Defines the field of ethnic studies and explores its methodologies.
This highly readable book offers the first comprehensive definition of the field of ethnic studies, covering both the major issues of the field and its theoretical and methodological approaches. Ethnic Studies traces the origins and evolution of the discipline in the United States and maps its domain. The majority of the work considers central issues in ethnicity such as identity, stratification, adaptation, discrimination, racism, segregation, conflict, ethnicity and politics; and race, class and gender. For each issue, key concepts are introduced, main dimensions outlined, empirical evidence presented, theoretical approaches discussed, and often an alternative perspective is suggested.
Yang highlights several current issues in ethnic studies such as affirmative action, illegal/legal immigration, and bilingual education and the English-only movement. He concludes that rather than a divisive force, ethnic studies is, and should be, a discipline that enhances our understanding of ethnic groups and their interrelations and strengthens interethnic and national unity based on ethnic diversity.
Philip Q. Yang is Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas Woman's University and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies (on leave) at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is the author of Introduction to Ethnic Studies: A Reader.
"A major concern of the critics of ethnic studies is that these studies tend to heighten the sense of ethnic awareness that can lead to ethnic conflict; in other words, these studies are divisive. What Yang has done in this book is to bring the readers back to the national context. The celebration of diversity can be most useful only within the context of overall national unity. " — Jonathan A. Majak, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
"Yang has provided a comprehensive historical and contemporary account of the development of ethnic studies in the United States. Ethnic Studies is one of the few well-written and well-researched books in the field of race relations that I have seen recently. " — Joyce Tang, coeditor of Women and Minorities in American Professions