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these groups lightly, and yet one wonders why they have come into existence if not to reflect the growing resurgence in interest in Irish ethnicity by the Irish of this city. One can only guess what their direction will be. Were they to become political, it could well be that they might quickly emulate similar organizations found in abundance in modern American Jewish society. Like their Jewish counterparts, they see nothing in America which would attract their loyalty to the degree that their Irish heritage does. The case is especially true if this loyalty makes' them perceive themselves as Irish Catholics at a time when, unlike the time of their grandparents when the words Irish Catholic constituted a barrier to upward mobility, the words Irish Catholic constitute a position of identity in a world devoid of any other comparable form of identity. Andrew Greeley calls later day American Irish Catholics "communal Catholics." One suspects that his insights are correct and that Cleveland's Irish population is showing a rapid shift to a new and open-ended form of Irish ethnicity hitherto unseen in their history.

Final Note

     Greeley observes that the recent rise of ethnic consciousness among most ethnic Catholic groups in the U.S. seems to put to an end, at least for the present, the melting pot theory so long accepted as a fact in American self-understanding. Indeed, if the melting pot has not yet happened in this country, then one suspects there is a reawakening of a new form of ethnic consciousness, .....

 


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especially among the young and about which we have already made note, that bespeaks an event of social significance of extraordinary proportions. If each ethnic group is suddenly pausing in its assimilation of its own social and cultural experience in the United States, if the poignant impact of Alexander Haley's Roots upon black people as well as white people is as massive as the critics tell us it has been, if each ethnic and racial group in this country is finding anew the richness of its values and culture through a rediscovery of its all but forgotten history, if "truths" which these group-; accepted as given when they really were not all that true, one would be forced to conclude that the data is not at all in. Nor has it been even researched. Until it is, the melting pot theory will have to wait.

 


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