Presentation on theme: "Social Theories on Social Change, Ethnic & Racial Assimilation"— Presentation transcript:
1 Social Theories on Social Change, Ethnic & Racial Assimilation SOC 3300 “Inequality” Dr. Mary Cay Sengstock, Ph.D., C.C.S.
2 Inevitability of Social/Cultural Change Cultural Diffusion: “100% American” (Ralph Linton)Wakes on a Mid-Eastern Style Bed Modified in N. EuropePuts On Clothes of Silk from ChinaWoven in Style Devised in Middle EastLooks Out a Window, Invented in EgyptEats an Egg from Bird Domesticated in Indo-China& a Waffle, Cooked in a Scandinavian Iron …Made From Wheat Domesticated in Asia MinorSmokes (Amer. Indian Habit) Tobacco Invented in BrazilIn Form of a Cigarette Invented in MexicoThanks a Hebrew God, in Indo-European Language …That He Is 100% American!
3 Theories of Cultural Change Some Basic Concepts & Theories:Symbolic Interaction: All Human Interaction Is Mediated By Symbols: Language, Other Cultural Symbols (Gestures, Facial Expressions, etc.)Cannot Communicate Without Understanding Others’ Words, Views, PerspectivesEX: Different Racial & Ethnic Groups
4 Impact of Social/Cultural Expectations “W.I. Thomas Theorem”: If Things Are Believed to Be True, They Are True in Their Consequences.”We Accept the Assumptions of Our Society …Then Act As Though This Is RealityEX: If People Believe Blacks Inferior …Then Give Them Less Opportunity …The Expectation Will Come True.
5 Social Change – Its Rapidity Changes in Society Take Place Very SlowlyDo NOT Expect Change to Occur QuicklyWhy?There Are Many Aspects of Society Pressing for Continuation of the Status Quo:Parents, Other FamilySchools, Religion, GovernmentEX: Attempt to Change Image of Girls, Women in Grade School Textbooks
6 Social Change Pyramid How Long Will It Take? Who Is Most ControlLeaders50+Aspiring LeadersMaintain Control25-49Most Likely ChangersChildren, Youth<25Who Is MostLikely to Change?What Is the ChanceOf Change Occurring?Who Is Likely toResist Change?Why?
7 Cultural Contact & Culture Shock Cultural Contact – May Occur:When One Goes to a Different Society (Immigrant)Between Sub-groups in a Single SocietyWhat Happens When Inter-Cultural Contact Occurs?Cultural Shock As a Consequence of Cultural Contact
8 The “Stranger,” Social Change, & Social Distance “Strangers” – A Frequent Source of ChangeAll Societies: A “Special Place” for StrangersTiwi – North Australia: Kill ThemMiddle East: Strangers Owed HospitalityLowered Swords As Tribes Enter Foreign TerritoriesSimilarity Attracts – Difference RepelsSocial Distance: Distrust of Those DifferentDiverse Societies Social Distance Problems
9 Impact of Cultural Contact & Culture Shock Who Wins?Outside Group May Dominate (English Colonists)Equal Contact Assimilate (French in N. Amer.)Receiving Group Dominates (Immigrants Today)Culture ShockNot Easy to Adapt to a New CultureMany Immigrants Are Always “Between Cultures”
10 Bogardus Social Distance Scale Higher Score = Less Acceptable (1926) Long Standing Measure of Perceived DistanceAccept Marriage into Family (1 pt)Accept as Personal Friend (2 pts)Accept as Neighbor (3 pts)Accept Worker in Office (4 pts)Only as Speaking Acquaintance (5 pts)Accept Only As Visitor to Country (6 pts)Bar from Entering Country (7 pts)
11 Scores Over Time Social Distance Spread Shrinks: Negroes (1977) vs. Africans: 1.43Mean (1997): vs. Mean (2001): 1.442001: Muslims (1.88), Arabs (1.94) Least Acceptable vs. “American” (1.25)Remarkably: Their Scores Are NOT as Negative As That of Previous “Unacceptables” (1977):Russians: – Koreans: 2.63
12 Georg Simmel: the Stranger An “Outsider”: Different; UnknownRepresent Both Nearness & RemotenessPhysically Close –Seen as Unknown/DifferentStrangers Are Both Inside & Outside:Lack Knowledge of Social “Nuances”More Likely to Be “Objective”Tendency to Use Stereotypes with StrangersNeed to Teach People to Get Along with StrangersParrillo: Train Germans to Interact with Americans
13 Alfred Schutz: “Intersubjective Understanding “Natives”: Shared Understanding of World:Language, Slang, Customs, Beliefs, Symbols, Daily Behavior Patterns – “Social Context”Deep Understanding of Hidden MeaningsStrangers Lack “Historicity,” “Shared Memory”Chinese Student: Wanted to Conduct a Subjective Study of American Students – Possible?Dr. Arifa Javed: Cross-Cultural Training Program: Parents – Students – Teachers
14 Process of Acculturation Over Time, Strangers Come to Know “the Culture” – the Nuances of Social InteractionDeep Understanding/Speaking the LanguageThey Now Understand How Others Feel, What They Say – Hidden Meanings Behind WordsNatives Begin to Understand the Complexity of the “Strangers’ Culture” – Less Likely to Depend Upon Stereotypes
