

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Symbolic Ethnicities “What do these ethnic identities mean to people and why do they cling to them rather than just abandoning the tie and calling themselves American?” Waters. America is known as the melting pot, although we are known to be a mixed nation, we tend to categorize ourselves in specific race groups. Moreover, when we categorize ourselves we tend to create hierarchy, which is stating which race or ethnicity has more power over the other. With this being noted, it develops a social structure of society, which is what people think is acceptable. Clarifying some of the reasons of how America characterizes races and ethnicities, instead of individuals just classifying themselves as Americans will be answered by the definition of symbolic ethnicity.
Symbolic ethnicities are activities and culture studies that people do to relate to their ancestral background, also referred as family traditions that will continuously cycle. Although it does not …show more content…

Now this relates to symbolic ethnicities because both Julie Bettie and Waters were explaining being a certain race in this case white brings enjoyable and voluntary aspects with the feelings of specialness entailed. In class we often talk about how hierarchy and how it impacts us. Hierarchy is where a group of people are ranked one above the other in accordance of power, but in this case it is with race. From my perspective in regards of the article Optional Ethnicities: For White Only? By Mary Waters symbolic ethnicity only had an impact on whites whereas that was not the case for non-whites, for them it was more of a socially forced proposition. Julie backs this statement up by her study, where in chapter 5 Border Work between Classes she states how these girls from prep and non-prep have already expected

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