Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ethnicity and Race
Ineke Haen Marshall
America is a nation of immigrants, with a population composed of a wide diversity of people with different ethnic, racial, and national backgrounds. Some groups have been in this country for centuries, while others have lived in the United States for only two or three generations, and some groups have just recently arrived. Many came voluntarily; others came by force. Even for those who have lived in the United States for many generations, country of origin and ethnic background remain important sources of identity. In America, crimes of foreign-born and recent immigrants have always been an issue. Historically, the most recent immigrants have tended to be singled out as more criminal than natives. Thus, in the early part of the twentieth century, when immigration into the United States was dominated by Europeans, the criminality of white ethnic immigrants (in particular the Italians and the Irish) was a major concern. In ...