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Given the recent debate about immigration reform, how do you see this issue as a social problem? Who wins? Who loses in this debate about policy? Expand your thoughts by reading page 230 in your textbook, where Simpson and Yinger identify six policies of dominant groups that impact minority groups. Which of these policies are directed toward African Americans? Native Americans?
"Figure 8.1 â–¸ Policies of Dominant Groups Toward Minority Groups Humanity
The dominant group tries to destroy the minority group (e.g., Germany and Rwanda)
group absorbs the minority group (e.g., American
The dominant group structures the social institutions to maintain minimal contact with the minority group (e.g., the American South before the 1960s)
The dominant group exploits the minority group (e.g., low-paid, menial work)
The dominant group expels the minority group (e.g., Native
Americans forced onto reservations)
The dominant group encourages racial–ethnic variation; when successful, there is no longer a dominant group (e.g., Switzerland)
Source: By the author. Based on Simpson and Yinger 1972; Henslin 2010.
Chapter 8 Racial–Ethnic Relations
groups identified by sociologists George Simpson and J. Milton Yinger. As we review these policies, you can see how they can help or hinder minorities.
1. Pluralism. Pluralism (multiculturalism) exists when a dominant group permits or even encourages cultural differences. The “hands-off ” policy toward immigrant associations and foreign-language newspapers in the United States is an example. In Switzerland, the French, Italian, German, and Romish Swiss, who live peace- fully together in a political and economic unit, have retained their separate lan- guages and other customs. None of these groups is considered a minority.
2. Assimilation. Assimilation is an attempt to eliminate the minority by absorbing it into the mainstream culture. In forced assimilation, the dominant group bans the minor- ity’s religion, language, and other distinctive customs. In the former Soviet Union, the Russians treated Armenians this way. Permissible assimilation, in contrast, lets the minority adopt the dominant customs at its own pace. In the United States, we expect that cultural minorities will gradually give up their distinctive customs, such as unique clothing and language, and adopt the customs of the dominant culture.
3. Segregation. Segregation is an attempt by the dominant group to keep a minor- ity “in its place”—that is, subservient, exploitable, and “off by itself.” In South Africa between 1948 and 1990, the small number of whites who controlled the nation established apartheid (ah-'paÌˆr-taÌ„te), a system of rules that segregated blacks and whites in almost all spheres of life. In the face of international sanc- tions that threatened the nation’s economy, the whites dismantled apartheid.
4. Internal colonialism. Colonialism refers to a more powerful nation making a col- ony of a weaker nation so it can exploit its resources; internal colonialism refers to a dominant group exploiting a minority group’s labor.
5. Population transfer. In direct population transfer, the dominant group transfers the minority to a specified area or forces it to leave the country. In the 1400s, for example, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (who financed Columbus’ voyage to North America) drove the Jews and Moors out of Spain. Indirect population trans- fer occurs when the dominant group makes life so miserable for a minority that its members “choose” to leave. Facing the bitter conditions of czarist Russia, for example, millions of Jews made this “choice.”
6. Genocide. Hatred, fear, or greed can motivate the dominant group to turn to a policy of extermination, or genocide. The most infamous example is the Holocaust. Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis slaughtered about 6 million Jews, hundreds
of thousands of Slavs, a quarter of a million Gypsies, and unknown numbers of homosexuals, communists, people with disabilities, and the mentally ill—all peo- ple whom Hitler considered too “impure” to be part of his mythical Aryan rac"
Henslin, James M. Social Problems: A Down to Earth Approach, 11th Edition. Pearson, 2014. VitalBook file.
The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.
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