Ethnic Studies


The term “ethnic” defines a distinctive path of living describing a group of people. People portray ethnic qualities resulting in racial ties and cultural affiliations. Members of ethnic groups identify with each other in defined cultural practices. The people of one ethnic group resonate with a common heritage which defines one’s culture and language. The ethnic group believes in a common ancestral source. Traditional beliefs play a pivotal role in ethnic studies. They are those beliefs that govern morality and ethics within a belief system, such as religion. It has been observed that traditional beliefs define what is right or wrong. This paper will seek to analyze how race and culture has lost their weight in defining the identity and originality of individuals.

Popular culture belief is also referred to as the pop culture. Pop culture defines the totality of memes, perspectives, images, ideas, attitudes and phenomena considered vital in an informal consensus, in the culture. This is best defined by the Western culture. The global mainstreaming has led to the development of the popular culture belief. Mass media has contributed to the nature of the belief system in the societies. Pop culture has been criticized by the non mainstream sources, which refer to pop culture as corrupted, consumerist, superficial and sensationalist. This paper considers part A, which resonates with self-hate and reflections of my daughter.

Main Body

Ethnic Issues

David Mura considered ‘half and half’ approach on the ethnic issues. He continued to assert that the twenty first century is identified with biculturalism and biracialism. People are no longer concerned with the color of their skin or the place of birth. The world has been globalised turning into to a global village. People are moving from one corner of the continent to another corner of the continent considering that the transport systems have been enhanced. People are no longer being identified with the places of birth and skin colors. Skin color and place for birth does not accurately define the origin and identity. This has led to the development of the popular culture belief. The traditional culture belief is fading away with time.

Questions defining the ‘who you are’ and ‘where you are from’ are identified with the traditional belief. Popular culture belief enables such questions discussed. It has identity in both cultures, which are the traditional and the pop culture. Traditional culture belief strongly addresses the traditional aspects of the ethnicity. Popular culture belief transcends the cultural and racial beliefs.

Cultural Identity

David Mura reflected on his concern with the lost cultural identities in his daughter. Mura is married to a Caucasian woman. The daughter as a result belongs to different cultural identities. She is culturally isolated with complexities in the heritage. The daughter represents the popular culture belief while Mura and his Caucasian wife represent the traditional beliefs from different ethnic platforms.

Mura’s daughter reminds him of his struggle with the traditional beliefs when he was marrying the Caucasian woman. Traditional beliefs view it as self-hate while other viewed it as escaping from the culture norms. Popular culture belief looks at it from a different perspective, it believes that men, who marry women from a different culture, are driven by love, but maintain their values, culture and self dignity. Mura asserts that the present world does not identify with any particular race but considers all the races in the world as equal. Mura continues to assert that race does not matter. The notion that non whites in America are considered as minority no longer holds the water. Traditional beliefs keep on reminding people on the differences in race and culture wile popular culture belief reminds people that race and culture do not matter. This is the reason why most of the young people identify themselves with the popular culture belief neglecting the traditional belief.

American Culture

There are a number of cultures in America that resist crossing racial boundaries identifying them with the traditional beliefs, this is done by stereotypes and preconceived notions. America has numerous people of different races and cultures. This is considering that immigrants from all over the world took refuge in America as the land of opportunities. The multiracial and multicultural people in America resonate with the popular culture belief. They believe that all cultures and races are equal and intermingle freely. This has been predominant with Asian Americans commonly referred to as ‘Hapa’, and African American.

There have been concerns with the bicultural and biracial Asian Americans. The main challenge comes in classifying them as Caucasian American or Asian American communities. The groups have some characteristics that are similar and others that are different. This is what led to the development of the popular culture belief. Pop culture belief, as it sometimes referred, considers the cultural values of all people and enables a level platform. This is different from the traditional beliefs that consider different cultural affiliations rendering divisions in cultures and race.

It has been noted that Asian Americans magazines in websites and print rarely indicate the presence of Asian Americans from mixed heritages as part of their own. They demonstrate traditional belief. The mixed-heritage Asian Americans in turn share popular culture belief that is considered corrupt and inconsistent. People identify themselves with a specific belief system. This happens unconsciously. Intermarriages do not mean that couples have lost their identities. Love drives people together irrespective of their origins and affiliations. Popular culture belief does not consider any community as marginalized. It considers all people equal in culture and race. This is the opposite of the traditional culture belief.

Cultural Complexity

Culture is complex in nature. It defines the identity of people with the present intermarriages of people from all parts of the continents. It has proven difficult to define a specific culture. People from multicultural environments learn to co-exist and learn different skills from one another. This is critical in popular culture belief. It values the contributions of other cultures. Traditional belief holds strongly to the belief system. It does not have mechanisms that adapt to changes. These means that it will slowly fade as people adapt the popular culture belief. Popular belief system considers the biracial and bicultural aspects in the communities. This translates that everyone can freely join and get recognized by the popular culture belief. The American government should consider and value the Asian American communities among other mixed communities in place.

American community is comprised of biracial and bicultural communities. The media, government and the American people in general should recognize the minority as they are referred to reflect on American culture. Traditional belief system is deep rooted among the senior citizens of America while the popular culture belief is deep rooted among the young generations, who live in such of a common culture and identity.

There are hotels and restaurants designated for the Asian Americans. People from the biracial and bicultural affiliations find themselves not fitting in either of the groups. This is well-demonstrated by the David Mura’s daughter, who has lost her identity. The ethnic norms performed in the hotels and restaurants fail to fit the expectations of people from different cultures. The world has been saturated with people, who have lost identity. This makes traditional belief unfit and considers popular culture belief.

The beauty between the traditional belief and the popular culture system is that both systems have systematic beliefs. They may not concur, but they have a confidence held closely as true by the community system. The system continues to assert that the color and originality place no longer state the identity and the race of individuals.

The aspect of whiteness has been discussed in theories by the cultural critics and the feminists. The scholars argued that race differentiates whites from non-whites. They continued to assert that whiteness has structural advantage over other races. This has long changed, race and culture has made whiteness invisible. Popular culture belief has changed the discrimination accorded by race and culture.


Whiteness and hybridism according to Claudine is considered ‘half half’ considering the rapid growth of bicultural and biracial aspects. Hybridism presents tensions and anxiety on the basis of whiteness. There are authors, who avoid using whiteness in the attempt to define hybrid identities. The world is complex with multiple cultures in play. This is becoming difficult for people to define themselves in context of race and culture. Traditional cultures are becoming blurred with time making popular culture belief stronger day by day. ‘Half and half’ indicates identities of hybrid mixed race. It has been difficult for the author to incorporate the whiteness aspect indicating anxiety in the work.

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