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9780745622774

Choosing Ethnic Identity

Paperback By Miri Song
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Product Description

Choosing Ethnic Identity explores the ways in which people are able to choose their ethnic identities in contemporary multiethnic societies such as the USA and Britain. Notions such as adopting an identity, or self-designated terms, such as Black British and Asian American, suggest the importance of agency and choice for individuals. However, the actual range of ethnic identities available to individuals and the groups to which they belong are not wholly under their control. These identities must be negotiated in relation to both the wider society and coethnics. The ability of minority individuals and groups to assert or recreate their own self-images and ethnic identities, against the backdrop of ethnic and racial labelling by the wider society, is important for their self-esteem and social status.

This book examines the ways in which ethnic minority groups and individuals are able to assert and negotiate ethnic identities of their choosing, and the constraints structuring such choices. By drawing on studies from both the USA and Britain, Miri Song concludes that while significant constraints surround the exercising of ethnic options, there are numerous ways in which ethnic minority individuals and groups contest and assert particular meanings and representations associated with their ethnic identities.

Product Details

Format: Paperback, 192 pages Language: English
Dimension: 22.99cm x 15.24cm x 1.57cm ISBN10: 0745622771
Weight: 290g ISBN13: 9780745622774
Publication Date: 24 Feb 2003 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Miri Song, University of Kent

Product Reviews

Review

"In this intellectually challenging and highly original study, Miri Song mobilizes a wide body of theoretical writing and empirical evidence, originating in both the UK and the U.S. Choosing Ethic Identity presents a new conceptual apparatus for evaluating inequality in societies increasingly confronted by manifold narratives of victimization," Steven J. Gold, Michigan State University "Miri Song has written an enormously stimulating and authoritative account of the changing nature of ethnic identity. Drawing judiciously on a wealth of material from both the US and Britain, she is able to show that the assertion of ethnic identity involves a complex set of political and social relations. Song's account of these issues should be a must for anybody who is concerned with the formation of ethnic and racial identities." John Solomos, Professor of Sociology, City University, London “Choosing Ethnic Identity makes an important contribution to a developing literature in the field of race and ethnic studies dealing with the subtleties and complexities of both radicalized and ethicized identities, and the political landscapes in which some versions of identity are erased or marginalized. Tracing the intertwining race of ethnicity in Britain and the United States, Song exposes some of the plasticity of ethnicity as 'options' in the shaping of lives and subjective and the political tensions surrounding them.

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Overall, this is a readable and valuable contribution to the theorization of race and ethnicity on both sides of the Atlantic." Caroline Knowles, University of Lond

From the Back Cover

Choosing Ethnic Identity explores the ways in which people are able to choose their ethnic identities in contemporary multiethnic societies such as the USA and Britain. Notions such as adopting an identity, or self-designated terms, such as Black British and Asian American, suggest the importance of agency and choice for individuals. However, the actual range of ethnic identities available to individuals and the groups to which they belong are not wholly under their control. These identities must be negotiated in relation to both the wider society and coethnics. The ability of minority individuals and groups to assert or recreate their own self-images and ethnic identities, against the backdrop of ethnic and racial labelling by the wider society, is important for their self-esteem and social status. This book examines the ways in which ethnic minority groups and individuals are able to assert and negotiate ethnic identities of their choosing, and the constraints structuring such choices. By drawing

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