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Ethnic Visions of the United States of America


This e-reader was compiled for the U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy 2007
October 35, 2007 in Paderborn.
See: http://germany.usembassy.gov/teacher_academy_07.html

National Identity - Ethnic Diversity


Race, Immigration and America's Changing Electorate
Frey, William
The Brookings Institution, February 28, 2008, 31p
"One of the most profound changes in America’s demography this century will be its shifting race and ethnic makeup. The rise of immigration from Latin America and Asia, the higher fertility of some minorities and the slow growth of America’s aging white population will have profound impacts on the nation’s demographic profile, with important implications for the electorate... This report discusses the shifts playing out in 2008, but with an eye toward what they will mean in the future." William Frey is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program and a Research Professor at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center.

American Patriotism. National Identity, and Political Involvement
Huddy, Leonie; Khatib, Nadia
American Journal of Political Science, January 2007, v51, #1, pp63-77
Based on extensive academic research and studies about patriotism the authors explored several political expectations. Hubby and Khatib understand the research on social identity as an important part of patriotism theories. They found out that Americans with a strong national identity are more involved in politics and current events.
Leonie Hubby is professor of Political Science at the Center for Survey Research of Stony Brook University. Nadia Khatib is a lecturer in Political Science at University of Arizona.

A Developing Identity: Hispanics in the United States
o, Roberto
Carnegie Reporter, Spring 2006, pp22-31

The group identity of over 40 million Hispanics living in the United States is discussed. The number of Hispanics nearly doubled between 1990 and today. Four of ten Hispanics are foreign-born. The defined categories of group identity - minority group or ethnic group - do not work for Hispanics. Language is seen as an important source for assimilation.
Robert Suro is the director of the Pew Hispanic Center. The Pew Hispanic Center founded in 2001 is an non-partisan research organization. Its mission is to improve the understanding of the Hispanic population and to chronicle its growing impact in the society.

Exploring America's National Identity
National Public Radio, October 7, 2004
Polls by National Public Radio (NRP) in corporation with the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard Kennedy School of Gorvernment showed that Americans are less negative about immigration. John Ydstie interviewed Americans about the cultural aspects of immigration.
John Ydstie has been with NRP since 1979. Today he is guest host on several NPR news programs. (
Audio 7:15 min)
Survey overview
Survey - Results as charts

Survey - Results as PowerPoint Presentation PPP

Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing Naturalization
Passel, Jeffrey S.
Pew Hispanic Center, March 28, 2007, 39p
A Pew Hispanic Center analysis showed that 52% of legal foreign-born residents have become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2005. That was an increase of 15% since 1990. More legal immigrants become citizens and naturalize quicker. Statistics are included.

Dr. Jeffrey S. Passel is Senior Research Associate at the Pew Hispanic Center.

New Survey Paints Vivid Portrait of U.S. Latinos

Thomas, Jeffrey
U.S. Department of State, International Information Program, December 8, 2006
More than 8,600 Latinos in 15 states and District of Columbia were interviewed between November 2005 and August 2006. The Latino National Survey shows that a growing number of American Latinos has a "pan-ethnic identity". At the same time they express their American identity.

A Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population at Mid-Decade
Pew Hispanic Center, 2006
This is an statistical profile of the foreign-born population based on the Census Bureaus's 2005 American Community Survey. 32 tables with statistical data are included.

Perspectives on Identity - Photo Gallery
U.S. Department of State, International Information Program (IIP)
It is nearly impossible to describe a “typical” American. Comprising people from many races, ethnicities and religions, the United States has a “patchwork heritage,” as described by President Barack Obama in his Inaugural Address. The freedom to express one’s ethnic, racial or social identity, and still be considered wholly American, is a common ideal grounded in the belief that people should be able to define themselves as they choose, and respect the freedom of others to do the same. Seven photographs combined with short texts give some perspectives on identity.


