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New York Yankees and Hollywood Anglos: The persistence of Anglo‐conformity in the American motion picture industry


Nations and Nationalism

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--- - |2 Abstract Ideal types have received less attention than membership criteria in the ethnicity and nationalism literature. This article uses crowdsourced genealogical data and onomastics software to show that British Isles surnames and ancestry remain over‐represented among American actors, especially in roles connected with the national narrative. Conformity to the WASP ideal type persists despite the fact American actors are disproportionately born in Los Angeles, New York, and other large cities, where British ancestry is rare. Jewish actors are over‐represented, yet many have Anglo surnames. Compared to athletes and politicians, actors are significantly more likely to have Anglo surnames, especially those in genres depicting the nation. After declining among cohorts of stars born between the 1800s and 1961, the share of British Isles surnames has stabilised and remains in the majority. We argue that despite rising diversity, this reflects the continuing importance of the Anglo‐Protestant ethnic imago for American national identity. - 'Nations and Nationalism, Volume 25, Issue 4, Page 1153-1189, October 2019. '