Ethnic option is a term coined by sociologist Mary C. Waters to express her conception that ethnic identity the descendants of immigrants is flexible, symbolic and voluntary, not a definitive aspect of their identity. 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 Cleary, Joseph N. and Claire Connolly. The Cambridge companion to modern Irish culture, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 131