ASB 202 week 8
Popular in Imm & Ethnic Relations in US
Popular in Department
This 37 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordan R on Sunday May 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASB 202 at Arizona State University taught by Estrada in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 7 views.
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Date Created: 05/22/16
Public Opinion Toward Immigrants What does the general American public think of immigrants? Definition of Assimilation ● Assimilation= process in which minority immigrant groups come to adopt the dominant majority culture and become socially incorporated into majority society ● For a long time, assimilation was accepted as the best way for immigrants to become incorporated into american society ● In last several decades, we have shifted from an assimilation to an ethnic pluralism/multiculturalism ideology ● Ethnic pluralism/ multiculturalism=immigrants/ minorities do not have to fully culturally assimilate to become integrated into American society but can/ should retain their cultural differences ● America has become an ethnically plural/ multicultural society (where a multitude of different ethnic groups and cultures co-exist) ● Assimilation is no longer seen as completely inevitable and desirable process 2 Who is American? Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois, 4th district, Chicago) ● ● A measure that requires local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect to be in the US illegally ● Gutierrez: “pick out the immigrant” by congressman Luis Gutierrez 3 What is your “race” ● 1.White- A person having origins in any of the peoples of Europe, the middle east, or north africa ● 2.black or african american- a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of africa ● 3.American indian or alaska native- a person having origins in any of the original maintains tribal affiliation or community attachmental america) and who ● 4. Asian ● 5.Native Hawaiian or 4 Race is… ● socially constructed ● not biologically fixed ● a social and historical process ● a dynamic and fluid concept ● a dialectical process (it requires a racialize “other”) ● transformed by political struggle ● performed 5 The Concept of “Race” ● A race is a category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, often on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics such as skin, color, Feagin, 2011).eye shape, or other subjectively selected attributes (Feagin and 6 Historical Thnking About Race in the U.S. “Scientific” Explanation ● ● in the 19th and 20th centuries there were scientific justifications for treating people of other races differently ● this led to “scientific” justifications for unequal distribution of wealth, power, and prestige. ● Video: Race The Power of an Illusion ● Video: Race The Power of an Illusion 2 7 Ethnicity An ethnic group is a collection of people distinguishes, by others or by ● themselves, primarily on the basis of cultural or nationality characteristics (Feagin and Feagin, 2011). ● ethnicity is cultural/beliefs (black but being raised in a white community) and race is physical characteristics 8 What is your ethnicity? Ethnicity: 5 main characteristics ● 1. unique cultural traits ● 2. a sense of community ● 3. a sense of ethnocentrism ● 4. ● 5. ● americans, Hispanic or latino (cuban, Mexican, puerto rican, south and central american, Spanish culture or origin) 10 Assimilation Theory ● A process by which members of a subordinate racial and within group become absorbed into the dominant cultural group (crossing) ● Dominant group: A racial or ethnic group that has the greatest power and resources in society (Feagin and Feagin, 2011) ● Subordinate group: A group disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment and discrimination by the dominant group because of physical or cultural characteristics 11 Classical Assimilation Theory ● Robert Park (1926) ● Race Relations Cycle ● 1. contact ● 2.conflict ● 3.accommodation ● 3.assimilation 12 Classical Assimilation Theory ● Chicago school of sociology (1920s) ● S/E Europeans ● Warner and Srole (1945)- melting pot ● ethnic distinctions fade over time ● class is crucial ● “boundary Crossing” (alba and nee p.131) 13 Classical Assimilation Theory ● Milton Gordon- “Assimilation in American Life” (1964) ● multidimensional process ● 7 stages of assimilation ● acculturation then structural assimilation ● Milton Gordon’s Theory Continued ● 1.acculturation ● 2. structural assimilation ● 3.civic assimilation ● 4. identification assimilation ● 5.attitude reception assimilation ● 6.behavior assimilation ● 7.marital assimilation 14 Classical Assimilation Theory ● Glazer and Moynihan (1970) ● beyond the melting plot ● challenged the idea of strait line assimilation ● ethnic pluralism ● ethnic identities do not disappear among whites ● the mainstreamoss the line but the line crossed them to incorporate them into 15 Contemporary Theories of Assimilation ● Herbert Gans (1979)- “Symbolic Ethnicity” ● white ethnicity is costless and optional ● no social costs ● choice ● does not hinder life changes ● immigration groups, such as the Irish