From its prehistory in the biological theories of racial difference formulated in the 1800s to its current position in academic debate, Richard Rees investigates the diverse fields of scholarship from which the multifaceted understanding of the term ethnicity is derived. At the same time, Rees traces the broader historical forces that shaped the needs to which the concept of ethnicity responded and the social purposes to which it was applied. Centrally, he focuses upon the emergence of ethnicity in the early 1940s as a means of resolving contradictions and ambiguities in the racial status of European immigrants and its subsequent legacy and implications on race and caste. Shades of Difference introduces new perspectives on the definition of 'whiteness' in America, and makes an original contribution to the larger discussion of race through a detailed account of ethnicity's original meaning and its revaluation when later appropriated by the discourse of Black Nationalism in the 1960s and 70s. Rees has produced a powerful new analysis of the cultural and political history of ethnicity in America.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 281 g
Dimensions: 233 x 154 x 15 mm
A brilliant, provocative, impressive book. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. -- W. Glasker, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden * CHOICE *
His text reveals a quite provocative thesis....Rees' text can be lauded with a reasonable amount of success. * Journal Of African American Studies, September 2008 *
In this important text, Richard Rees provides a much-needed analysis of the development of the concept of ethnicity that provides not only a detailed history, but also a new explanation of how the concepts of "ethnicity" and "race" developed in relation to one another. Rees challenges the assumption that while race is a discredited concept, ethnicity is its more benign counterpart. This is a book with which every scholar of race and ethnicity must be familiar. -- Karyn McKinney, Penn State University, Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, Penn State Altoona