Chapter 12The Changing Context ofAmerican Race and EthnicRelations: Current and FutureIssues
Chapter Outline Issues of the Newest Immigration Economic Issues Social and Cultural Issues Issues of Immigrant Adaptation and Integration A Revitalized Nativism? Arab Americans Cultural Assimilation or Pluralism? Competing Goals
The Continuing Gap between Euro- Americans and Racial-Ethnic Minorities Compensatory Policies Affirmative Action The Legal Issues of Affirmative Action The Politics of Affirmative Action The Future of Affirmative Action
3 Important Issues in theChanging Context 1) the changing ethnic configuration 2) assimilation versus pluralism 3) continued gap between Euro-American and most Asian groups on the one hand and African American, Hispanic American, and Native American groups on the other
Issues of the NewestImmigration Economic issues The newest immigration favors some sectors of the economy and harms others. Most Mexican and Caribbean immigrants benefit employers in labor-intensive industries but depress the job opportunities of native low-status workers. Many Asian Indians, Chinese, and Filipinos are highly trained professionals and managers and are needed as the U.S. lags in producing highly trained scientific workers.
Polling Question Is immigration good for the United States?
Illegal immigration Approximately 12 million illegal immigrants More than 70% of farm-workers are illegal immigrants Future labor needs can be met only with an influx of immigrants. Demand will be particularly evident in high skill areas.
Social and cultural issues Americans have mixed feelings about the increased diversity of the new immigrants. Language has been controversial. Some have sought to make English the official language. Others claim an official language masks ethnic antagonism. Majority of immigrants want to and do learn English.
New Immigration Current immigrants are likely to experience segmented assimilation. The labor market has changed from industrial to segmented. Recent immigrants maintain contact with their country of origin through communication and transportation technologies.
New immigrants continue to arrive from the same countries. Mass media homogenize through anticipatory acculturation. Society and the economy have moved toward acceptance of ethnic pluralism.
Polling Question How do the media influence assimilation?
Assimilation Is proceeding. Is a reciprocal process Usually occurs in a series of small shifts.
A revitalized nativism? Tolerance for immigration rises and falls with Economic conditions. International events including terrorist attacks The focus of the current debate is mostly on Mexicans, particularly the undocumented.
Arab Americans Middle Easterners represent a diversity of Ethnic populations Religious populations Political groups Most Arab Americans today trace their origins to before WWII. Numbers swelled beginning in the 1970s.
Most early Arab immigrants were poor and uneducated but were Christian and soon blended into the population. The last wave is more diverse in geographical origin, ethnicity, religion and social class. Many have come because of political unrest.
Major concentrations are in Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York. They represent a broad range of social classes and occupations. Attainments are usually higher than the general population.
Arab Americans have been subjected to negative stereotypes of Muslims. It has been particularly strong since 9/11 in 2001. Air travel has been especially difficult.
Arabs have traditionally been seen as mysterious and villainous. Negative images have been exacerbated by The media Oil crisis of 1970s September 11, 2001
Assimilation Questions of ethnic classification U.S. census classifies them as white. Most do not see themselves as white. Cultural conflict between traditional devout Muslim values and modern American values had led to isolation. They are increasingly integrated into current society through the consumer market.
Most Arab Americans are American in their outlook, values, and attitudes.
Cultural Assimilation orPluralism? Traditionally, assimilation was assumed. Today, the assumption is in dispute. Beginning in the 1960s, heightened collective consciousness has developed. Some are promoting pluralism. Multicultural ideas and policies are reflected in most major social institutions, especially education. Bilingualism is controversial.
Polling Question Why is bilingualism controversial?
Different ethnicities are mixing in the central cities. Pluralistic principles are stronger, but ethnic differences are diminishing. Ethnic leaders may argue that cultures must be preserved but most immigrants want assimilation.
The Continuing Gap between Euro-Americans and Racial-Ethnic Minorities Public policy debates center on persistent economic gaps and social distance. Compensatory policies Arose from the civil rights movement and new pluralism of the 1960s and 1970s Designed to raise group positions Designed to protect minority groups from discrimination
Affirmative action was designed to advance the economic and educational achievement of the minorities that had been most victimized. It is now focused on achieving equality of result in addition to equality of opportunity.
Affirmative Action: The Debate Affirmative Action is Necessary: Indirect and Institutional forms of discrimination continue to perpetuate non-white disadvantage. Non-whites enter the competition with background disadvantages. Without affirmative action, we will return to the discrimination of the past. Affirmative action provides social capital.
Affirmative Action is Unfair: It results in reverse discrimination. Success is not based on individual merit. Targeted groups are stigmatized. It is too sweeping in application. The major beneficiaries have been middle class.
Polling Question Have you benefited from affirmative action?
The Legal Issues of AffirmativeAction Griggs v. Duke Power 1971—Tests given to potential employees can be invalidated if they had harmful effects and were not necessary. Bakke case 1978—Court ruled that quotas were illegal, but the use of race can be one of many criteria and can be used to create a balanced student body.
Weber v. Kaiser Aluminum—Court declared that employers seeking to increase minority representation could use quotas but a later case ruled that layoffs must be according to seniority. Adarand Construction v. Pena 1995—Court placed tight limits on affirmative action. 2007 Supreme Court ruled that efforts to balance the racial makeup by allocating students to schools was unconstitutional.
The Politics of AffirmativeAction Democrats have for the most part supported it. Republicans have opposed, or given lukewarm support and sought to limit its application. Presidential administrations up until Reagan supported affirmative action. Reagan sought to subvert it. G.W. Bushs Supreme Court appointments will likely limit it further.
Public opinion A majority have generally supported the rationale, but not always the specific programs. Support has decreased in recent years. Perception that equality exists. The real issue is social class. Essentially a matter of fairness.
The objective has shifted from an effort to make up for past wrongs to creating the proportional makeup of the broader group. Corporations support affirmative action, but specifically using race is increasingly unpopular.
Looking Ahead Opinion about racial/ethnic issues remains divided. Divisions among racial/ethnic minorities are increasing. We expect ethnic discord to be present for years to come.
Reasons for optimism Evidence of growing tolerance U.S. is generally socially and politically cohesive. Intermarriage rates are rising. Level of American conflict is mild compared with other societies.
Quiz1. The ________ Supreme Court case ruled that universities could use race as one of several criteria in selecting students. A. Plessy v. Ferguson B. Bakke C. Griggs D. Loving v. Virginia
B. The Bakke Supreme Court case ruled that universities could use race as one of several criteria in selecting students.
2. Recent immigration to the U.S. is different from earlier immigration in that A. industrial job opportunities are plentiful. B. immigrants can easily maintain contact with their country of origin. C. ethnic pluralism is less popular than it was in the past. D. All of the above
B. Recent immigration to the U.S. is different from earlier immigration in that immigrants can easily maintain contact with their country of origin.
3. Recently arriving Arab Americans are particularly subjected to negative stereotypes of A. Jews. B. Muslims. C. Sephardics. D. Catholics.
B. Recently arriving Arab Americans are particularly subjected to negative stereotypes of Muslims.
4. Arab Americans are currently classified as ________ in the census. A. white B. black C. brown D. Middle Eastern
4. Arab Americans are currently classified as white in the census.
5. The purpose of affirmative action is shifting toward A. making up for past wrongs. B. equality of opportunity. C. equality of results. D. reverse discrimination.
C. The purpose of affirmative action is shifting toward equality of results.