Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women

Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women

Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women

Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women

Synopsis

Drawing on US Census data and a national poll of ethnic groups to situate Arab-American women in a broader immigrant context, Read (sociology, U. of California-Irvine) expands the demographic profile and understanding of a group often viewed stereotypically. In this study of cultural and class influences on workforce participation as correlates of

Excerpt

Interest in America’s newer immigrant populations has increased over the past two decades in tandem with their growing size and visibility in U.S. urban centers. Despite greater attention to the growing ethnic diversity that characterizes the United States today, some ethnic populations remain less understood. As a relatively smaller immigrant group, the economic and social adjustments of Arab Americans have received less scholarly attention than other ethnic groups. The scarcity of research on Arab Americans can be seen in the dearth of the most basic statistical data on the population (for exceptions see Zogby, 1990, 1995).

Consequently, most Americans are unaware of the diversity and complexity of this ethnic group. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the term “Arab American” has evolved into a catch-all category that inaccurately groups together persons of different national origins, ethnicities, and religious affiliations, all on the basis of physical characteristics thought to reflect “Arab.” In reality, Arab Americans are a heterogeneous ethnic population that shares a cultural and linguistic heritage, tracing their ancestries to eighteen . . .

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