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Immigration and Caricature


Exhibition
• Section I
• Section II
• Section III

About the Collectors

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Digitizing the Collection

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Exhibition Section III: Assimilation and Acceptance


Although the imposition of a quota system and the end of mass immigration did not mean an end to negative stereotypes and caricatures, there were other, more positive themes that began to assert themselves. With the growing dominance of the Melting Pot idea over the earlier insistence on Anglo-conformity, both editorials and ethnic imagery came to focus on the positive contributions made by immigrants. As these groups, and their descendants, became more integrated and as they moved up the social and economic ladder, this became a common theme of ethnic caricature. America as the land of opportunity came to prevail over the earlier view of America as a land of refuge. Some portrayals of different ethnic groups in America came to focus on what these disparate groups had in common, rather than how they differed from the Anglo norm. Some cartoons even presaged the multi-cultural model of America that would in time replace the Melting Pot concept.

Advertising became a common medium for the perpetuation of ethnic stereotypes and caricature, first in trade cards, later as advertisements in periodicals and on signs. The "Frito Bandito" is a direct descendant of the ethnic images in this exhibit. In recent years growing sensitivities to ethnic slurs have eliminated much of this in the public sector, though it persists in private in such genre as ethnic jokes.

A Man of Strong Features

Trade Cards
(3 images)

The Salons of New York
(4 images)

Looking Backward

Sheet Music Covers

(3 images)
 




. Section I . Section II . Section III .

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