and the eastern European Jews, made themselves acceptable as “whites” in the US racial order: a racial group in the groups postion” (alba and nee 2007: 131) ● Read Gans 2007: bottom of page 100 ● race is situational 16 Problems with the Concept of Cultural Assimilation ●Associated with cultural homogenization/ coercive eradication of ethnic minority cultures (loss of immigrant cultural diversity/heritage) 17 Cultural Assimiltaion ● Immigrants who culturally assimilate experiences more socioeconomic mobility ● there are negative psychological consequences to cultural assimilation ● Studies have shown that immigrants who culturally assimilate expereience higher levels of stress and even mental problems… ● Alba and Nees redefinition of assimilation*** ● assimiation is not a process in which the minority group loses its own culture and adopts majority culture, but a reduction of ethnic/cultural differences between two groups 18 Ethnic Pluralism/Multiculturalism ● Most americans today probably prefer ideology of ethnic pluralism/ multiculturalism ● are assimilation and ethnic pluralism opposed? ● ethnic pluralism still assumes immigrants will and should assimilate to majority culture, but that immigrant cultural differences persist (not eradicated) ● Two types of ethnically plural/ multicultural societies ● 1. different persisting ethnic/ immigrant cultures can remain separate to some extent (canadian multiculturalism) 19 Assimilation as Inevitable? Sebastian De La Cruz General Overview of American Public Opinion The public is usually not very favorable to immigrants, sometimes is anti-immigrant, and rarely is pro-immigrant Ambivalence toward immigrants among U.S. public (lack of consensus) The public has a favorable opinion of past generations of immigrants and their contributions, but a negative opinion of current immigrants Few Americans rank immigration as one of the top issues facing the country Negative U.S. Public Perception of Immigrants Negative economic perception of immigrants ● Immigrants take jobs away from native-born workers and lower their wages ● Immigrants overburden social welfare/public services ● But public is also ambivalent about the economic effects of immigration Illegal nature of immigration ● About 70% of Americans think most immigrants in the U.S. are illegal ● Most anti-immigrant sentiment is directed at illegal immigrants Negative U.S. Public Perception of Immigrants “The perception that immigration to the United States has come to be dominated by a single “problem” nationality, the Mexicans, is also wide-spread.” (Cornelius 2002: 176). “Since 1965, surveys have shown that Latin America—Mexico in particular—ranks near the bottom in terms of public preferences among sources of Negative U.S. Public Perception of Immigrants Belief that immigrants (especially illegal ones) disrupt public order and safety (increase crime) Dislike of cultural differences of immigrants ● Belief that immigrants bring undesirable cultural characteristics ● Immigrants don’t culturally assimilate and maintain different cultures ● Immigrants threaten American culture/national identity Immigrants threaten the American language and bring language diversity ● “The perception of immigration as a source of cultural fragmentation is widely distributed among the U.S. public” (Cornelius 2002: 175) Negative U.S. Public Perception of Immigrants Negative U.S. Public Perception of Immigrants Belief that immigrants (especially illegal ones) disrupt public order and safety (increase crime) Dislike of cultural differences of immigrants ● Immigrants bring undesirable cultural characteristics ● Immigrants don’t culturally assimilate and maintain different cultures ● Immigrants threaten American culture/national identity ● States have passed anti-immigrant propositions against culture of immigrants that are designed to force them to culturally assimilate (most symbolic or unenforceable) ● California: ● immigrant school children and cuts off publicly funded non-emergency medical care, welfare benefits, and other social services to illegal immigrants (Passed in 1994 by 59% of CA voters)_Law was challenged and found unconstitutional ● Proficient (LEP) students in CA are taught. (Passed in 1998)ed the way Limited English ● Proposition 63: State ballot initiative declaring English to be the only language in which the state government can conduct business (Passed in 1986) Fear of Learning at Hoover Elementary Problems with Negative Public Opinion Negative public perceptions of immigrants are questionable and often misleading (my opinion) Negative economic perception of immigrants ● Immigrants don’t have negative effect on unemployment rate of Americans or wages (Kaushal, Reimers and Reimers 2007). ● Immigrants don’t overburden social welfare/public services (Smith and Edmonston 1997). Problems with Negative Public Opinion Illegal nature of immigration ● The population of undocumented immigrants has increased considerably, but the U.S. is not being flooded/invaded by illegal immigrants ▪ Only 29% of U.S. immigrant population is illegal (not most as public thinks) ▪ Only about half (55%) of undocumented immigrants crossed land borders