Definition & History Definition: the interdisciplinary study of people through the lens of race and ethnicity – 2 volatile components of identity History: rooted in the American civil rights movement, 1960s San Francisco State College (now University), 1968 – first higher ed institution to have a School of Ethnic Studies (now College) Mission: transformative, corrective, redemptive, generative (Scott, 2008, p. 19)
Focus & Scope Focus: histories, experiences, struggles, practices and cultural products of peoples of color from their own perspective(s); challenge to ethnocentric angle of traditional social science disciplines Scope: see above taps into questions asked by other disciplines: sociology, anthropology, psychology, education, political science, literature, film, philosophy, history, religious studies, art, economics, epidemiology
History, in depth 1960s-1970s: Focus was on transformation of postsecondary intellectual and physical space subject focus on American racial/ethnic relations, corrective emphasis 1980s-1990s: One focus: interrogation of white privilege – whiteness studies; movement towards comparative ethnic studies, racial/ethnic relations in different nations, transnational studies, postcolonial/post-structuralism 2000s-2010s: continue international, comparative ethnic studies, transnational/diasporic studies
Subfields & Related Discipline Subfields: Black/African American Studies Asian/Asian-Pacific American Studies Latino/a and Chicano/a Studies Native American Studies Related disciplines: Women’s and Gender Studies Peace and Justice Studies Cultural Studies
Approaches/Methodologies Approach depends on object of study, research question Literature – literary analysis History – historiography Sociology – quantitative, qualitative approaches
Key Professional Organizations National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES) Founded in 1972 Affiliated with American Historical Association (AHA) Mission: interdisciplinary forum for scholars and activists interested in ethnicity American Studies Association: Committee on Ethnic Studies Keeps ASA appraised of scholarship in ethnic studies MELUS: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States Mission: develop the definition of American literature to include Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American and ethnically specified European-American literary works, authors and contexts
Resources Encyclopedia of Racism in the United States Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies Ethnic Newswatch Bibliography of Native North Americans America: History & Life JSTOR ICPSR Sociological Abstracts
Works CitedButler, J. E. (2008). Ethnic studies and interdisciplinarity. In T. P. Fong (Ed.), Ethnic studies research: Approaches and perspectives (243-256). Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.Forbes, J. D. (2008). Ethnic or world studies: A historian’s path of discovery. In T. P. Fong (Ed.), Ethnic studies research: Approaches and perspectives (59-91). Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.Okihiro, G. Y. (2008). Crafting ethnic studies. In T. P. Fong (Ed.), Ethnic studies research: Approaches and perspectives (33-57). Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.Scott, O. L. (2008). Ethnic studies: Preparing for the future. In T. P. Fong (Ed.), Ethnic studies research: Approaches and perspectives (17-32). Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.