Theories: Race and Reading Symbolic Ethnicity Essay

Submitted By kingpro
Words: 607
Pages: 3

In the reading symbolic ethnicity is shown when it states that, “One girl carried a Guyanese map as part of her key chain so that when people looked at her keys they would ask her about it and she could tell them that her parents were from Guyana (Waters 369).” This shows that groups are reviving their ethnic heritage and consciously differentiating themselves from the rest of society. The girl wants everyone to know that she is Guyanese and wants to express her heritage and love for her home country. Another example is when it states that, “One young woman described having her mother teach her an accent so that she could use it when she applied for a job or a place to live. Others just try to work it into conversation when, they meet someone (Waters 369).” This young woman wants to accentuate her ethnic identity whenever she wants to. In the reading an example of the straight line theory is shown when it states that, “The boys adopt black American culture in their schools, wearing flattops, baggy pants, and certain types of jewelry (Waters 373).” This shows that the immigrants are on route to assimilate and will soon show greater similarities with the majority group than immigrants who have spent less time in the host society. This is the first stage of Gordon’s seven stages to straight line assimilation. This is the first stage of assimilation which is acculturation and it’s clearly evident that the immigrants have adopted language, dress, and daily customs of the black American. The reading also states that, “Among the respondents, some of the middle class had moved from the inner-city neighborhoods they had originally settled in to middle-class neighborhoods in the borough of Queens or to suburban areas where the schools were of higher academic quality and more likely to be racially integrated (Waters 376).” We can clearly see how the immigrants are assimilating, becoming more similar over time in norms, values, behaviors, and characteristics to the “host” society. Waters also states that, “other middle class parents sent their children to catholic parochial schools or to city wide magnet schools such as Brooklyn tech or Stuyvesant. Thus, the children were far more likely to attend school with other immigrants and with other middle class whites and blacks.” The children of the