1 / 1990
Rado L. Lencek

Problems and Perspectives of Ethnic Identification: Withering Away or Reaffirmation?

Slovene emigrants who went to the USA after World War Two radically differ from the previous generations in their considerably higher degree of education, general knowledge and proficiency in English. On the basic of his own experience, the author lists some characteristics of this group, its attitude toward other emigrants and toward the research on its own ethnic heritage. Among other thinks he ascertains that American Slovenes preserve their language in the first generation, but really in the second. They keep it a little longer in their religious practice but never in their public lives. The higher the educational level they brought into the States, the longer they cling to the Slovene language and their ethnic identity. On the other hand, the higher the level of education they have acquired in English, the faster and easier they become “Americanised”.