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Durable EthnicityMexican Americans and the Ethnic Core$
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Edward Telles and Christina A. Sue

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190221492

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190221492.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Mexican American

Mexican American

(p.78) 3 Mexican American
Durable Ethnicity

Edward Telles

Christina A. Sue

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses whether U.S.-born Mexican Americans feel American or a part of American society, even though they have been portrayed as threats to Americanism and have had their allegiance questioned. It also considers how their ethnic identity affects their sense of Americanness. For the respondents, they in no way perceive their ethnic and national identities as being mutually exclusive; to the contrary, they find these identities to be highly compatible and complementary. They define Americanness in terms of birthplace, political loyalty, and economic opportunities; they define Mexicanness in terms of culture, family, and ancestral background. Moreover, the vast majority of the respondents view national identity as their primary identity, something that is constant, natural, and unquestioned, whereas their ethnic identities vary in intensity, depending on the individual and the situation.

Keywords:   Mexican Americans, American society, Americanness, ethnic identity, assimilation, national identity, Mexicanness

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