Political Involvement - Civic Engagement


Who We Are Now
Meacham, John
Newsweek, January 26, 2009, v153, #4, pp32-42
This article discusses demography and race in light of the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, and points to the important legislation that helped shape who U.S. citizens are today. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson's by signing of the Civil Rights Act and Immigration and Nationality Act are noted as helping to change U.S. society. The authir predicts that by 2050, a majority of the U.S. will be non-white. "[Americans] have a new president. But he, too, has a new nation to lead, one that's changing almost beyond recognition."
Jon Meacham is the Editor of Newsweek.

The Downside of Diversity
Jonas, Michael
Boston Globe, August 5, 2007 online edition
Based on 30,000 interviews across the United States, a study showed that a greater diversity in a community results in fewer voters, less charity contributions, and less work on community projects. The pros and cons of diversity in communities are discussed.

The Latino Electorate: An Analysis of the 2006 Election. Fact Sheet
Pew Hispanic Center, July 24, 2007, 13p
The growth of Latino population does not reflect in an adequate growth of Latino voters. This fact sheet presents statistical data about demographics, voters, and electorate of Hispanics.

Political Scientist: Does Diversity Really Work?
National Public Radio, August 15, 2007
Robert Putman speaks about the results of his study about diversity and civic engagement.
Robert Putnam is professor of Public Policy at John F. Kennedy School of Government/ Harvard University.
( Audio file 11:47min )

College Campuses Address Diversity in Enrollment
National Public Radio, August 15, 2007
Dr. J. Bernard Machen, President of the University of Florida, and Dr. Melvin Johnson, President of Tennessee State University, a Historically Black College (HBCU), talk about what they're doing to increase cultural awareness on their college campuses.
( Audio file 12:26 min)

Attorney Works to Promote Diversity in Law
National Public Radio, June 12, 2007
Danette Meyers, senior vice president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and chair of the Diversity Conference Planning Committee, joins host Farai Chideya to discuss her group's efforts to promote greater diversity in the legal profession through their Diversity Pipeline Summit.
( Audio file 4:39 min)

Diversity Challenges in the Workplace
National Public Radio, May 22, 2007
It is discussed how to address cultural challenges in the workplace and common feelings of diversity training fatigue

( Audio file 5:30 min)

Are California's Youth the Most Diverse Generation Ever?
National Public Radio, April 25, 2007
Kevin Weston, New America Media's Youth Communications Director, talks about a cell-phone survey of the attitudes and concerns of Californians aged 16 to 22. New America Media, an advocacy group focusing on issues of identity. He predicts a "coming of age in a society of unprecedented racial and ethnic diversity."
( Audio file 5:11 min)


Current Debates

Identity in America: Are Perspectives Shifting?
Sonya Weakley
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), January 29, 2009
" As a result of the mingling of many ethnicities, America may be evolving from a multicultural nation to a nation of multicultural people. According to the United States Census Bureau, by 2050, the total “minority” population, which includes everyone except non-Hispanic, single-race whites, is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million, or nearly 54 percent." http://www.america.gov/st/diversity-english/2009/January/20090129121357fsyelkaew0.9819147.html#ixzz0I1tyToTx&C

U.S. Minority Population Continues to Grow
David Minckler
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), May 14, 2008
Slightly more than one-third of the population of the United States -- 34 percent -- claims “minority” racial or ethnic heritage, a jump of 11 percent from 2000. 

1995 - 2005: Foreign Born Latinos make Progress on Wages. Report
Kochhar, Rakesh
Pew Hispanic Center, August 21, 2007, 40p
This report shows the integration of foreign-born workers, especially Latinos and Asians, into the labor market. Based on the hourly wages the ethnic groups fall into the low-, middle- or high-income segment of the labor market. Results from 1995 and 2005 are compared.
Kochhar Rakesh is a Associate Director for Research at the Pew Hispanic Center. http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/78.pdf

Growth in the Foreign-Born Workforce and Employment of the Native Born
Kochhar, Rakesh
Pew Hispanic Center, August 10, 2006, 56p
The report find that the growth of foreign-born population is not associated with negative effects on the employment of the native-born.The detailed statistical material shows big differences in the various states.
Kochhar Rakesh is a Associate Director for Research at the Pew Hispanic Center.
Executive summary: http://pewhispanic.org/files/execsum/69.pdf

Report: http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/69.pdfHispanic Attitudes Toward Learning English. Fact Sheet
Pew Hispanic Center, June 2006, 3p
A majority of Hispanics believe that immigrants have to speak English to be a part of the U.S. society. Statistics are presented.

