ANOTHER LOOK AT 'WHITENESS': THE PERSISTENCE OF ETHNICITY IN AMERICAN LIFE
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A number of historians suggest that immigrants from Europe including Irish, Germans, Jews, and Italians, merged into a White or European American group during the twentieth century. Their identity was no longer as Italians or Irish but simply as White Americans. This essay argues that this process was more complex than 'Whiteness' historians claim. A nationality based ethnic identity existed longer than thought, and continued well into post World War II America. Furthermore, ethnicity in terms of subconscious or conscious cultural patterns and behaviors could also continue into third, fourth, and even fifth generations. Ethnicity therefore did not necessarily fade but could maintain its meaning and represent the basis for some differences in values and behavior among various ethnic groups.
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