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Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States - Essay Example

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Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States

According to the 2000 U.S. census, almost 16 million Italian Americans live in the United States. They constitute about 6 percent of the U.S. population. Most are grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the 3.8 million Italian-born immigrants who entered the United States from 1899 to 1924. Some are descendants of Italian-speaking immigrants from Austria, Switzerland, and Latin America. Others are themselves immigrants, including the more than 1 million who came to the United States after World War II ended in 1945. Two-thirds of the Italian American population live in and around major cities in the northeastern part of the United States." (Italian American). Only America possesses the probability of encountering this problem because of countless causes - immigration, preservation of heritage of immigrants, racial and ethnic differences, and cultural differences to name a few.
It is apparent that race is about a social construct rather than biological since society has a different set of rules for each racial group. "racism is based on your physical traits. so what you look like, and ethnicity is based on what you identify yourself as. so simplisticly, racial groups are what other people catagorise you in (based on your physical demenor and look, e.g - 'black' 'white' 'brown' 'yellow' 'red' etc...) and your ethnic group is who you identify being, like you might share commonalities with certain ethnic groups for example be very cultural or religious and identify being a 'pacific islander' just because you were not born in the pacific islands or have pacific island parents or any such blood in you, if you feel you identify strongly with that group (for example - bing taught or brought up in a pacific household or around other pacific island families, children, churches etc.)you can identify yourself in that ethnic group (Ethnical groups). Furthermore, there is no alternative conceptualization of race that I would advocate because it is a social construct. This is due to the fact that society has defined what is expected of each racial group, which has nothing to do with biological aspects of being Italian, Mexican or Irish.
From there, it has been apparent that Italian Americans have been a dominant ethnical group because of their food and their place in politics within American culture. Therefore, it seems that the Italian mafia has an upper hand in American politics, which gives them a higher rank than the Russian mafia in America. With that, in America, it is apparent the Italian mafia has skills that fit the labor union, which gives them an inside to American politics.
Few Italian Americans today identify closely with Italy. Even fewer read Italian literature, follow Italian politics, or belong to organizations that promote Italian culture in the United States. However, many remain in touch with family or friends in Italy, and many more socialize with other Italian Americans in the United States. Among themselves, Italian Americans still recognize cultural differences rooted in the distinctive regional cultures of northern, central, and southern Italy, and Sicily. The majority of Italian Americans belong to the Roman Catholic Church. However, almost half of recent generations have intermarried with Catholics of other ethnic backgrounds or with people from different denominations, such as ...Show more

Summary

America is the melting pot of the whole world, the New World, seen by the rest of the world as the land of opportunity, the land of the free, the green pastures, and the crossroads where virtually all nationalities and races meet. This problem would not have aroused studies and researches a few centuries ago…
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Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States essay example
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