Multiple Choices: Identifying With More Than One Race
Aoyagi-Stom, Caroline
Pacific Citizen News, May 19, 2006, online edition
California will be the first state to allow to check more than one race box on government forms. California resonds to its growing multiracial population. It is a brief report.
Caroline Aoyagi-Stom is executive editor of the Pacific Citizen News.


Once Again, the Future Ain't What It Used to Be. A Social Trend Report
Taylor, Paul; Funk, Cary; Craighill, Peyton
Pew Research Center, May 2, 2006, 15p
This report is based on 2,250 telephone interviews of Americans, 18 years and older. People were asked about their expectations for the future. 50% of the adults are worried about the future of their children. Only Hispanics are more optimistic.

Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin. Census Brief 2000
Grieco, Elizabet M.; Cassidy, Rachel C.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, March 2001, 11p
This report provides a portrait of race and Hispanic origin in the United States. It dicusses the Hispanic contribution the U.S. society. Statistics are included.



Multicultural Literature in the United States Today
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), February 2009
The United States is enriched culturally by immigrants from many nations. This edition of eJournal USA focuses on distinguished American writers from various ethnic backgrounds who add immeasurably to mutual understanding and appreciation through tales of their native lands and their experiences as Americans.

Writers on America
U.S. Department of State,
Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), 2002
This is a collection of essays by 15 American writers. Each writer answered the question:
In what sense do you see yourself as an American writer? The publication includes essays of the following writers: Elmaz Abinader, Julia Alvarez I, Too, Sven Birkerts, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Chabon, Billy Collins, Robert Creeley, David Herbert Donald, Richard, Linda Hogan, Mark Jacobs, Charles Johnson, Bharati Mukherjee, Naomi Shihab Nye.

Amy Tan
- Biography: http://www.amytan.net/ATBiography.aspx
- Biography: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/vg/Bios/entries/tan_amy.html
- Interview about the book: Saving Fish from Drowning: http://www.amytan.net/InterviewWithAmyTan.aspx
- Syllabus: The Joy Luck Club. Brooklyn College, English Department, 2004
- More links to interviews, texts etc

Darryl Pinckney
- Biography: http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/programpages/vws.html

Judith Ortiz Cofer
- Judith Ortiz Cofer's web page at University of Georgia, Department of English, 2006
- Biography: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/738

Naomi Shihab Nye
- Biography: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/174
- Interview : http://www.education.wisc.edu/ccbc/authors/experts/nye.asp
- Text: This Crutch that I Love. A Writer's Life, Past and Present. From: Writers on America, U.S. Department of State, 2002: http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/writers/nye.htm
- Lesson plan, PBS: http://www.pbs.org/now/classroom/poet.html

Ethnic Communities
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Smithsonian African American History and Culture
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American History and Culture
Smithsonian Native American History and Culture U.S.
Smithsonian Latino History and Culture http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/History_and_Culture/uslatino_history.htm

About the USA - U.S. Society - A Nation of Immigrants
U.S. Embassy in Germany, September 2006
Texts in German and English, completed with extensive link collections about Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and demographics. http://usa.usembassy.de/society.htm

People and Places
Department of State, Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), May 14, 2008

Recommendations by Workshop Faculty

Recommendations by Paula Ross:
- Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
- Immigration to the United States, 1789 - 1930.
Harvard University Library, Open Collection Program
- Policy Debate: Does U.S. immigration policy harm domestic workers?
Included an extensive list of resources and data
- Recent Orthodoxies. Review of Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays by Linda Nochlin
Maureen Mullarkey
- Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?
Linda Nochlin
Women, Art and Power and Other Essays, Westview Press, 1988, pp147-158


= audio file; PPP= Power Point Presentation


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Created: October 2007 - Last update: June 2009