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Hierarchical Structures and Social Value : The Creation of Black and Irish Identities in the United States - Richard Williams

Hierarchical Structures and Social Value

The Creation of Black and Irish Identities in the United States

Hardcover

Published: 14th May 2015
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Through a combination of theoretical and historical analysis, the author develops the thesis that the concepts of "race" and "ethnicity" are socially constructed. With case studies of the incorporation of Blacks and Irish immigrants into the social structure of the United States, Richard Williams demonstrates that the social values that have been placed on these groups result from their placement into specific labor categories rather than from attributes inherent to the groups. The author first analyzes the process by which the social identities of Blacks and Irish developed in their native lands. Turning to an analysis of the social structure in the United States at the nation's founding, he argues that the society was hierarchical from its inception and that Black slave laborers and Irish wage laborers were demanded to fill positions created by that hierarchical structure. The conceptions of their racial and ethnic identities developed through a transfer of the value assigned to their social positions to the groups themselves. Racial and ethnic identities represent, the book argues, the legitimization of social stratification based on power relations.

"...scholars comprise the most appropriate audience for William's insightful theoretical analysis." Suzanne Model, Social Forces

Preface
List of maps, tables, chart
+Race+ and +ethnicity+: forms of vertical classification
Historical structures and social marks as hierarchical systems
The hierarchical context of the creation of the United States
Structural slots and identity creation in 17th century Virginia
The hierarchical structure of West African societies: theoretical notions
The logic of a trade in humans
The creation of a slave labor slot in Virginia
America on the eve of mass migration from Ireland
Ireland in the periphery
The Great Famine and forced emigration
Conclusion
Notes
Appendix
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521351478
ISBN-10: 0521351472
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 206
Published: 14th May 2015
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.4 x 15.9  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.41