What does it mean to be an Asian-American in the United States today? Are Asian-Americans considered "honorary whites" or forever thought of as "foreigners?"
Mia Tuan examines the salience and meaning of ethnicity for later generation Chinese- and Japanese-Americans, and asks how their concepts of ethnicity differ from that of white ethnic Americans. She interviewed 95 middle-class Chinese and Japanese Californians and analyzes the importance of ethnic identities and the concept of becoming a "real" American for both Asian and white ethnics. She asks her subjects about their early memories and experiences with Chinese/Japanese culture; current lifestyle and emerging cultural practices; experiences with racism and discrimination; and attitudes toward current Asian immigration.
Family-related migration is moving to the center of political debates on migration, integration, and multiculturalism in Europe. Still, strands of academic research on family migrations and migrant families remain separate from—and sometimes ignorant of—each other. This volume seeks to bridge the disciplinary divide. Collectively, the authors address the need to better understand the diversity of family-related migration and its resulting family forms and practices, to question simplistic assumptions about migrant families in public discourse, to study family migration from a mix of disciplinary perspectives, and to acknowledge the state’s role in shaping family-related migration, practices, and lives.
When discussing large social trends or experiences, we tend to group people into generations. But what does it mean to be part of a generation, and what gives that group meaning and coherence? It's collective memory, say Amy Corning and Howard Schuman, and in Generations and Collective Memory, they draw on an impressive range of research to show how generations share memories of formative experiences, and how understanding the way those memories form and change can help us understand society and history.
Their key finding—built on historical research and interviews in the United States and seven other countries (including China, Japan, Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Israel, and Ukraine)—is that our most powerful generational memories are of shared experiences in adolescence and early adulthood, like the 1963 Kennedy assassination for those born in the 1950s or the fall of the Berlin Wall for young people in 1989. But there are exceptions to that rule, and they're significant: Corning and Schuman find that epochal events in a country, like revolutions, override the expected effects of age, affecting citizens of all ages with a similar power and lasting intensity.
The picture Corning and Schuman paint of collective memory and its formation is fascinating on its face, but it also offers intriguing new ways to think about the rise and fall of historical reputations and attitudes toward political issues.
Generations of Captivity
Ira Berlin Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress E441.B47 2003 | Dewey Decimal 973.0496073
Ira Berlin traces the history of African-American slavery in the United States from its beginnings in the seventeenth century to its fiery demise nearly three hundred years later.
Most Americans, black and white, have a singular vision of slavery, one fixed in the mid-nineteenth century when most American slaves grew cotton, resided in the deep South, and subscribed to Christianity. Here, however, Berlin offers a dynamic vision, a major reinterpretation in which slaves and their owners continually renegotiated the terms of captivity. Slavery was thus made and remade by successive generations of Africans and African Americans who lived through settlement and adaptation, plantation life, economic transformations, revolution, forced migration, war, and ultimately, emancipation.
Berlin's understanding of the processes that continually transformed the lives of slaves makes Generations of Captivity essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of antebellum America. Connecting the "Charter Generation" to the development of Atlantic society in the seventeenth century, the "Plantation Generation" to the reconstruction of colonial society in the eighteenth century, the "Revolutionary Generation" to the Age of Revolutions, and the "Migration Generation" to American expansionism in the nineteenth century, Berlin integrates the history of slavery into the larger story of American life. He demonstrates how enslaved black people, by adapting to changing circumstances, prepared for the moment when they could seize liberty and declare themselves the "Freedom Generation."
This epic story, told by a master historian, provides a rich understanding of the experience of African-American slaves, an experience that continues to mobilize American thought and passions today.
