QUERY: "Racial/"ethnic" groups (x H-Amstdy) ( Tue, 20 Sep 1994 14:41:58 -0500)

[Ilana Abramovitch <abramov@acfcluster.nyu.edu queries:]

I am doing research on a 1921 festival of "immigrant contributions to American life." The participating groups are described as "racial groups" by the organizers.

"Race", of course, has been used in many different ways historically. In this event, most of the participating groups, are ones we would now describe as "ethnic" groups.

I have looked at the discussion in Higham's Strangers in the Land and other history sources on the evolution of racism. Higham mentions inpassing that the Irish, Italians, etc. are referred to as races, but does not pursue it I wonder if anyone can suggest historical and analytical pieces they have found useful to discuss this use of "Race."

When did "Ethnic group" come into use, either academic or popular?

Thanks for your help.

Ilana Abramovitch

Performance Studies Dept.



Re: QUERY: "Racial/"ethnic" groups (x H-Amstdy) ( Thu, 22 Sep 1994 13:08:34 -0500)

[Kenise Kilbride <kkilbrid@MALTHUS.ACS.RYERSON.CA writes:]

I would be greatful for your publishing responses to your query on the use of race to describe groups we today call "ethnic", and the origin and acceptance of the latter term. I've offered it as a topic for a research essay to my 4th year students, but had no takers.

When I first came to Toronto from New York in 1975 and was assigned to teach a course called Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations, I had to rush to update my previous info with Canadian data, and was delighted to find a book called "Race Relations in Canada"-until I discovered that what it talked about was the relationship between French and English, principally in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Kenise Murphy Kilbride, Ph.D.

School of Early Childhood Education

Ryerson Polytechnic University

350 Victoria Street

Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3

Re: QUERY: "Racial"/"ethnic" groups (x H-Amstdy) ( Wed, 28 Sep 1994 08:52:31 -0500)

Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 20:38:10 -0800 (PST)


A useful discussion of turn-of-the-century conceptions of "race" is in the following essay in an interesting new journal:

George W. Stocking, Jr., "Turn-of-the-Century Concept of Race," Modernism/modernity 1 (Jan. 1994): 4-16.

Stocking's essay is based on research he did long ago for his classic _Race, Culture and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology_, so there are no footnotes to more recent secondary material on the topic in this essay.

Wayne Hobson

American Studies; California State Univ., Fullerton


Re: QUERY: "Racial"/"ethnic" groups ( Thu, 29 Sep 1994 10:36:13 -0500)

[Ken Jacobs writes:]

Two very useful books (with bountiful bibliographies) are:

Race in North America: Origin & Evolution of a Worldview. 1993 by Audrey Smedley (Boulder: Westview Press)

Anthropology & Race. 1994 by Eugenia Shanklin (Belmont CA: Wadsworth)

I've used both in UG and grad contexts with success. The second is very short and makes a wonderful supplement. A recent review of both can be found in the September 1994 American Anthropologist.

Ken Jacobs