How Jews became white folks and what that says about race in America
We fashion identities in the context of a wider conversation about American nationhood, to whom it belongs & what belonging means. Race & ethnicity, class, gender, & sexuality are all staple ingredients in this conversation. They are salient aspects of social being from which economic practices, political policies, & popular discourses create "Americans." Because of all these facets of social being have such significant meaning on a national scale, they also have major consequences for both individuals & groups in terms of their success & well-being, as well as how they perceive themselves socially & politically. The history of Jews in the United States is one of racial change that provides useful insights on race in America. Prevailing classifications have sometimes assigned Jews to the white race & at other times have created an off-white racial designation for them. Those changes in racial assignment have shaped the ways American Jews of different eras have constructed their ethnoracial identities. The author illustrates these changes through an analysis of her own family's multi-generational experience. She shows how Jews experience a kind of double vision that comes from racial middleness: on the one hand, marginality with regard to whiteness; on the other, whiteness & belonging with regard to blackness. Class & gender are key elements of race-making in American history. The author suggests that this country's racial assignment of individuals & groups constitutes an institutionalized system of occupational & residential segregation, is a key element in misguided public policy, & serves as a pernicious foundational principle in the construction of nationhood. Alternatives available to non-white & alien "others" have been either to whiten or to be consigned to an inferior underclass unworthy of full citizenship. The American ethnoracial map - who is assigned to each of these poles - is continually changing, although the binary of black & white is not. As a result, the structure within which Americans form their ethnoracial, gender, & class identities is distressingly stable. The author questions the means by which Americans construct their political identities & what is required to weaken the hold of this governing myth.
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HOW JEWS BECAME WHITE FOLKS AND WHAT THAT SAYS ABOUT RACE IN AMERICAUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
paper 0-8135-2590-X How Jews came, during the last three decades, to be viewed, by themselves and others, as —white— (having previously been considered —not quite white—) is the focus of this ... Read full review
How Did Jews Become White Folks?
Race Gender and Virtue in Civic Discourse
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How Jews Became White Folks and what that Says about Race in America
Limited preview - 1998
affirmative action African American women ambivalence American Jews anti-Semitism argues assimilation became bourgeois century chapter civic discourse civil Clara Lemlich construction contrast daugh daughters defer gratification domesticity eastern European economic ethnic ethnoracial assignment ethnoracial identity Euro-ethnics European immigrants feminist garment gender Glazer household Hyman Ibid ideals immigrant immigrant women industry intellectuals Irish Jewish community Jewish culture Jewish identity Jewish Left Jewish mother stereotype Jewish mothers Jewish socialism Jewish womanhood Jewish women Kessler-Harris labor force live Lower East Side mainstream masculinity ment Mexican middle-class model minority motherhood nation native Native Americans neighborhoods nonwhite numbers organized Orleck parents percent policies postwar privileges race racial assignment racism scientific racism segregation sexual slavery socialist Steinberg 1989 stereotypes struggles suburban tion union Valley Stream values white male white women white workers woman women of color working-class Yiddish Yiddishkeit York