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Vincent N. Parrillo Strangers to These Shores

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1 Vincent N. Parrillo Strangers to These Shores
The Study of America’s Minorities America’s Immigrants

2 The Study of Minorities
Are we a nation of immigrants? Are we the great melting pot of all races, religions, and nationalities? What is the American dream, is it alive? Native-born Americans have not always welcomed newcomers with open arms. We continue to face serious race (ethnic) related problems.

3 The Stranger as a Social Phenomenon
Similarity and Attraction We like those who are like us and engage in the same pursuits. Those with similar attitudes, .. Values, .. Beliefs, .. Social status, .. or physical appearance Studies show greater receptivity to strangers who are perceived as similar than to those who are perceives as different

4 Social Distance Emory Bogardus (1926)
Measured the degree of social closeness or distance personally acceptable to members of a particular group A number of studies spanning over 75 yrs. With few exceptions, the positioning of response patterns is relatively consistant.

5 Social Distance Cont. Measured the degree of closeness of different groups that would be acceptable Would accept marrying in my family Would accept as a personal friend in my social circle Would accept as a neighbor on my street Would work in the same office Would only have as speaking acquaintance Would only have a visitors to my country Would bar from entering my country

6 Social Distance Cont. Note the results by thirds of the 30 groups
Note how consistent the results have been over the years The results reflect sociohistorical conditions / situations Note the position of Muslims and Arabs

7 Perceptions Strangers are perceived through categoric knowing
Classifications made on the basis of limited information Native-born Americans, in the past, perceived first generation immigrants as a particular kind of stranger

8 Interactions People from the same social world “know” the language,.. Customs,.. Symbols, .. and normative behavior patterns, the stranger usually does not. Strangers lack a sense of historicity A lack of experience, … memory

9 The Sociological Perspective
Sociologists use scientific investigation Scientific investigation requires theories Three main theoretical paradigms Functional Theory Conflict Theory Interactionist Theory

10 Functional Theory Society is seen as a stable,, cooperative social system where everything has a function contributing to harmony Societal elements function together to maintain order, stability, and equilibrium Social problems are dysfunctional resulting in temporary disorganization Rapid change is dysfunctional Necessary adjustments restore harmony

11 Conflict Theory Based on Marxian theory
Society is continually engaged in conflict Conflict is inevitable as people (social classes) struggle to meet their interests Social change is the result of class struggles related to social inequalities The Question, “Who benefits from inequality, exploitation , discrimination?” The “powerful class” benefits

12 Interactionist Theory
Focus is on everyday, personal interaction This is a “micro” theory Seek to determine the “social construction of reality” Shared expectations and cultural understandings explain intergroup relations Better communication and intercultural understanding improve minority-majority relations

13 Minority Groups Development of a Definition
Groups and group identity are important components of race and ethnic relations Minority Group: Sociologists use it to indicate a groups relative power and status in a society May be by Race, … Ethnicity, … Gender

14 Minority-Group Characteristics
Wagley and Harris: Five Characteristics The group receives unequal treatment The group is easily identifiable by physical and cultural characteristics The group feels a sense of peoplehood Membership is an ascribed status Group members practice endogamy, … they usually marry within their group

15 Racial and Ethnic Groups
Race: People sharing visible biological characteristics, .. Body build, .. Hair texture, .. Facial features, … Skin color Caucasoid, ..Negroid, .. Mongoloid Quickly broke down when applied We generally use “Color” for race White, Black, Yellow, Red, Brown, … ? Ultimately race is a social definition Ashley Montagu: “Only one race exists, the human race, … a dangerous concept”

16 Racism Racism: Asserts the superiority of one group over another because of biological conditions and sociocultural capabilities Subordinate group experiences prejudice and discrimination Dominant group justifies racism on the basis of its definitional perceptions Perceptions become reality for them

17 Ethnic Group Groups which share a national (cultural) heritage with distinct religious, linguistic or cultural characteristics They may be racially different but have the same cultural heritage Japanese, Arabs, Basques, Indians, and Jews are often misidentified as racial groups They could all be American

18 Ethnocentrism One’s own group (culture) is used as a reference to evaluate other cultures, ethnicities. Evaluations of others are often negative One’s group is the ingroup the other is an outgroup, … we / they Negative evaluations often result in prejudice and discrimination The outgroup is sometimes seen as a threat

19 Eurocentrism & Afrocentrism
Eurocentrism: A variation of ethnocentrism Emphasis on Western culture, history, literature, achievements, ... Afrocentrism: A viewpoint emphasizing African culture and achievements and its influence on American culture A counterbalance to the suppression of African influence and achievement Another variation of ethnocentrism

20 The Dillingham Flaw Refers to an error in analysis when we apply modern (current) classifications or conditions to a condition of earlier times Comparing current immigration and assimilation conditions and outcomes to those of the past ( 2000 to 1900) “Why don’t they learn English and assimilate?” Previous immigrant groups went through the same gradual acculturation process

21 Personal Troubles and Public Issues
C. Wright Mills: The Sociological Imagination “There is an intricate connection between the patterns of individual lives and the larger historical context of society.” “What we experience in diverse and distinct social settings is often traceable to structural changes (conditions) and institutional contradictions.”

22 C. Wright Mills Cont. Illustration: … a handful of undocumented aliens, … sweatshop, … their personal trouble, … But, if large scale smuggling of undocumented workers, … Resulting in an underground economy, … need to consider the economic and political institutions of the society, …

23 The Dynamics of Intergroup Relations
Patterns of intergroup relations change and depend on industrialization, urbanization, migration patterns, social movements and economic trends. Recent large migrations of diverse peoples into Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States provides a good example. … A general backlash, …

24 Ethnoviolence Def.: Hostile behavior against people solely because of their race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Examples: Hate Groups, … Others?, …

25 Key Terms Afrocentrism Ascribed Status Categoric Knowing
Conflict Theory Dillingham Flaw Dominant Group Ethnocentrism Ethnoviolence Eurocentrism Functional Theory Ingroup Interactionist Theory Latent Functions Minority Group Outgroup Race Racism Social Distance Secondary Group Values

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