Ethnic Identity during War: The Case of German-American Societies during World War I.Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (2014)
Social, economic, and political transformations have traditionally complicated the balance between individual liberties and common good (or national needs). In times of war this balance appears more fragile and—given the role of philanthropy in the formation of identities—philanthropic studies as a field should pay more attention to these dynamics. Accordingly, in this article, the author investigates the impact of World War 1 on the German-American community. Through the historical case study of one German-American voluntary association based in Indianapolis, the author dismisses both ethnic disappearance and ethnic survival theories. In contrast, the author proposes a more nuanced approach to the processes of assimilation of minority groups. The author contends that German-Americans did not lose the battle for survival but for pluralism and suggests that in times of economic as well as social transformations homogenizing forces tend to silence alternative voices in American society.
Citation InformationWeber, P. C. (2014). Ethnic Identity during War: The Case of German-American Societies during World War I. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(1), 185-206.