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“I’m Not Spanish, I’m from Spain”: Spaniards’ Bifurcated Ethnicity and the Boundaries of Whiteness and Hispanic Panethnic Identity

“I’m Not Spanish, I’m from Spain”: Spaniards’ Bifurcated Ethnicity and the Boundaries of... This study counters potentially premature demographic and sociological claims of a large-scale Hispanic transition into mainstream whiteness. Via in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations of recently arrived Spanish immigrants in the United States, it presents a distinctive shift in American categorization logic, whereby race and ethnicity switch in order of everyday importance. Despite Spanish immigrants’ direct links to Europe and few structural social boundaries between them and mainstream U.S. whites, their everyday experience is of a largely “symbolic whiteness” that is subservient to the more consequential and essentialist Hispanic panethnic identity. Forced to maneuver this unique “bifurcated ethnicity,” Spaniards highlight a theoretically important deviation from the established ethnic options for European coethnics in the United States. Overall, Spaniards’ ethnoracial adaptations and their identity vary by institutional sites, by social settings, and along gender lines. Their ethnic bifurcation brings into question the overall logic and stability of the U.S. Hispanic/white boundaries. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

“I’m Not Spanish, I’m from Spain”: Spaniards’ Bifurcated Ethnicity and the Boundaries of Whiteness and Hispanic Panethnic Identity

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity , Volume 5 (1): 15 – Jan 1, 2019

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2018
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649218766388
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study counters potentially premature demographic and sociological claims of a large-scale Hispanic transition into mainstream whiteness. Via in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations of recently arrived Spanish immigrants in the United States, it presents a distinctive shift in American categorization logic, whereby race and ethnicity switch in order of everyday importance. Despite Spanish immigrants’ direct links to Europe and few structural social boundaries between them and mainstream U.S. whites, their everyday experience is of a largely “symbolic whiteness” that is subservient to the more consequential and essentialist Hispanic panethnic identity. Forced to maneuver this unique “bifurcated ethnicity,” Spaniards highlight a theoretically important deviation from the established ethnic options for European coethnics in the United States. Overall, Spaniards’ ethnoracial adaptations and their identity vary by institutional sites, by social settings, and along gender lines. Their ethnic bifurcation brings into question the overall logic and stability of the U.S. Hispanic/white boundaries.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2019

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