It is important, for the purposes of this essay, to distinguish between ethnicity and race. Ethnicity is “a process by which individuals or groups came to be understood, or to understand themselves, as separate or different from others”(Burgett & Hendler “Ethnicity” pg. 103). Race is often thought to be observable, biological differences between people. However, this idea “intersected with sociological arguments that displaced notions of race as a strict biological inheritance and forced scholars to confront it as a category with broad political and economical implications.”(Burgett & Hendler “Race” pg. 192). It is also important to establish what exactly American culture is. I believe that in this context it w...
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...ng Pot” analogy holds true as well as the “cycle of assimilation” theory. The Irish came, their culture conflicted with the existing culture, and then they were slowly accepted into mainstream American culture and melded into the “Melting Pot”. As far as my analogy goes, the Irish would be something like celery. It absorbs and releases a lot of flavor but only maintains some its own identity within the American Stew. If someone were eating it, they may only be able to recognize the celery by certain characteristics such as texture(last name) or appearance(red hair and freckles), otherwise, much of the original qualities of the celery has been sacrificed in the cooking process.
The Chicago School of Sociology’s “cycle of assimilation” theory in most cases has held true. Perhaps even in the case of African Americans it still will hold true once the cycle is complete.
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