Mutual Accomodation was first published in 1977. The author, who was Henry Scarborough Professor of Social Science at Cornell University, assesses the current state of ethnic and racial relations in the United States and, contrary to prevailing pessimism on the part of many other social analysts, finds that intergroup conflict has often resulted in significantly successful outcomes. In his study Professor Williams continually asks how social change occurs and what strategies and tactics are best suited to produce desired outcomes. He shows that purposive change in intergroup relations is feasible, that fairly specific knowledge about the development of strategy and tactics for certain types of consequences is available, and that there are particular conditions under which mutually satisfactory accommodation can be achieved between ethnic groups. The basic processes of conflict and settlement are illustrated in depth in the case of schools and education, with special reference to racial desegregation. Another major example is supplied by an analysis of segregation and integration in housing. The author concludes with a realistic appraisal of the prospects for an integrated but pluralistic America.
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