Racial and Ethnic Groups, 8th Edition

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9780321044587: Racial and Ethnic Groups, 8th Edition

This best selling, classic book provides readers with a vibrant and comprehensive introduction to racial and ethnic studies, and helps them understand and explore the issues confronting a variety of ethnic groups in both the U.S. and other countries. Beginning with a thorough introduction to how sociologists think about race and ethnicity, the book then moves on to chapters on each major group, examining the group's history, then exploring the group's current situation and its concerns as we move into the 21st century. Prejudice. Discrimination. Ethnicity and Religion. The First Native Americans. African Americans Today. Hispanic Americans. Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans. Asian Americans<58> Growth and Diversity. Jewish Americans. Women<58> The Oppressed Minority. Beyond the U.S.<58> The Comparative Perspective. For anyone interested in exploring race and ethnicity issues.

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About the Author:

Richard T. Schaefer grew up in Chicago at a time when neighborhoods were going through transitions in ethnic and racial composition. He found himself increasingly intrigued by what was happening, how people were reacting, and how these changes were affecting neighborhoods and people's jobs. In high school, he took a course in sociology. His interest in social issues caused him to gravitate to more sociology courses at Northwestern University, where he eventually received a B.A. in sociology.

"Originally as an undergraduate I thought I would go on to law school and become a lawyer. But after taking a few sociology courses, I found myself wanting to learn more about what sociologists studied and fascinated by the kinds of questions they raised," Dr. Schaefer says. "Perhaps the most fascinating and to me relevant to the 1960s was the intersection of race, gender, and social class." This interest led him to obtain his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Schaefer's continuing interest in race relations led him to write his master's thesis on the membership of the Ku Klux Klan and his doctoral thesis on racial prejudice and race relations in Great Britain.

Dr. Schaefer went on to become a professor of sociology. He has taught sociology and courses on multiculturalism for 30 years. He has been invited to give special presentations to students and faculty on racial and ethnic diversity in Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas.

Dr. Schaefer is author of Race and Ethnicity in the United States, Second Edition (Prentice Hall). Dr. Schaefer is also the author of the eighth edition of Sociology (2003) and the fifth edition of Sociology: A Brief Introduction (2004). His articles and book reviews have appeared in many journals, including American Journal of Sociology, Phylon: A Review of Race and Culture, Contemporary Sociology, Sociology and Social Research, Sociological Quarterly, and Teaching Sociology. He served as president of the Midwest Sociological Society from 1994-1995.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Race and ethnicity remain an important part of the national agenda. Twenty-three years ago, when the first edition of this book was being written, it was noted that race is not a static phenomenon and that although it is always a part of the social reality, specific aspects change. At that time the presence of a new immigrant group, the Vietnamese, was duly noted, and the efforts to define affirmative action were described. Today we seek to describe the growing presence of El Salvadorans, Haitians, and Arab Americans and the attempts to dismantle affirmative action.

Specific issues may change over time, but they continue to play out against a backdrop of discrimination that is rooted in the social structure and changing population composition, as influenced by immigration patterns and reproduction patterns. One unanticipated change is that the breakup of the Soviet Union and further disinterest of the major industrial powers in the political and social events in Africa, Latin America, and much of Asia has made ethnic, language, and religious divisions even more significant sources of antagonism between and within nations. The old ideological debates about communism and capitalism have been replaced by emotional divisions over religious dogma and cultural traditions.

We continue to be reminded about the importance of the social construction of many aspects of racial and ethnic relations. What constitutes a race in terms of identity? What meaning do race and ethnicity have amid the growing number of interracial marriages and marriages across cultural boundaries? Beyond the spectrum of race and ethnicity, we see the socially constructed meaning attached to all religions as members debate who is the "true" keeper of the faith. As we consider matters of gender, we see again that differences are largely the result of social constructions And finally, as we consider all groups that have been subjected to discrimination, such as the disabled, the elderly, and gays and lesbians, we see, in a similar manner, the power of labeling. The very issue of national identity is also a part of the agenda. The public and politicians alike ask, "How many immigrants can we accept?" and "How much should be done to make up for past discrimination?" We are also witnessing the emergence of race, ethnicity, and national identity as global issues.

Changes in the Ninth Edition

As with all previous editions, every line, every source, and every number has been rechecked for its currency. We pride ourselves on providing the most current information possible to document the patterns in intergroup relations both in the United States and abroad.

Relevant scholarly findings in a variety of disciplines including economics, anthropology, and communication sciences have been incorporated. The feature "Listen to Our Voices" appears in every chapter. These selections include excerpts from the writings or speeches of noted members of racial and ethnic groups such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Elie Wiesel, Patricia J. Williams, and Nelson Mandela. Their writings will help students appreciate the emotional and the intellectual energies felt by subordinate groups.

