Ethnic option

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Ethnic option is a term coined by sociologist Mary C. Waters to express her conception that ethnic identity is something that is flexible, symbolic and voluntary, not a definitive aspect of their identity for the descendants of immigrants.[1][2] Waters argues that with the achievement of middle-class suburban status, ethnicity becomes a lifestyle option, a costless form of community.[3]

See also


  1. Omi, Michael, Racial Identity and the State, in Adams, Maurianne, Readings for diversity and social justice, Routledge, 2000, p. 78.
  2. Kleg, Milton, Hate, Prejudice, and Racism, SUMY Press, 1993, p. 43-44.
  3. Hickman, Mary J., Migration and Diaspora, in Joseph N. Cleary, Claire Connolly, The Cambridge companion to modern Irish culture, p. 131, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 131