15 Major Sociological Perspectives: Functionalism (Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton) Stable, Cooperating System; Everyone AgreesEverything Has an Accepted FunctionSystem Is Ordered, Stable, in EquilibriumTemporary Maladjustments “Dysfunctions”Gradual Adjustments New Equilibrium
16 Major Sociological Perspectives: Conflict Theory Disagreements, Tensions Inherent In SocietyConflict Is Inevitable As New Elites AriseInequalities Are Inevitable Disequilibrium, Change Are the NormExploitation DiscriminationPower Structure Has False ConsciousnessOnly Group Cohesiveness & Struggle Produces Social Change
17 Major Sociological Perspectives: Interactionist Theory Focus: Microsocial World Interaction PatternsShared Symbols, Definitions, InterpretationsSocial Construction of RealityInternalized Meanings Are PresumedIntergroup Relations Perceived in that ContextImproved Communication Needed to Improve Relations Between Majority & Minority
18 Minority Groups Does Not Designate Numerical Representation Relates to Relative Power & Status in SocietyLouis Wirth – Noted 2 Dimensions:Not Solely Physical; Many Physical, Cultural Traits, Disabilities, Aging, etc.Social Consciousness; Focus on Prejudice, DiscriminationRichard Schermerhorn Does Not Agree:Not All Minority Groups Involve VictimizationLeads to Studies of Social Power Relationships
19 Minority Group Definition Group Receives Unequal TreatmentEasily Identifiable (Physical &/or Cultural)Held in Low EsteemGroup Feels Sense of Sharing, PeoplehoodMembership Is ASCRIBED Status; Born Into ItEndogamy Is Practiced
20 Theories of Minority Integration: Assimilation Assumes That Outside Groups BecomeIntegral Part of Dominant Society – 3 Ways:Anglo-ConformityMelting PotPluralism
21 Assimilation: Definition (Milton Gordon) Process In Which 2 Groups Become One GroupEX: 2 Immigrant Groups Which Live Near Each Other …Interact With Each Other …Eventually They Become 1 GroupEthnic EX: Development of “WASP” (Anderson)How the Jews Became “White” (Brodkin #4)
22 Assimilation: Stages (Milton Gordon) Cultural Assimilation (Acculturation)Marital Assimilation (Amalgamation)Structural Assimilation (Primary & Secondary)Identificational Assimilation (One Identity)Attitude-Receptional (Absence of Prejudice)Behavioral-Receptional (Absence of Discrimination)Civic Assimilation (Absence of Political Conflicts)
23 Gordon’s Hypotheses Cultural Assimilation is Necessary for the Rest Structural Assimilation Will Lead to the RestMarital Assimilation Process CompleteNone Proven – Questioned By Many TheoristsShows the Complexity of AssimilationQuestion Re Who Assimilates to WhomQuestion Re Degree to Which It Really Occurs
24 Anglo-Conformity Based on Assimilation Assumes That All Incoming Groups Become Like the Original Group (i.e, “Anglos)Advocated By AnglosQuestion If It Ever Really OccursReality: Newcomers Really Change MostNewcomers Do Introduce Some New IdeasSome Ideas (EX: Civil Rights Movement)Even If It’s Just Their Foods; Some Words (Yiddish)
25 “Melting Pot” Assumes ALL Groups Meld Into A New Group Different from ALL of the Individual Groups“New Breed” (J. Hector St. John de Creveceour, 1782)“The Melting Pot” (Israel Zangwill, Play, 1908)
26 Q: Did We Melt? Gordon: Only In Religion “Triple Melting Pot” ProtestantCatholicJewish(Ruby Jo Reeves Kennedy, New Haven, CN)Did This Even Occur There?Andrew Greeley
27 Melting Pot Today Who Would We Have to Include Today? Muslims? Hindus? Sikhs? Others?The Dominant Society Does NOT – Has NO INTENTION OF Accommodating/Assimilating!Most “Melting” Was Anglo-ConformistWill Herberg; Henry Pratt Fairchild; Andrew Greeley; others
28 Accommodation Theory: Pluralism “Democracy vs. Melting Pot” Horace Kallen (1915)Rejects Assimilation & AmalgamationGroups Retain Language, Customs , InstitutionsLearn English, Participate in InstitutionsOccupations, Education, PoliticsU.S: “Cooperation of Cultural Diversities”
29 Pluralism a Cultural Reality Cultural Pluralism:Some Culturally Distinct Groups Exist (Amish)Structural PluralismMany Groups Form Separate Social GroupsDual Realities: Both Types Always ExistedGroups Maintain Social/(Cultural) SeparatenessAssimilation Required By WhitesReality: “Whites” Are Not “Just American”!Strata; Self Control; Suppress Attitudes (Parrillo)
30 Reactions to Pluralism Comparison to Other SocietiesCanada: State Sponsored Multi-CulturalismAustralia: “White Australia” 2-Way Acculturation U.S. Style DiversityTrinidad & Tobago: “Tossed Salad”East Indians Always “Outsiders” to AfricansFrance: Mono-Cultural – Everyone Is Native-Born!U.S.: Mixture of AboveGenerally Non-Interference Unless ProblemsBothers Many White Anglo-Saxon Protestants!Richard Thompson: Unity, Not Diversity! (Hate Speech)