The ninth edition includes a new feature—Research Focus—in every chapter that presents in a summary fashion some finding that relates to diversity in today's society. In addition to this feature, the ninth edition includes the following additions and changes:

  • New key terms such as redlining (Chapter 3), slavery reparations (Chapter 7), hometown clubs (Chapter 9), sovereignty movement and desi (Chapter 11), mommy tax (Chapter 14), and visitability (Chapter 16)
  • Latest data from the census in the text material and illustrated in charts and maps (Chapter 1 and throughout the book)
  • The impact of September 11, 2001, on the Arab and Muslim American community (Chapter 2)
  • A new section on how corporations attempt to address prejudice through diversity training (Chapter 2)
  • A new section dealing with the global economy and its impact on immigration to the United States (Chapter 4)
  • A separate section on the concept of "White privilege" (Chapter 5)
  • A new section devoted to the topic of the contemporary debate over reparations for slavery (chapter 7)
  • Extended coverage of the growing political power of Latino Americans (Chapter 9)
  • A map showing the dynamic situation in the US-Mexico Borderlands (Chapter 9)
  • A brief case study of the growing Dominican community in New York City (Chapter 9)
  • Native Hawaiians' move toward sovereignty receives special attention as this movement builds momentum (Chapter 11)

In addition, tables, figures, maps, further readings, relevant journals, political cartoons, and Internet Exercises have been updated.

Complete Coverage in Four Parts

Any constructive discussion of racial and ethnic minorities must do more than merely describe events. Part 1, "Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Groups," includes the relevant theories and operational definitions that ground the study of race and ethnic relations in the social sciences. We specifically present the functionalist, conflict, and labeling theories of sociology in relation to the study of race and ethnicity. We show the relationship between subordinate groups and the study of stratification. We also introduce the dual labor market theory and the irregular economy from economics and the reference group theory from psychology. The extensive treatment of prejudice and discrimination covers anti-White prejudice as well as the more familiar topic of bigotry aimed at subordinate groups. Discrimination is analyzed from an economic perspective, including the latest efforts to document discrimination in environmental issues such as location of toxic waste facilities and the move to dismantle affirmative action.

In Part 2, "Ethnic and Religious Sources of Conflict," we examine some often-ignored sources of intergroup conflict in the United States: White ethnic groups and religious minorities. Diversity in the United States is readily apparent when we look at the ethnic and religious groups that have resulted from waves of immigration. Refugees, now primarily from Haiti and Central America, also continue to raise major issues.

Any student needs to be familiar with the past to understand present forms of discrimination and subordination. Part 3, "Major Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups in the United States," brings into sharper focus the history and contemporary status of Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Jews in the United States. Social institutions such as family, education, politics, health care, religion, and the economy receive special attention for the subordinate groups. The author contends that institutional discrimination, rather than individual action, is the source of conflict between the subordinate and dominant elements in the United States.

Part 4, "Other Patterns of Dominance," include topics related to American racial and ethnic relations. The author recognizes, as have Gunnar Myrdal and Helen Mayer Hacker before, that relations between women and men resemble those between Blacks and Whites. Therefore, in this book, we consider the position of women as a subordinate group. Since the first edition of Racial and Ethnic Groups, published more than 20 years ago, debates over equal rights and abortion have shown no sign of resolution. For women of color, we document the double jeopardy suffered because of their dual subordinate status of race and gender.

Perhaps we can best comprehend intergroup conflict in the United States by comparing it with the ethnic hostilities in other nations. The similarities and differences between the United States and other societies treated in this book are striking. Again, as in the eighth edition, we examine the tensions in Canada, Israel, Mexico, Northern Ireland, and South Africa to document further the diversity of intergroup conflict.

The final chapter highlights other groups that have been the subject of exclusion: the aged, people with disabilities, and gay men and lesbians. This chapter also includes a concluding section that ties together thematically the forces of dominance and subordination that have been the subject of this book.

Features to Aid Students

Several features are included in the text to facilitate student learning. A Chapter Outline appears at the beginning of each chapter and is followed by Highlights, a short section alerting students to important issues and topics to be addressed. To help students review, each chapter ends with a summary Conclusion. A bibliography, "For Further Information," provides references for additional research. The Key Terms are highlighted in bold when they are first introduced in the text and are listed with page numbers at the end of each chapter. Periodically throughout the book the Intergroup Relations Continuum first presented in Chapter 1 is repeated to reinforce major concepts while addressing the unique social circumstances of individual racial and ethnic groups. In addition, there is an end-of-book Glossary with full definitions referenced to chapter numbers. This edition includes both Review Questions and Critical Thinking Questions. The Review Questions are intended to remind the reader of major points, whereas the Critical Thinking Questions encourage students to think more deeply about some of the major issues raised in the chapter. Updated Internet Exercises allow students to do some critical thinking and research on the Web. Each chapter also includes a For Further Information section that highlights recent books and presents a list of relevant journals. An Internet Resource Directory has been expanded to allow access to the latest electronic sources. An extensive illustration program, which includes maps and political cartoons, expands the text discussion and provokes thought.


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Richard T. Schaefer
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Schaefer, Richard T.
Published by Prentice Hall (1999)
ISBN 10: 0321044584 ISBN 13: 9780321044587
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