This paper argues that the United States possessed a dominant ethnic group or 'core ethnie' (Smith 1986; 1991) like most European and Asian nations. This ethnie was intimately linked to the nation's identity. This WASP (or Anglo-Protestant) ethnic group went into decline largely because it failed to continue processes of Anglo-conformity and immigration restriction which were integral to the maintenance of its hegemony. Reform originated largely within the WASP community among religious and secular liberals in the first half of the 20th c., which facilitated external challenges from subaltern groups.Wright, Theodore. "The Identity and Changing Status of Former Elite Minorities: the Contrasting cases of North Indian Muslims and American WASPS" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC, Sep 01, 2005
My paper, unlike the others on this panel, approaches the subject of “core ethnic groups” comparatively. My research focus for forty-five years has been not on my own ascribed identity group, the so-called White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPs) of North America, but on the 12% of the post-independence population of India who are Muslims by religion, whom I have categorized as a “former elite minority”. (1) The comparison occurred to me at the time of the publication of Peter Schrag’s “Decline of the WASP” (2) and several other popular books with the same theme. It explained why I found attractive a group generally viewed unsympathetically by upwardly mobile academics as “oppressors” of minorities. Other examples of this type are the Manchus of China, the Tatars in Russia, former European colonists in Kenya and Algeria, the Afrikaners of South Africa since 1994, the Watutsi of Rwanda and the Arabs of Zanzibar; Fijians and Maoris in Oceania, in Latin America possibly one could count the Spanish-descended Creoles after the Mestizos seized power from them; in North America the French-Canadians; and in Europe the Anglo-Irish and the various German, Hungarian and Turkish communities which were left outside of their former homelands by defeat and boundary changes after the two world wars, most noteably including the Sudeten Germans until their expulsion from Czechoslovakia in 1945.I'm not overly impressed with either paper, though Kaufmann's at least offers a reasonable framework for further discussion. The Wright paper sounds interesting enough in concept but descends into conflating the blending of NW European ethnies among old-stock Americans with interracial marriage, and bizarrely arguing "WASPs" will maintain dominance by mixing themselves out of existence.
In terms of Richard Schermerhorn’s (3) fourfold typology of ethnicities within a matrix of power and numbers: dominant majorities, dominant elites, subordinate mass subjects and subordinate minorities, these groups have slipped by loss of political dominance from Schermerhorn’s “dominant elite” to his “subordinate minority”. [. . .]