This thesis attempts to understand ethnicity in American society. The study specifically looks at the Czechoslovak ethnic group in the United States. It examines the social and structural variables and issues that impact immigrant and first generation Americans decisions to retain their ethnic identities in society. The data was obtained by interviewing family members in Slovakia as well as in America about their ethnicity, immigrant experiences, and social views. Theories by sociologists Milton Gordon, Mary Waters, and Herbert Gans were used to explain Theoretical reasons why people in this study chose to retain ethnicity in American society. While this study answered some of the questions about ethnicity in the United States there are several ethnic issues that remain which could be answered with further research. Another interesting study could look at third and fourth-generation Americans in comparison to the original immigrants ethnic identity.


Fitz Gibbon, Heather


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2007 Laska G. Blodgett