Reviews of this book: Over the past 20 years, Berlin's work has redefined how scholars approach the study of slavery and freedom in America. His scholarship on slavery and race...and his complete command of the enormous literature on slavery now come together to inform this compelling history. Here Berlin carefully delineates the ways slavery varied according to time and place and compare slavery in the Americas, mapping the migrations of peoples from Africa to America and then across the South in its various incarnations, discovering within slave life the roots of African American religions, family, folkways, foodways, crafts, and more. His book reminds us that the generations after emancipation still resonated with the culture of those once held in captivity. Essential. --Randall M. Miller, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: Eminent historian Berlin revisits and extends by a century the territory of his honored and groundbreaking Many Thousands Gone...Berlin recapitulates the argument of his earlier, prize-winning work, delineating "the making and remaking of slavery" as a matter of "Generations"...While preserving the terrible complexity and diversity of North American slavery, Berlin offers a compact scholarly account of the transformation of a society with slaves into a slave society. He reveals without condescension or simplification the inspiring social structures that arose from a horrific history...This book follows up with grace and determination. --Publishers Weekly
Reviews of this book: Ira Berlin has written what will undoubtedly become one of the indispensable books on North American slavery. Generations of Captivity traces the history of this dismal institution from its 17th-century origins to its 19th-century destruction in the maelstrom of civil war. He comes closer than any other contemporary historian to giving us an opportunity--in a single, readable volume--to come to grips with a subject very few of us wish to think about but which all of us surely need to consider: how millions of white Americans over the course of three centuries came to hold millions of black Americans in chattel bondage while managing to lose nary a moment's sleep over their complicity in this monstrous enterprise...Berlin has given us a moving, insightful account of slavery in the United States. Readers will not soon forget the story he has told, nor should they. We still live with the consequences of this institution, and we should understand what slavery meant to the generations of captivity who lived it. --Charles B. Dew, New York Times Book Review
Reviews of this book: Although American slavery is generally thought of as dominating and being dominated by the culture, politics, and economics of the South, Berlin charts the dynamic quality of American slavery by placing it into the changing context of American history and various generations overall. The experience of the original settlement population adapting to their new environment produced what Berlin calls the chartered generation. Most often associated with slavery is plantation life and the plantation generation, which reflected the western and southern expansion of the nation as cotton became king of the economy. Following the plantation generation was the revolutionary generation, when worldwide views on slavery and freedom influenced domestic politics and culture. Berlin reflects on the contrasts between the southern experience of slavery and the North's experience and challenges with its freedmen. --Vernon Ford, Booklist
Reviews of this book: Berlin focuses on change over time as it affected patterns of African American demography, family and community life, religious beliefs and practices, and labor in the field and workshop. In the process, he illuminates the rich complexity of slavery as it was shaped by various colonial powers (Spanish, French, British) in port cities and in rural areas...This compact volume offers an impressive overview of historic transformations and regional variations in the institution. --Jacqueline Jones, Washington Post
Reviews of this book: Berlin's insightful scholarship demonstrates that U.S. slavery was a complex, constantly changing institution that differed a great deal over time and place. This new work summarizes the rich history presented in the author's brilliant Many Thousands Gone and extends the account to the Civil War and emancipation. --R. Detweiler, Choice
Reviews of this book: Where Generations of Captivity differs from previous histories is in its emphatically bottom-up approach, looking at slavery almost exclusively from the point of view of the slaves themselves, and in its relentless emphasis on the institution's cruelty. --Howard Temperley, Times Literary Supplement
Reviews of this book: Ira Berlin, in his Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves, shows that the Northern states, despite having gradually emancipated their own slaves between the Revolution and the 1830s, were deeply implicated in the protection and preservation of slavery in the South. Northern free blacks agitated vigorously for the freedom of their brethren in bondage, but the discrimination and violence to which they were exposed in the North left them for the most part disenfranchised, impoverished, and (especially after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850) unsure whether they could maintain their own freedom against slave catchers and kidnappers. --George M. Frederickson, New York Review of Books
Reviews of this book: Ira Berlin's exhaustive study of slavery...presents countless challenging conclusions that will spawn further debate about the peculiar institution. --Dallas Morning News
