Faculty Book: Vilna Bashi Treitler
Vilna Bashi Treitler
The Ethnic Project: Transforming Racial Fiction into Ethnic Factions
(Stanford University Press, 2013)
In the United States, ethnicity is often positioned as a counterweight to the fiction of “race,” and we celebrate our various hyphenated-American identities. This book argues that we do so at a high cost: ethnic thinking simply perpetuates an underlying racism. From the arrival of the English in North America, the author traces the histories of immigrant and indigenous groups—Irish, Chinese, Italians, Jews, Native Americans, Mexicans, Afro-Caribbeans, and African Americans—and shows how each negotiates America's racial hierarchy, aiming to distance itself from the bottom and align with the groups already at the top. But in pursuing these "ethnic projects" these groups implicitly accept and perpetuate a racial hierarchy, shoring up rather than dismantling race and racism. Vilna Bashi Treitler (Assoc. Prof., Baruch) serves on the doctoral faculty in sociology.
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Submitted on: OCT 15, 2013