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Engages in debate regarding immigrants and ethnicity in the USA. Research, based on second‐generation West Indian immigrants, shows ethnicity has very real implications…
Engages in debate regarding immigrants and ethnicity in the USA. Research, based on second‐generation West Indian immigrants, shows ethnicity has very real implications for immigrants’ life experience. Suggests that black immigrants complicate the slight understanding of blackness in general, but also the understanding of identity development.
While the issue of “Blackness” has long pervaded American society, it has rarely been problematized in social science literature and treated as a taken-for-granted. This…
While the issue of “Blackness” has long pervaded American society, it has rarely been problematized in social science literature and treated as a taken-for-granted. This article utilizes in-depth interviews with second generation West Indian adults in New York City to examine the ways in which they conceive of their Blackness, both racially and ethnically. New York City is viewed as an important urban context that in many ways facilitates the formation of identity for this population. The assimilation process, or not, of second generation West Indians is also considered in terms of socioeconomic status and gender. The results indicate that second generation West Indians strongly identify with both their racial and ethnic identities, which in turn calls for a reconceptualization of “Blackness”. There is also evidence that points to New York City as a space of cross-cultural integration where identity formation is significantly impacted by the presence of other immigrants (and their children) that leads to a pan-immigrant or pan-ethnic identity among young New Yorkers.
Some chapters provide us with a snapshot (intentional) of ethnic community across the city. Others look closely at a particular place. Still others look across the whole ethnic landscape of the city. Neither individually nor as a whole collection do they form a complete picture. But perhaps because they are so eclectic maybe they form a challenge to urban sociology to exam not just macro level change in urban form and metropolitan space, but to apply other methodologies to better understand the increasingly complex, unfocused mosaic of social worlds in the American city.