illegally (rest are visa overstayers that public doesn’t know/care about) ▪ Illegal border-crosser immigrants (the type public dislikes the most) are only about 16% of total immigrant population Problems with Negative Public Opinion Immigrants (especially undocumented) threaten public safety and increase crime ● No conclusive data about crime rates among illegal immigrants ▪ There are studies that claim illegal immigrants are not more likely to commit serious crimes than the general population ▪ There has been no increase in border crime Since 9/11, public concerned that immigrants (mainly Arab ones) may commit acts of terrorism ● Right after 9/11, government detained over 2,700 Arab immigrants in effort to catch terrorists ▪ Not a single terrorist was found ● Immigrants aren’t increasing threat of terrorism current example Sikhs Problems with Negative Public Opinion Dislike of cultural differences of immigrants ● Ethnic prejudices=overgeneralized negative cultural preconceptions of immigrants that are not based on extensive interactions with them ● Immigrants don’t culturally assimilate ▪ A number of first generation immigrants from Latin America/Asia do not fully assimilate ▪ Surveys show that most immigrants want to learn English ▪ Immigrants who live in isolated immigrant enclaves tend to culturally assimilate slower (compared to high-skilled/professional immigrants) ● However, most second generation immigrant descendants become culturally assimilated ● Immigrants threaten American culture/national identity ▪ American culture/national identity is product of immigration and is also quite diverse and keeps changing with increasing immigration ▪ Cultural/ethnic diversity makes society more interesting/adaptable/resilient Variation in Public Opinion (by Social Group) What kinds of Americans are more tolerant of immigrants and who is less tolerant? ● Social class status=working class is less tolerant of immigrants, middle class is more tolerant ● Employers/business owners overwhelming favor immigration compared to rest of public ● Political affiliation=those who are politically conservative (Republican) generally are less tolerant of immigrants than liberals (Democrats) ● Age=Youth are more tolerant toward immigrants than older people ● Ethnic minorities may have more positive opinion of immigrants than majority Americans ● Immigrants and descendants of immigrants are more pro-immigration Variation in Public Opinion (by Social Group) Immigrants aren’t always as tolerant of other immigrants as is often assumed ● Immigrants can have unfavorable attitudes toward immigrants from other countries ● Immigrants can sometimes even be anti-immigrant against own immigrant group ▪ Immigrant groups often have social divisions based on legal status and social class ▪ Older immigrants sometimes don’t like newer immigrants from same country that much FOBs (Fresh Off the Boat) Variation in Public Opinion (by Social Group) American public opinion varies toward different groups of immigrants (certain types of immigrants seen more favorably) ● Country of origin ▪ Immigrants from developed/richer countries are seen more favorably by public than those from poorer developing countries Public has more negative opinion of immigrants from hostile/less friendly ▪ “enemy” countries ● Race/ethnicity—Public is less favorable toward immigrants who are more culturally/ racially different (non-white) ● Skill level—Public has more favorable view of HS/professional immigrants than unskilled ● Legal status—Public has much more favorable view of legal in contrast to illegal immigrants ● Public can have more negative opinion of refugees and asylum seekers Variation in Public Opinion (by Social Group) American public prefers Asian immigrants much more than Mexican/ Hispanic ones ● Hispanics are racially/ethnically more similar to whites than Asians ● Public prefers Asians because they think there are far fewer of them than Mexicans ▪ But numbers roughly about same Reasons: • Country of origin—Many Asian immigrants are from richer East Asian countries (China, Korea, Japan, etc.) compared to poorer developing countries of Latin America • Skill level—Asians are more educated and high-skilled/professional immigrants than Hispanics ▪ Asian immigrants are seen as more socioeconomically successful (“model minorities”) • Legal status—Asian immigrants are seen as legal immigrants whereas Mexican/ Hispanic immigrants often seen as primarily illegal ▪ Estimated 1.3 million undocumented Asian immigrants (but are visa overstayers that public doesn’t know/care about) Factors Influencing Public Opinion Over Time What social conditions cause the public to become less tolerant toward immigrants during certain periods? ● When immigrant numbers suddenly increase, can cause public anti-immigrant backlash ● During an economic recession, the public invariably become less tolerant toward immigrants ● When new immigrants become more culturally/racially different from majority (white) population, public intolerance toward immigration increases ● Periods of negative media reporting increases public anti-immigrant sentiment
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