Seminar 9 Outline – May 18, 2021

Race Together: Learnings about and Race and Racism in America
Arturo Pierre Lewis

Seminar 9 Title: Race and Cultures: Who are we Really?

Changing Values, Goals, and Models: New Thinking on Assimilation, Pluralism, and Separatism – Chapter 8

Chapter Objectives—after reading Chapter Eight you should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the three ideal models of intergroup relations
  • Describe the case for and against each of three ideal models of intergroup relations
  • Explain how the dominant form of intergroup relations was cultural assimilation for most of the history of the United States
  • Describe Anglo conformity and the level of assimilation the United States has achieved
  • Describe changing attitudes about intergroup relations among various minority groups 

Three Models of Intergroup Relations

1. Assimilation

. A process whereby a minority group and a dominant group gradually become integrated into a common culture and social system; mostly occurring when the minority group adapts and fits into the social system of the majority.

A. Cultural Assimilation

. When two or more groups come together to share a common culture that includes the development of common attitudes, values and lifestyles.

B. Structural Assimilation

. When two or more groups share social institutions, and organizations such as political and civic activities and friendship networks that are equal.

C. Marriage Assimilation

. Intermarriage between two racial or ethnic groups.

2. Pluralism

. A society made of many distinct parts.

3. Separatism

. Two or more racial or ethnic groups occupying an area and have their own cultures and separate sets of social institutions and primary groups relations.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why, after about 1965, did social movements among African Americans shift away from an emphasis on integration and assimilation toward an emphasis on pluralism, power, and in some cases, separatism?
  2. What is environmental racism? How does this concept apply to the experiences of Native Americans? To the experiences of African Americans?
  3. What trends have occurred recently in the attitudes of minority group members regarding assimilation, pluralism, and separatism? What might account for these trends?
  4. How have the social situations or the history of Latinx/Hispanic groups contributed to tendencies toward either assimilation or pluralism? How about the social situation or history of Native Americans?

    Web Links Website for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Biography of Malcolm X Website from Michigan State University about this theory combined with gender, race, etc. Website for the International Center for Islam and Pluralism. Information about Black Nationalism. PBS website about Indian Boarding Schools.

    Key Words and terms

    Afrocentrism                    Cultural pluralism          Structural assimilation

    Amalgamation                  Environmental racism    Structural pluralism

    Cultural assimilation        Separatism

    Suggested Readings:

    “Population Patterns and Educational Attainment of Mexican Americans, 1994-2004. Yamilette Chacon. 2005. In Sociation, Volume 3, No. 2.

    Gordon, Milton M.  1964.  Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion,  And National Origins.  New York: Oxford University Press.

    “US Immigrants and the Dilemma of Anglo-Conformity.” Susan Dicker. 2008. In Socialism and Democracy Volume 22, Issue 3.

    “Is Black Separatism a bad Idea?” Andre Smith, Jr. 2007. On Associated Content News.

    “Measures of Assimilation in the Marriage Market: Mexican Americans 1970-1990.” Michael Rosenfeld. 2002. In Journal of Marriage and Family Volume 64. 152-162.

    “Asian American Assimilation vs. Acculturation” on Goldsea Asian Air 

    Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community. Beverly Tatum. 1987. Greenwood Press.

    The Status of Majority and Minority Groups in the United States Today
    Chapter 10

    Chapter Objectives—after reading Chapter Ten you should be able to:

  5. Compare and contrast the variations in the location, size and composition of the major minority groups in the United States today
  6. Explain what it means to be a group with intermediate status and give examples of these groups in the United States today
  7. Describe the dominant group and how whiteness is a racial identity
  8. Discuss the evidence of improvement and continuing inequality of minority groups in the United States today
  9. Describe the intersection of race, gender, and class inequality in the United States todayWhite Ethnics in America

    . Ethnic Pride and Separation are important factors as is assimilation.

    . Social Class and Race: middle class to wealthy status is important; utilizing race to achieve this.

    . Political Overtones and Segregation

    . Legal Opposition

    . Perceptions

    . Resentment

    . Ethnic Solidarity

    . Culture and Heritage

    . Third Generation and Origins

    . Whiteness: An identification with American White Middle Class Status.

    Black in Latin America – Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

Native Americans – African Americans – Latino/Latinx – Asian Americans – Arab Americans – Many Ethnic Minority Americans, Many Ethnic Minority Residents

. Who are we Really?

. Tribalism and Pluralism in Community and Conflict

Key Word/Term: Whiteness

Discussion Questions 

  1. In what regard may it be an overgeneralization to speak about the situation of “Latinos/as,” “Latinx” or of “Asian Americans” in the United States?
  2. Why is there some confusion or disagreement among Latino/x groups about how to respond to the race question on the census?
  3. What is meant by an identity of whiteness, and how may this concept have increased relevance for understanding race relations in the United States today? 
  4. In what ways has the status of African Americans, Latinos/x, and American Indians improved in recent years? In what ways has it not improved? Are there ways in which the situation has worsened for some members of these groups?
  5. In what regards might it specifically be argued that the racial gap in the opportunity to obtain a college education is not closing?Web Links  African American news at Dogan  African American news website that is continuously updated.  Website about American Indian in the news. Website about American Indian news. Website about American Indian news and events. Asians in America Magazine. The voice of Asian America. Latinos in the news Daily news for Latinos Arab American news. Arab American Affairs The Jewish Daily forward

    Suggested Readings:

    Americanos: Latino Life in America. 1999.  Edward James Olmos. Little, Brown and Company.

    The Complicated Life of African American Man.  2006. Jonathan Richardson. Now It’s Done, Inc.

    Cool Pose: The Dilemma’s of Black Manhood in America. 1993. Richard Majors and Janet Billson. Touchstone Press.

    We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity. 2003. Bell Hooks. Routledge Press

    Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. 2007.  Barak Obama. Crown Press

    Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community: Power, Conflict, and Solidarity. 2004. Gilda Ochoa. University of Texas Press.

    Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. 2001. Helen Zia. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

    Black Americans from the US Census 

    Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the United States from the US Census 

    People of Arab Ancestry in the United States from the US Census 

    Hispanics/Latinx in the United States from the US Census 

    Asians in the United States from the US Census