You are here

Rethinking Ethnicity

Rethinking Ethnicity

Second Edition

Race & Ethnicity

February 2008 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'This book is a welcome and brilliantly crafted overview of this field. It represents a major advance in our understanding of how ethnicity works in specific social and cultural contexts. The second edition will be an invaluable resource for both students and researchers alike' - John Solomos, City University, London

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.

Chapter 1: Anthropology and Ethnicity
Locating Social Anthropology

Locating Ethnicity

Chapter 2: From Tribes to Ethnic Groups
Groups and Boundaries Revisited

Chapter 3: Myths of Pluralism
South and West Wales as a Case in Point

Modernity and Globalization

Chapter 4: Ethnicity Etcetera
The Communal, the Local, the National, the Global

Culture and Biology

Redrawing the Boundaries

Chapter 5: Categorisation and Power
Groups and Categories

Social Categorization

Contexts of Ethnic Categorization

Categorization and Power

Chapter 6: Ideologies of Identification
Group Identification and Social Categorization (again)

Ethnicity and 'Race'

Ideologies of Identification

Chapter 7: Majority Ethnicity
The Foundations of Modern Ulster Ethnicity: The Plantation

The Consolidation of Ethnic Domination: The Industrial Revolution

Organized Labour and the Manipulation of Ethnicity

Culture and Economic Advantage?

Chapter 8: The 'Cultural Stuff'
Varieties of Religious Conflict

Religious Differences and Conflict in Northern Ireland

Ethnicity, Politics and Religion

Chapter 9: Violence, Language and Politics
Northern Ireland and Wales

The Violence of Politics

The Politics of Language

Some Explanatory Options

Chapter 10: Nation and Nationalisms
Ethnicity and Nationalism

Nationalism in Three Countries


Northern Ireland


Identity, Ideology and the Everyday

Rethinking Ethnicity

This is one of the essential books on ethnicity. Broad in scope and detailed enough to benefit from the anthropological approach throughout the book.

Mr Noel Clycq
Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp
April 9, 2015

I would recommend this book for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on ethnicity and nationalism.

Dr Robin Mann
School of Social Sciences, Bangor University
May 8, 2013

Very insightful text ideal for undergraduate programme

Ms Melanie Feek
community & youth, College of St Mark and St John
June 19, 2012

This book unfortunately is unsuitable for the Education Studies degree.

Miss Danielle Chavrimootoo
Department Education, Bradford College
August 17, 2011

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.

Dr Sarah Cheang
Cultural and Historical Studies, London College of Fashion
October 25, 2009

Did not cover all of the areas I needed for the course. The book did have some very good sections.

Professor Jan Rezek
Social Science Dept, West Virginia University Institute of Technology
October 1, 2009

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.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One PDF

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.