- Richard Jenkins - University of Sheffield, UK
Race & Ethnicity
The first edition of Rethinking Ethnicity quickly established itself as a popular text for students of ethnicity and ethnic relations. This fully revised and updated second edition adds new material on globalization and the recent debates about whether ethnicity matters and ethnic groups actually exist.
While ethnicity - as a social construct - is imagined, its effects are far from imaginary. Jenkins draws on specific examples to demonstrate the social mechanisms that construct ethnicity and the consequences for people's experience. Drawing upon rich case study material, the book discusses such issues as: the 'myth' of the plural society; postmodern notions of difference; the relationship between ethnicity, 'race' and nationalism; ideology; language; violence and religion; and the everyday construction of national identity. The result is a compact, refreshing and stimulating enquiry into an indispensable concept for making sense of the contemporary world.
This is one of the essential books on ethnicity. Broad in scope and detailed enough to benefit from the anthropological approach throughout the book.
I would recommend this book for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on ethnicity and nationalism.
Very insightful text ideal for undergraduate programme
This book unfortunately is unsuitable for the Education Studies degree.
This book will offer my students an excellent resource when they need to explore the concept of ethnicity in more detail. It has a certain self-reflexivity (eg. giving quite a bit of weight to how the notion of ethnicity has emerged and is debated in scholarship) which is important but may lose some students who are new to the area and need a more introductory text, so I would include this on my reading lists as a supplemental rather than essential text.
Did not cover all of the areas I needed for the course. The book did have some very good sections.
Published 10 years after the First Edition, the Second Edition is completely revised to take account of topical issues (globalization, violence), recent debates (does ethnicity exist?) and political developments.
Chapters 1-6 (the theoretical chapters) are all updated, with new references and an up to date bibliography too.
Chapter 2 includes a new section about the debate on whether ethnicity exists.