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This book studies five ethnic communities―South Asian Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans, Mexican Americans, and Somoan Americans―to understand how their members feel about being studied by researchers. American society has always had tension between and among ethnic groups, and yet our researchers are given limited training, if any, on how to approach various ethnic communities, all of which see their problems and needs differently than those outside their communities.
This book bridges that gap by focusing on trust-building as a necessary process in doing good community research. The building of trust requires gaining knowledge of a group's culture and history, their perspective on social problems and issues, and the proper way of interviewing its members, going well beyond the mere building of rapport. This book offers the reader culturally sensitive methods to approach interacting and interviewing members of each of these unique, multifaceted ethnic communities.
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Fumiko Hosokawa is chair of the Department of Sociology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.Review:
This unique book is designed to inform potential field researchers about the history of power and exploitation that characterizes many minority populations living in the US. Taking her 'back yard' as a trial ground, sociologist Hosokawa (California State Univ., Dominguez Hills) aptly reviews, briefly, the history of oppression and research exploitation of African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, and Samoans. Given her unique location in southern California, she includes detailed accounts of several Asian groups, including Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Koreans, Filipino/as, Cambodians, Laotians (including Hmong), and Vietnamese. This is certainly a unique aspect to her book, which she readily admits is best used in tandem with other primary texts on field research. Hosokawa's purpose is to acquaint potential researchers with the pitfalls that may befall them when they enter minority communities with a history of oppression and exploitation. An excellent book for methods collections in the social and behavioral sciences and useful for US ethnic studies. Essential. (CHOICE, November 2010)
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