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Sociology. Political Science. International Relations
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Article


Year
2018
Issue
1
Pages
110-124
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Section СОЦИОЛОГИЯ. ПОЛИТОЛОГИЯ. МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫЕ ОТНОШЕНИЯ
Title WHEN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NOT WHITE: WHITE ETHNICS’ EXCLUSION IN THE 1960-1970s USA
Author(-s) Kirillova Liana
Abstract Starting from the 1960s, white ethnic groups of European descent became active proponents of multiculturalism in the United States. Their revival is directly borrowed from the social movements of the 1960s, including Black Power activism and a continuous quest for “authenticity.” It also transferred a celebration of ethnicity into the rhetoric of a conservative politics. Despite its activism, on the whole, the ethnic revival faltered because its attempts to conflate the historical experiences of white ethnic groups with racially persecuted groups were ultimately unsustainable. Moreover, white ethnics were internally divided over affirmative action as an ameliorative policy tool. This article aims to explain the internal controversy of the white ethnic movement toward affirmative action: having no unity about this issue, white ethnics both strived to pursue affirmative action and reject it. As a result, they failed to get federal recognition of a designated minority group. Another irony of the white ethnic revival is that, in order to gain access to social benefits, till 1960s, white ethnics wanted to associate themselves with whites; however, beginning in the 1970s, they vigorously reclaimed their ethnic identity stressing their own history of exclusion.
Keywords Affirmative action, white ethnics, the Civil Rights Movement, whiteness studies, minorities, ethnic identity theories, white ethnic revival, 1960-1970s’ USA
UDC 323.13
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