Foreword by Joan W. Moore When boxes of original files from a 1965 survey of Mexican Americans were discovered behind a dusty bookshelf at UCLA, sociologists Edward Telles and Vilma Ortiz recognized a unique opportunity to examine how the Mexican American experience has evolved over the past four decades. Telles and Ortiz located and re-interviewed most of the original respondents and many of their children. Then, they combined the findings of both studies to construct a thirty-five year analysis of Mexican American integration into American society. Generations of Exclusion is the result of this extraordinary project. Generations of Exclusion measures Mexican American integration across a wide number of dimensions: education, English and Spanish language use, socioeconomic status, intermarriage, residential segregation, ethnic identity, and political participation. The study contains some encouraging findings, but many more that are troubling. Linguistically, Mexican Americans assimilate into mainstream America quite well—by the second generation, nearly all Mexican Americans achieve English proficiency. In many domains, however, the Mexican American story doesn't fit with traditional models of assimilation. The majority of fourth generation Mexican Americans continue to live in Hispanic neighborhoods, marry other Hispanics, and think of themselves as Mexican. And while Mexican Americans make financial strides from the first to the second generation, economic progress halts at the second generation, and poverty rates remain high for later generations. Similarly, educational attainment peaks among second generation children of immigrants, but declines for the third and fourth generations. Telles and Ortiz identify institutional barriers as a major source of Mexican American disadvantage. Chronic under-funding in school systems predominately serving Mexican Americans severely restrains progress. Persistent discrimination, punitive immigration policies, and reliance on cheap Mexican labor in the southwestern states all make integration more difficult. The authors call for providing Mexican American children with the educational opportunities that European immigrants in previous generations enjoyed. The Mexican American trajectory is distinct—but so is the extent to which this group has been excluded from the American mainstream. Most immigration literature today focuses either on the immediate impact of immigration or what is happening to the children of newcomers to this country. Generations of Exclusion shows what has happened to Mexican Americans over four decades. In opening this window onto the past and linking it to recent outcomes, Telles and Ortiz provide a troubling glimpse of what other new immigrant groups may experience in the future.
How much does ethnicity matter to Mexican Americans today, when many marry outside their culture and some can’t even stomach menudo? This book addresses that question through a unique blend of quantitative data and firsthand interviews with third-plus-generation Mexican Americans. Latinos are being woven into the fabric of American life, to be sure, but in a way quite distinct from ethnic groups that have come from other parts of the world. By focusing on individuals’ feelings regarding acculturation, work experience, and ethnic identity—and incorporating Mexican-Anglo intermarriage statistics—Thomas Macias compares the successes and hardships of Mexican immigrants with those of previous European arrivals. He describes how continual immigration, the growth of the Latino population, and the Chicano Movement have been important factors in shaping the experience of Mexican Americans, and he argues that Mexican American identity is often not merely an “ethnic option” but a necessary response to stereotyping and interactions with Anglo society.Talking with fifty third-plus generation Mexican Americans from Phoenix and San Jose—representative of the seven million nationally with at least one immigrant grandparent—he shows how people utilize such cultural resources as religion, spoken Spanish, and cross-national encounters to reinforce Mexican ethnicity in their daily lives. He then demonstrates that, although social integration for Mexican Americans shares many elements with that of European Americans, forces related to ethnic concentration, social inequality, and identity politics combine to make ethnicity for Mexican Americans more fixed across generations. Enhancing research already available on first- and second-generation Mexican Americans, Macias’s study also complements research done on other third-plus-generation ethnic groups and provides the empirical data needed to understand the commonalities and differences between them. His work plumbs the changing meaning of mestizaje in the Americas over five centuries and has much to teach us about the long-term assimilation and prospects of Mexican-origin people in the United States.
In 1949 construction of the planned town of Nowa Huta began on the outskirts of Kraków, Poland. Its centerpiece, the Lenin Steelworks, promised a secure future for workers and their families. By the 1980s, however, the rise of the Solidarity movement and the ensuing shock therapy program of the early 1990s rapidly transitioned the country from socialism to a market-based economy, and Nowa Huta fell on hard times.
Kinga Pozniak shows how the remarkable political, economic, and social upheavals since the end of the Second World War have profoundly shaped the historical memory of these events in the minds of the people who lived through them. Through extensive interviews, she finds three distinct, generationally based framings of the past. Those who built the town recall the might of local industry and plentiful jobs. The following generation experienced the uprisings of the 1980s and remembers the repression and dysfunction of the socialist system and their resistance to it. Today’s generation has no direct experience with either socialism or Solidarity, yet as residents of Nowa Huta they suffer the stigma of lower-class stereotyping and marginalization from other Poles.
Pozniak examines the factors that lead to the rewriting of history and the formation of memory, and the use of history to sustain current political and economic agendas. She finds that despite attempts to create a single, hegemonic vision of the past and a path for the future, these discourses are always contested—a dynamic that, for the residents of Nowa Huta, allows them to adapt as their personal experience tells them.
