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Recently the focus of historical studies of different ethnic [#permalink]
05 Apr 2009, 18:39
Recently the focus of historical studies of different ethnic groups in the United States has shifted from the transformation of ethnic identity to its preservation. Whereas earlier historians argued that the ethnic identity of various immigrant groups to the United States blended to form an American national character, the new scholarship has focused on the transplantation of ethnic cultures to the United States. Fugita and O’Brien’s Japanese American Ethnicity provides an example of this recent trend; it also exemplifies a problem that is common to such scholarship. In comparing the first three generations of Japanese Americans (the Issei, Nisei, and Sansei), Fugita and O’Brien conclude that assimilation to United States culture increased among Japanese Americans over three generations, but that a sense of ethnic community endured. Although the persistence of community is stressed by the authors, their emphasis in the book could just as easily have been on the high degree of assimilation of the Japanese American population in the late twentieth century, which Fugita and O’Brien believe is demonstrated by the high levels of education, income, and occupational mobility achieved by Japanese Americans. In addition, their data reveal that the character of the ethnic community itself changed: the integration of Sanseis into new professional communities and nonethnic voluntary associations meant at the very least that ethnic ties had to accommodate multiple and layered identities. Fugita and O’Brien themselves acknowledge that there has been a “weakening of Japanese American ethnic community life.”
Because of the social changes weakening the bonds of community, Fugita and O’Brien maintain that the community cohesion of Japanese Americans is notable not for its initial intensity but because “there remains a degree of involvement in the ethnic community surpassing that found in most other ethnic groups at similar points in their ethnic group life cycle.” This comparative difference is important to Fugita and O’Brien, and they hypothesize that the Japanese American community persisted in the face of assimilation because of a particularly strong preexisting sense of “peoplehood”. They argue that this sense of peoplehood extended beyond local and family ties.
Fugita and O’Brien have explained persistence of ethnic community by citing a preexisting sense of national consciousness that is independent of how a group adapts to United States culture. However, it is difficult to prove as Fugita and O’Brien have attempted to do that a sense of peoplehood is a distinct phenomenon. Historians should instead attempt to identify directly the factors that sustain community cohesion in generations that have adapted to United States culture and been exposed to the pluralism of American life.
19. Which one of the following best summarizes the main point of the author of the passage? (A) Fugita and O’Brien’s study provides a comparison of the degree of involvement in ethnic community of different groups in the United States. (B) Fugita and O’Brien’s study describes the assimilation of three generations of Japanese Americans to United States culture. (C) Fugita and O’Brien’s study illustrates both a recent trend in historical studies of ethnic groups and a problem typical of that trend. (D) Historical studies of ethnic preservation among Japanese Americans have done much to define the interpretive frameworks for studies of other ethnic groups. (E) Historical studies are more concerned with the recent development of ethnic communities in the United States than with the process of adaptation to United States culture.
20. According to the passage, Fugita and O’Brien’s data indicate which one of the following about the Japanese American ethnic community? (A) Community bonds have weakened primarily as a result of occupational mobility by Japanese Americans. (B) The community is notable because it has accommodated multiple and layered identities without losing its traditional intensity. (C) Community cohesion is similar in intensity to the community cohesion of other ethnic groups that have been in the United States for the same period of time. (D) Community involvement weakened during the second generation, but strengthened as the third generation regained an interest in cultural traditions. (E) The nature of the community has been altered by Japanese American participation in new professional communities and nonethnic voluntary associations.
21. Which one of the following provides an example of a research study that has conclusion most analogous to that argued for by the historians mentioned in line 4? (A) a study showing how musical forms brought from other countries have persisted in the United States (B) a study showing the organization and function of ethnic associations in the United States (C) a study showing how architectural styles brought from other counties have merged to form an American style (D) a study showing how cultural traditions have been preserved for generations in American ethic neighborhoods (E) a study showing how different religious practices brought from other countries have been sustained in the United States
22. According to the passage, which one of the following is true about the focus of historical studies on ethnic groups in the United States? (A) Current studies are similar to earlier studies in claiming that a sense of peoplehood helps preserve ethnic community. (B) Current studies have clearly identified factors that sustain ethnic community in generations that have been exposed to the pluralism of American life. (C) Current studies examine the cultural practices that make up the American national character. (D) Earlier studies focused on how ethnic identities became transformed in the United States. (E) Earlier studies focused on the factors that led people to immigrate to the United States.
23. The author of the passage quotes Fugita and O’Brien in lines 36-39 most probably in order to (A) point out a weakness in their hypothesis about the strength of community ties among Japanese Americans (B) show how they support their claim about the notability of community cohesion for Japanese Americans (C) indicate how they demonstrate the high degree of adaptation of Japanese Americans to United States culture (D) suggest that they have inaccurately compared Japanese Americans to other ethnic groups in the United States (E) emphasize their contention that the Japanese American sense of peoplehood extended beyond local and family ties
24. The passage suggests that the author would be most likely to describe the hypothesis mentioned in line 47 as (A) highly persuasive (B) original but poorly developed (C) difficult to substantiate (D) illogical and uninteresting (E) too similar to earlier theories
25. The passage suggests which one of the following about the historians mentioned in line 49? (A) They have been unable to provide satisfactory explanations for the persistence of European ethnic communities in the United States. (B) They have suggested that European cultural practices have survived although the community ties of European ethnic groups have weakened. (C) They have hypothesized that European ethnic communities are based on family ties rather than on a sense of national consciousness. (D) They have argued that European cultural traditions have been transformed in the United States because of the pluralism of American life. (E) They have claimed that the community ties of European Americans are still as strong as they were when the immigrants first arrived.
26. As their views are discussed in the passage, Fugita and O’Brien would be most likely to agree with which one of the following? (A) The community cohesion of an ethnic group is not affected by the length of time it has been in the United States. (B) An ethnic group in the United States can have a high degree of adaptation to United States culture and still sustain strong community ties. (C) The strength of an ethnic community in the United States is primarily dependent on the strength of local and family ties. (D) High levels of education and occupational mobility necessarily erode the community cohesion of an ethnic group in the United States. (E) It has become increasingly difficult for ethnic groups to sustain any sense of ethnic identity in the pluralism of United States life.
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