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An Analysis of Ethnic Identity Among Yemenite Jews in the Greater New York Area

By Dina Dahbany Miraglia and Columbia University


This dissertation analyzes some of the processes of American Yemenite Jewish ethnic identity since they began leaving Yemen during the middle of the nineteenth century. Various host countries' influences, namely Yemen, Turkish and British Mandate Palestine, Israel and the United States, are evident in the directions of change and modification to the original repertoire of ethnic identities, the verbal ethnic repertoire, and the repertoire of goals.The bulk of the data and the analyses is sociocultural. That is to say, this dissertation focuses on the four host countries' milieux and the place of Yemenite Jews, as an ethnic population, in those milieux. Relations between Yemenite Jews and the ruling population in each of the four host countries, is a key focus.However, Chapter VI concentrates on American Yemenite Jews from a sociolinguistic perspective, and analyzes some kinds of verbal expressions of ethnic identity as exemplified in Appendices II-V. Some areas of sociolinguistic discussion and analysis include code-switching and style-shifting, the use of puns, and a variety of genres, such as jokes, adages, anecdotes, stories, etc., as well as suprasegmental variations, and the contexts in which these many speech forms are employed.Thesis (Ph.D.)--Columbia University, 1983.School code: 0054

Topics: Jews, Yemeni, Ethnology, Jews, Yemeni, Jews
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