ethnic studies, in American education, programs offering courses in the history and culture of minority groups. Ethnic studies arose as a result of the black protest movement of the 1960s, which, among other things, deplored the lack of cultural relevance for African Americans in the curricula of the U.S. educational establishment. The contention was seconded by other non-European ethnic minorities. In the late 1960s, black history, literature, and interdisciplinary humanities courses were instituted at some universities to promote understanding of cultural heritage, analysis of political problems and solutions, and encouragement of artistic endeavors. To a lesser extent, other minorities, especially Chicanos (Mexican Americans) and other Hispanic Americans, have obtained similar course offerings.
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Publication information: Article title: ethnic studies. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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