Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2222267
 


 



Contemporary First-Generation European-Americans: The Unbearable 'Whiteness' of Being


Dagmar Rita Myslinska



February 20, 2013

Tulane Law Review, Vol. 88, 2013-14

Abstract:     
Contemporary European immigrants face unique socio-cultural and legal concerns that go beyond issues of race, class, national origins, or accent discrimination. These concerns are not adequately addressed by laws protecting groups based on their national-origins or ancestries. Scholarship and public discussions are silent on this topic. As a result, European-born Americans fall through the cracks in critical legal theory, not fitting into any of the traditional analytical frameworks. No labels apply to them. Like their predecessors a century ago, they are expected to assimilate easily. At the same time, they are (incorrectly) assumed to always, and uniformly benefit from access to white privilege. In reality, European-born Americans oscillate between being visible as foreigners, and fading into the invisible “white” norm. A closer analysis of their culturally-constructed identity — as illustrated by looking at employment discrimination — exposes the artificiality of the concept of “whiteness.” A more accurate understanding of European immigrants’ experience also calls for a more holistic and consistent definition and application of “national origins” protections under Title VII, and of “race”-based safeguards under section 1981. Looking more critically at the European immigrant experience points to the benefits of separating the concept of foreignness from the study of “race,” which often gets conflated with notions of national-origin and ethnicity.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 67

Keywords: performing whiteness, critical race theory, immigration, employment discrimination, law and culture

JEL Classification: K39

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: February 23, 2013 ; Last revised: April 7, 2013

Suggested Citation

Myslinska, Dagmar Rita, Contemporary First-Generation European-Americans: The Unbearable 'Whiteness' of Being (February 20, 2013). Tulane Law Review, Vol. 88, 2013-14. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2222267 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2222267

Contact Information

No contact information is available for Dagmar Rita Myslinska
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 936
Downloads: 114
Download Rank: 144,982

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.453 seconds