Two divergent definitions have dominated sociologists’ discussions of the nature of ethnicity. The first emphasizes the primordial and unchanging character of ethnicity. In this view, people have an essential need for belonging that is satisfied by membership in groups based on shared ancestry and culture. A different conception of ethnicity de-emphasizes the cultural component and defines ethnic groups as interest groups. In this view, ethnicity serves as a way of mobilizing a certain population behind issues relating to its economic position. While both of these definitions are useful, neither fully captures the dynamic and changing aspects of ethnicity in the United States. Rather, ethnicity is more satisfactorily conceived of as a process in which preexisting communal bonds and common cultural attributes are adapted for instrumental purposes according to changing real-life situations.
One example of this process is the rise of participation by Native American people in the broader United States political system since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Besides leading Native Americans to participate more actively in politics (the number of Native American legislative officeholders more than doubled), this movement also evoked increased interest in tribal history and traditional culture. Cultural and instrumental components of ethnicity are not mutually exclusive, but rather reinforce one another.
The Civil Rights movement also brought changes in the uses to which ethnicity was put by Mexican American people. In the 1960’s, Mexican Americans formed community-based political groups that emphasized ancestral heritage as a way of mobilizing constituents. Such emerging issues as immigration and voting rights gave Mexican American advocacy groups the means by which to promote ethnic solidarity. Like European ethnic groups in the nineteenth-century United States, late-twentieth-century Mexican American leaders combined ethnic with contemporary civic symbols. In 1968 Henry Cisneros, then mayor of San Antonio, Texas, cited Mexican leader Benito Juarez as a model for Mexican Americans in their fight for contemporary civil rights. And every year, Mexican Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo as fervently as many Irish American people embrace St. Patrick’s Day (both are major holidays in the countries of origin), with both holidays having been reinvented in the context of the United States and linked to ideals, symbols, and heroes of the United States.
4. The passage supports which of the following statements about the Mexican American community?
A. In the 1960’s members of the Mexican American community were becoming increasingly concerned about the issue of voting rights.
B. In the 1960’s the Mexican American community began to incorporate the customs of another ethnic group in the United States into the observation of its own ethnic holidays.
C. In the 1960’s Mexican American community groups promoted ethnic solidarity primarily in order to effect economic change.
D. In the 1960’s leader of the Mexican American community concentrated their efforts on promoting a renaissance of ethnic history and culture.
E. In the 1960’s the Mexican American community had greater success in mobilizing constituents than did other ethnic groups in the United States.
Why cant E be the answer. As, Mexican Americans formed community-based political groups that emphasized ancestral heritage as a way of mobilizing constituent
OA is A.