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The Bubbling Cauldron

The Bubbling Cauldron: Race, Ethnicity, and the Urban Crisis

Michael Peter Smith
Joe R. Feagin
Copyright Date: 1995
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    The Bubbling Cauldron
    Book Description:

    How can race and ethnicity be understood as questions of power? How do changes among racial and ethnic groups alter conflicts about these groups' identities and the resultant power structure shaped by these conflicts? The contributors to this important new volume take up these questions and others as they delve beneath the turbulent surface of racial and ethnic relations in urban centers worldwide. Contributors: Sophie Body-Gendrot, the Sorbonne and the Institute of Political Science, Paris; Harold Brackman, Simon Wiesenthal Center; James Button, U of Florida; Sharon Collins, U of Illinois, Chicago; Steven P. Erie, U of California, San Diego; Norman Fainstein, Vassar College; Cedric Herring, U of Illinois, Chicago; Michael Hodge, Georgia State U; Leslie Baham Inniss, Florida State U; Martín Sánchez Jankowski, U of California, Berkeley; Michael Kearney, U of California, Riverside; Edward Murguia, Texas A&M; Adolph Reed Jr., Northwestern U; Nestor Rodríguez, U of Houston; Bernadette Tarallo, U of California, Davis; Roger Waldinger, UCLA; and Howard Winant, Temple U.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8542-4
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Part I. Introduction

    • 1 Putting “Race” in Its Place
      (pp. 3-28)
      Michael Peter Smith and Joe R. Feagin

      Why is “race” a central source of meaning, identity, and power in U.S. society? How does the way we talk about racial difference articulate with the interplay of power and knowledge in the structuring of class, gender, and ethnic relations in contemporary society? Who has the power to construct the dominant racial categories that structure social opportunities and constraints? How much of the past is present in today’s racialized opportunity structure? How is the multiplicity of racial and ethnic groups, brought to our shores by the explosion of transnational migration in today’s global epoch, being inserted into dominant discourses about...

  4. Part II. The Social Construction of Racial and Ethnic Difference

    • 2 Dictatorship, Democracy, and Difference: The Historical Construction of Racial Identity
      (pp. 31-49)
      Howard Winant

      A quarter-century after the peak of the civil rights movement, the theme of race continues to occupy a central place in U.S. cultural, political, and economic life. But what does racemeanin the United States today? How can a concept with no scientific significance, a concept that is understood in such varied and often irrational ways, retain such force? Why is race such an important source of meaning, identity, (dis)advantage, power, and powerlessness?

      In U.S. society, and in many others as well, race is a fundamental organizing principle, a way of knowing and interpreting the social world. As we...

    • 3 Who Are the “Good Guys”? The Social Construction of the Vietnamese “Other”
      (pp. 50-76)
      Michael Peter Smith and Bernadette Tarallo

      At 1:30 in the afternoon on April 4, 1991, four Asian American youths entered a Good Guys electronic store located in the Florin Center Shopping Mall in south Sacramento, California. The young men, who were armed, held forty-one people hostage, negotiating with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for, among other demands, passage out of the country to enable them to fight Communists in Southeast Asia. Before the siege ended eight and a half hours later, the youths killed three hostages and wounded eleven others as the sheriff’s SWAT team stormed the building from outside and within. In a spray of...

    • 4 The Rising Significance of Status in U.S. Race Relations
      (pp. 77-98)
      Martín Sánchez Jankowski

      The field of race relations in the United States has been dominated by two conceptual frameworks. The first views race relations as involving African Americans and whites. A vast literature has developed that insists on a blackversus-white paradigm. For example, in a recent and penetrating analysis of contemporary U.S. race relations, Andrew Hacker has gone so far as to say that many “other groups find themselves sitting as spectators, while the two prominent players [blacks and whites] try to work out how or whether they can coexist with one another.”¹ Despite Hacker’s assertion that race relations ought to be defined...

