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Identity and Assimilation among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington

Elizabeth Chacko
Geographical Review
Vol. 93, No. 4 (Oct., 2003), pp. 491-506
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30033939
Page Count: 16
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Identity and Assimilation among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington
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Abstract

Ethiopians are a recent immigrant group in the United States, having entered the country in significant numbers during the 198os and 199os. This preliminary study examines the ethnic and racial identities of children of first-generation Ethiopian immigrants living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The results of twenty in-depth interviews demonstrate that race is a much more fluid and contested form of identification than is ethnicity to the young immigrants, who equate the latter unilaterally with their Ethiopian heritage. Immigrants also adopt different subject identities in various locales, favoring those that are most in accordance with their needs and sense of self.

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