Americans like to believe that theirs is the land of opportunity, but the hard facts are that children born into poor families in the United States tend to stay poor and children born into wealthy families generally stay rich. Other countries have shown more success at lessening the effects of inequality on mobility—possibly by making public investments in education, health, and family well-being that offset the private advantages of the wealthy. What can the United States learn from these other countries about how to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds an equal chance in life? Making comparisons across ten countries, Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting brings together a team of eminent international scholars to examine why advantage and disadvantage persist across generations. The book sheds light on how the social and economic mobility of children differs within and across countries and the impact private family resources, public policies, and social institutions may have on mobility. In what ways do parents pass advantage or disadvantage on to their children? Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting is an expansive exploration of the relationship between parental socioeconomic status and background and the outcomes of their grown children. The authors also address the impact of education and parental financial assistance on mobility. Contributors Miles Corak, Lori Curtis, and Shelley Phipps look at how family economic background influences the outcomes of adult children in the United States and Canada. They find that, despite many cultural similarities between the two countries, Canada has three times the rate of intergenerational mobility as the United States—possibly because Canada makes more public investments in its labor market, health care, and family programs. Jo Blanden and her colleagues explore a number of factors affecting how advantage is transmitted between parents and children in the United States and the United Kingdom, including education, occupation, marriage, and health. They find that despite the two nations having similar rates of intergenerational mobility and social inequality, lack of educational opportunity plays a greater role in limiting U.S. mobility, while the United Kingdom’s deeply rooted social class structure makes it difficult for the disadvantaged to transcend their circumstances. Jane Waldfogel and Elizabeth Washbrook examine cognitive and behavioral school readiness across income groups and find that pre-school age children in both the United States and Britain show substantial income-related gaps in school readiness—driven in part by poorly developed parenting skills among overburdened, low-income families. The authors suggest that the most encouraging policies focus on both school and home interventions, including such measures as increases in federal funding for Head Start programs in the United States, raising pre-school staff qualifications in Britain, and parenting programs in both countries. A significant step forward in the study of intergenerational mobility, Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting demonstrates that the transmission of advantage or disadvantage from one generation to the next varies widely from country to country. This striking finding is a particular cause for concern in the United States, where the persistence of disadvantage remains stubbornly high. But, it provides a reason to hope that by better understanding mobility across the generations abroad, we can find ways to do better at home.
In the first collection of its kind, twenty-three scholars, artists, and critics forecast the impact of queer theory on the future of sexuality. Arguing that queer theory is poised to transform society’s perception of gender itself, this thoroughly interdisciplinary anthology locates itself at the forefront of various debates both inside and outside the academy.
From the history of gay and lesbian studies to the emergence of video bars, from an interview with playwright Cherrie Moraga to a photo record of 1950s gay Los Angeles, these original essays tackle the past, present, and future of queer sexuality from all directions. Queer Frontiers brings together the most vital and energetic voices around; whether promising young scholar or veteran of gay activism, each contributor is helping to move the debate into uncharted territory.
Now it is my turn to stand. At Acoma Pueblo meetings, members rise and announce their intention to speak. In that moment they are recognized and heard. In Speaking for the Generations, Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz brings together contemporary Native American writers to take their turn. Each offers an evocation of herself or himself, describing the personal, social, and cultural influences on her or his development as a writer. Although each writer's viewpoint is personal and unique, together they reflect the rich tapestry of today's Native literature.
Of varied backgrounds, the writers represent Indian heritages and cultures from the Pacific Northwest to the northern plains, from Canada to Guatemala. They are poets, novelists, and playwrights. And although their backgrounds are different and their statements intensely personal, they share common themes of their relationship to the land, to their ancestors, and to future generations of their people. From Gloria Bird's powerful recounting of personal and family history to Esther Belin's vibrant tale of her urban Native homeland in Los Angeles, these writers reveal the importance of place and politics in their lives. Leslie Marmon Silko calls upon the ancient tradition of Native American storytelling and its role in connecting the people to the land. Roberta J. Hill and Elizabeth Woody ponder some of the absurdities of contemporary Native life, while Guatemalan Victor Montejo takes readers to the Mayan world, where a native culture had writing and books long before Europeans came.
Together these pieces offer an inspiring portrait of what it means to be a Native writer in the twentieth century. With passion and urgency, these writers are speaking for themselves, for their land, and for the generations.