    • 5 African American Entrepreneurship and Racial Discrimination: A Southern Metropolitan Case
      (pp. 99-120)
      Michael Hodge and Joe R. Feagin

      Ethnic entrepreneurship has become a major topic for research among social scientists in a number of different disciplines. Central to this research is the argument that ownership of small businesses is a major avenue of social and economic mobility for immigrant Americans and for Americans in historically oppressed groups. Especially in light of the many problems faced by large-scale industries in the United States, the small-entrepreneur sector has been seen as a source of economic growth for Americans in all racial and ethnic groups.¹ Most writing about ethnic entrepreneurs has used data on immigrant-ethnic groups to develop conceptual frameworks to...

  5. Part III. Race, Segregation, and the State

    • 6 Black Ghettoization and Social Mobility
      (pp. 123-141)
      Norman Fainstein

      Some images about race confront us every day when we turn on our television sets: teenage mothers on welfare, crack addicts, drive-by shootings, rundown neighborhoods, children dying in tenement-house fires, the MTV rap world of fast girls and violent boys. Such images reflect and reinforce popular identification of African Americans with the worst-off and the most socially “deviant” segments of the black poor—the members of the socalled underclass—and with the places where they live—the black ghetto.

      The prominent black sociologist, William Julius Wilson, minces no words as he describes the “underclass” in his influential book,The Truly...

    • 7 Historical Footprints: The Legacy of the School Desegregation Pioneers
      (pp. 142-162)
      Leslie Baham Inniss

      Almost forty years after the Supreme Court struck down “separate but equal” schools, we are now witnessing a trend away from the original school desegregation process and toward implicit and explicit resegregation in America’s school systems. In many cities “a substantial proportion of black pupils continue to attend segregated (and unequal) schools.”¹ In some cities, such as New York and Milwaukee, separate schools for black males are being established. In those schools that are still “desegregated,” white and minority students are separated spatially or through other subtle mechanisms such as tracking.² This current state of affairs, along with early school...

    • 8 Retreat from Equal Opportunity? The Case of Affirmative Action
      (pp. 163-181)
      Cedric Herring and Sharon M. Collins

      Affirmative action policies have generated widespread opposition among Americans. Results from a 1991New York Times—CBS News poll reveal that only 28 percent of Americans “believe that where there has been job discrimination against women in the past, preference in hiring should be given to women today.”¹ When a similar question is asked about opportunities for African Americans, only 20 percent “believe that where there has been job discrimination against blacks in the past, preference in hiring should be given to blacks today.”²

      White Americans see altering the rules as tantamount to letting disadvantaged groups win unfairly. And as...

    • 9 Demobilization in the New Black Political Regime: Ideological Capitulation and Radical Failure in the Postsegregation Era
      (pp. 182-208)
      Adolph Reed Jr.

      It is ironic that the exponential increases in black public-office holding since the 1970s have been accompanied by a deterioration of the material circumstances of large segments of the black citizenry. Comment on that irony comes both from those on the Left who underscore the insufficiency of capturing public office and from those on the Right who disparage the pursuit of public action on behalf of blacks or push oblique claims about black incompetence. In the middle are liberal social scientists and journalists who construe this inverse association as a puzzling deviation from the orthodox narrative of American interest-group pluralism....

  6. Part IV. Globalization and the New Boundaries of Race and Ethnicity

    • 10 The Real “New World Order”: The Globalization of Racial and Ethnic Relations in the Late Twentieth Century
      (pp. 211-225)
      Néstor P. Rodríguez

      The late twentieth century has witnessed an increasing globalization of racial and ethnic relations in the United States. Since the mid-1960s, world developments, transnational migration, and the emergence of binational immigrant communities have significantly affected the character of intergroup relations in U.S. society. Perhaps not since the initial European colonization of the Americas has the global context been such a prominent macrostructural background for evolving racial and ethnic relations in the United States. Domestic and foreign capitalist expansion, technological advances in communication and transport, antisystematic movements and counterinsurgency campaigns abroad, and growing global strategies in the structuration of everyday life...

