International Handbook on Race and Race Relations

By Jay A. Sigler | Go to book overview

UNITED STATES

Jay A. Sigler


A RACIAL CONTEXT

The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. The English, Dutch, Swedes, and French struggled for control of its coastal areas until, by the middle of the seventeenth century, English mastery was virtually assured in the land stretching from Massachusetts to Virginia. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the French and Spanish competitors were pushed to the far north and the far south. But none of these groups competing with the English was seen as a "race," except in a very loose use of the word. Indians and blacks were usually regarded as some sort of separate "race," and race categories were reserved for those who were fundamentally "different" from the white Anglo-Saxon dominant majority. Even though white Anglo-Saxons no longer form a majority in the United States, due to the immigration of other Europeans, race categories are fairly clear-cut in America and are not easily confused with ethnic or religious distinctions. Race is a well-understood fact of American life.

Census information is collected in a way that describes American facial groups, not ethnic groups. Statistics of the resident population "by race and Spanish origin" are to be found in the 1980 population census, issued in December 1983. The census also collected data on "selected ancestry groups," including Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian statistics. So it seems that official distinctions between race and ethnicity have been made in the collection of data used by the U.S. Census Bureau. These categories do not necessarily correspond with popular usage, but they are pertinent.

For most purposes, the census only distinguishes race by the terms

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International Handbook on Race and Race Relations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xviii
  • AUSTRALIA 1
  • Bibliography 20
  • BRAZIL 23
  • Notes 36
  • Notes 39
  • CANADA 43
  • Notes 59
  • Notes 63
  • FIJI Ralph Premdas 67
  • Notes 97
  • Notes 99
  • FRANCE 101
  • Bibliography 112
  • INDIA 117
  • Bibliography 126
  • JAPAN 129
  • Bibliography 152
  • MALAYSIA 155
  • Notes 163
  • Notes 164
  • NETHERLANDS 167
  • Notes 187
  • Notes 189
  • NEW ZEALAND 191
  • Notes 209
  • Notes 211
  • SINGAPORE 213
  • Notes 229
  • Notes 230
  • SOUTH AFRICA 233
  • Notes 258
  • Bibliography 261
  • SUDAN 263
  • Notes 278
  • Notes 279
  • SWITZERLAND 281
  • Notes 296
  • Notes 298
  • THAILAND Suchitra Punyaratabandhu-Bhakdi and Juree Vichit-Vadakdan 301
  • Notes 318
  • Notes 319
  • TRINIDAD 321
  • Notes 333
  • Notes 335
  • UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS 339
  • Notes 362
  • Notes 367
  • UNITED KINGDOM 369
  • Notes 390
  • Bibliography 393
  • UNITED STATES 395
  • Notes 416
  • Notes 420
  • WEST GERMANY 423
  • Notes 440
  • Notes 443
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 449
  • APPENDIX: RACIAL/ETHNIC DIVISIONS 455
  • Index 467
  • ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS 479
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