Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race, and the Urban South

Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race, and the Urban South

Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race, and the Urban South

Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race, and the Urban South

Synopsis

This collection of original essays represents the first scholarly effort to examine the variety of ethnic and urban experiences that have characterized the post-World War II South. It goes beyond anything else in print in suggesting regional patterns and providing comparative models with other sections of the nation. A distinctive feature of this timely work is its treatment of various ethnic groups in southern cities, including Jews, Italians, Cubans, Haitians, and Canadians, and the integration of these groups into the emerging Sunbelt society of today. The essays provide a preliminary reconnaissance into some of the more important issues and pose questions, focus attention, and encourage fresh approaches to the study of a subject of immediate public significance, both to the region and, as the Sunbelt grows in numbers and influence, to the nation as well.

Excerpt

The genesis of this book occurred in 1984, when several of the contributors met at the University of Florida to discuss ethnicity and migration in the Sunbelt, especially Florida. the following year several members of the group reconvened in Miami at a conference on the Sunbelt, and they were together again in Minneapolis in 1985 for a session on ethnicity in the urban Sunbelt South and in Charlotte in 1986 for sessions on the urban South. What the contributors discovered in these and other less formal gatherings was a general confusion about terms, especially Sunbelt, which seemed to defy any agreement among scholars or journalists as to its boundaries, meaning, or even origin. More important, they discovered a common interest in the phenomenon of ethnicity, broadly defined, as it has developed within the post-World War II southern urban context.

With the take off of the latest new South economy and the migration of jobs and people and values southward, the rapidly urbanizing (and even more so, suburbanizing) South was a subject of immediate public policy importance requiring historical perspective. a book collecting original essays from scholars drawing on diverse and developing methodologies in anthropology, demography, history, sociology, and urban planning promised to sketch the contours of a broad new inquiry into the dynamic of ethnic formation and adaptation in settings outside the much-studied northern cities; more than that, it also promised to suggest, among other subjects, how the immigration and migration of new and diverse people to southern metropolitan areas redefined the politics, society, and even physical arrangement of those places. By focusing on the urban South (only part of a larger Sunbelt phenomenon), the contributors also sought to identify those ways in which the nation's most . . .

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