    • 11 The Effects of Transnational Culture, Economy, and Migration on Mixtec Identity in Oaxacalifornia
      (pp. 226-243)
      Michael Kearney

      One of the prototypical social identities of anthropology is “the peasant,” defined as a small agriculturist making autonomous decisions about production primarily for autoconsumption.¹ In the classic images of peasants they live in small “rural” communities and are bearers of “traditional” culture. Indigenous communities of Mesoamerica are often taken as iconic examples of peasant societies. This paper is based on work with Mixtec communities whose homeland is in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Taken in their local context Mixtec communities appear classically “peasant” with respect to their technology and social and symbolic forms. But a different impression of...

    • 12 Models of Immigrant Integration in France and the United States: Signs of Convergence?
      (pp. 244-262)
      Sophie Body-Gendrot

      Two great “models” of social integration are usually put forward when comparing the United States and France.¹ These relate to the historical principles setting social integration in action in both nations, to conceptions of immigration, to perspectives on international relations, and to the centrality of race in the United States. But a closer look at the difficulties experienced by large cities in both countries paradoxically reveals striking convergences, such as growing exclusion of marginalized and heterogeneous minorities; the incapacity of local authorities to deal with “the bubbling cauldron” of ethnic and racial diversity; the inadequacy of institutions such as school...

  7. Part V. Race, Ethnicity, and Community Power

    • 13 When the Melting Pot Boils Over: The Irish, Jews, Blacks, and Koreans of New York
      (pp. 265-281)
      Roger Waldinger

      Assimilation is the grand theme of American immigration research. The classic sociological position provided an optimistic counter to the dim assessments of the new immigrants prevalent at the early part of the century. Notwithstanding the marked differences that impressed contemporaries, Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, W. I. Thomas, and others contended that the new immigrant groups would lose their cultural distinctiveness and move up the occupational hierarchy. Milton Gordon’s now classic volume distilled the essence of the sociological view: immigrant-ethnic groups start at the bottom and gradually move up; their mobility takes place through individual advancement, not group collective action; in...

    • 14 Beyond “Politics by Other Means”? Empowerment Strategies for Los Angeles’ Asian Pacific Community
      (pp. 282-303)
      Harold Brackman and Steven P. Erie

      Asian Pacific politics has been characterized as “politics by other means,” for example, indirect influence through interest group lobbying, targeted campaign contributions, litigation, and protest rather than through the traditional direct electoral routes of voting and officeholding. This model of indirect group influence puts the best face possible on the fact that, historically, Asian Pacifies have been highly underrepresented among voters and elected officeholders.¹

      In the 1990s, are Asian Pacifies successfully making the transition to electorally based empowerment, as the nation’s other ethnic groups have done? In this chapter we examine the electoral empowerment prospects of Asian Pacifies in seemingly...

    • 15 Political Capital and the Social Reproduction of Inequality in a Mexican Origin Community in Arizona
      (pp. 304-322)
      Edward Murguia

      In this study, we will examine theories concerned with the social reproduction of inequality in education and occupation, and will determine their applicability to the situation of a Mexican origin community in Arizona.

      Using Bourdieu’s ([1973] 1977) theory of cultural capital and theories of labor market segmentation by Piore ([1970] 1977), Bluestone ([1965] 1977), and Reich, Gordon, and Edwards ([1973] 1977), we will see more clearly why the township of Guadalupe has been and remains toward the bottom of the socioeconomic order. Subsequently, by extending Bourdieu’s theory and introducing a new concept, that of “political capital,” we will demonstrate how...

    • 16 The Continuing Legacy of Discrimination in Southern Communities
      (pp. 323-338)
      James W. Button

      The civil rights movement of the 1960s was considered one of the most important social movements in this country’s history. With a particular focus on the South, whose history of antiblack violence and segregation was unparalleled, the movement’s primary goals included political power and social and economic equality for blacks. Some thirty years later, however, it is still not clear what the total impact of the movement has been in the South and how close (or far) blacks are from achieving these fundamental goals.

      A number of scholars have lauded the movement as a significant catalyst to reshaping the South...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 339-344)
  9. Index
    (pp. 345-359)