Ethnic option is a term coined by sociologist Mary C. Waters to express her conception that ethnic identity is something that is flexible, symbolic and voluntary, not a definitive aspect of their identity for the descendants of immigrants. Waters argues that with the achievement of middle-class suburban status, ethnicity becomes a lifestyle option, a costless form of community.
- Omi, Michael, Racial Identity and the State, in Adams, Maurianne, Readings for diversity and social justice, Routledge, 2000, p. 78.
- Kleg, Milton, Hate, Prejudice, and Racism, SUMY Press, 1993, p. 43-44.
- Hickman, Mary J., Migration and Diaspora, in Joseph N. Cleary, Claire Connolly, The Cambridge companion to modern Irish culture, p. 131, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 131