Guide Multiculturalism and Diversity: A Social Psychological Perspective (Contemporary Social Issues)

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Following Touraine , it argues that two social representations of societal organization coexist in Europe with different implications for status, values, and justice attribution: one that organizes society and builds hierarchies in terms of merit; and another that organizes society according to cultural differences and to group membership.

The use of each representation implies different criteria for distributive and procedural justice and emphasizes conflicts based on different memberships. A representation of society following a cultural order might hide the class membership of migrants and obstruct their individual mobility.

Keywords: multiculturalism , migration , distributive and procedural justice , European nation-states , representations of social order , individual mobility , identity.

In this chapter I develop an argument to explain why emphasizing a division of society in terms of culture might have a perverse effect for justice issues in European multicultural nation-states that maintain the subordinate status of migrants and ethnic minorities. Culturally diverse societies can have many roots. Cultural diversity may occur among national groups that voluntarily or through colonization and conflicts form multi-ethnic nations, by the fact that within a given society groups with different language, tradition, and customs coexist historically or by migratory movements.

Cultural diversity can also occur with the free association of nations in supranational political organizations like the European Union. This migration calls for the transformation of European societies to become more accommodating of cultural differences. In order to face the unfamiliar and be able to communicate and act people collectively construct social knowledge. These are social representations that allow people to concretize what is abstract, create shared concepts p.

In line with this social representational approach, I argue that new social representations are created to enable people to domesticate the unfamiliar aspects of their societies, namely the transformation of European societies from presumably monocultural to multicultural or polyethnic due to migration. These representations are used by individuals and groups strategically in order to ascertain their positions and promote particular aspects of the world Bobo, Following Touraine , I argue that two social representations of societal organization coexist with different implications for status, values, and justice attribution.

One representation organizes society and builds hierarchies in terms of merit. This representation emphasizes structural inequalities and constructs social categories such as class. The other representation organizes society in terms of cultural differences and organizes hierarchies in terms of group membership. This representation emphasizes cultural diversity and promotes cultural categories such as ethnicity. Part of the argument developed in this chapter is that the adoption and use of each representation implies different criteria for distributive and procedural justice 1 and emphasizes conflicts based on different memberships.

A key concept in this line of thought is the concept of individual mobility that Social Identity theory considers to be an ideological impediment to the change of social relations Tajfel, Individual mobility is sought by both receiving society members and immigrants. Thus, it might become a competitive element between them. Is individual mobility left open for both members of the receiving society and immigrants alike? In the sections that follow, I develop the argument that the representation of society following a cultural order might hide the class membership of migrants and, in addition, obstruct their individual mobility, leaving them, as a sole opportunity for seeking justice and equal treatment, to fight collectively in terms of their ethno-cultural or religious identity and not their class membership.

In other words, a distorted use of multiculturalism is developed such that, instead of promoting tolerance and respect of different cultural traditions, it serves ultimately the interests of the dominant classes. The latter manage by overemphasizing culture and underemphasizing class to prevent class conflicts and keep lower social classes nationals and migrants alike in a dominated position. After a brief presentation of the current European context and the questions at stake, three issues are developed in the chapter. First, I discuss the way social psychology approaches opposition to cultural diversity, and I present the new conflicts that emerge in multicultural societies in Europe.

Second, I argue that a new representation of the social order is developed around a cultural paradigm and juxtapose it to a representation based on a social paradigm in order to highlight the consequences of these representations for distributive and procedural justice. Finally, I conclude by discussing the consequences of the cultural representation for the development of identities, for equality in social relations, and for the recognition of diversity in the European context.

Nation-states in Europe developed during the second half of the 19th century around the idea of kinship and shared culture Gellner, ; Hobsbawm, One consequence of this construction is the fact that participation in the national polity— and therefore resources, status, and honors—depended on participation in the largely shared national culture. For a large part of the 20th century, due to economic crisis and the two World Wars, the European continent sent immigrants to other countries.

However, with the end of colonialism, increasing prosperity in Europe, the end of the Cold War, and European unification, the movement of people inside and toward Europe increased and European nations became more and more culturally diverse. Moreover, the poverty of the newcomers and the status of some former colonial subjects contributed to the reluctance of European nations to embrace multiculturalism due to migration. In this context, p. European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel October and the British Prime Minister David Cameron February have stated that multiculturalism has failed, asking instead for a strong national identity.

To understand why multiculturalism is a controversial issue in Europe today, one needs to put the question in its historical context. Although Europeans left the continent due to conflicts and financial turmoil during many periods in the past, the end of WWII constituted a change in these movements. The aftermath of this war, a period of industrialization and reconstruction, was marked by increased immigration from the southern European countries Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal toward northern European countries.

Besides this intra-continent movement, northern European nations received people from their former colonies. These people in some cases were not considered aliens and received special treatment and political rights. The increase of unemployment in the northern countries, due to the petrol crisis, and the fact that southern nations benefited from the European politics of cohesion, stopped the push and pull immigration factors. The end of the Cold war at the end of the s, however, started a different movement of workers from the Eastern European countries and the Soviet Union toward the rest of Europe.

Southern countries changed from immigrant-sending to immigrant-receiving countries. These societies were unprepared to receive significant numbers of people and experience cultural diversity. The current economic crisis creates further difficulties in the acceptance and integration of newcomers Triandafyllidou et al. The September 11 events and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq changed the immigrant population, and more people from Asian countries moved to Europe. The conflicts in Syria and in the North African countries and the poverty in the African continent also produced new immigrant waves.

The Mediterranean Sea has become too often the grave of poor and desperate people seeking a better life. The fact is that European nation-states are currently culturally diverse. However, not only the groups that constitute this diversity but also their relationship with the receiving country differ considerably.

In some countries, cultural minorities belong to former colonies and so have the citizenship of the country. Cultural diversity is also the outcome of economic migration. Migrants differ in terms of their legal status undocumented, documented, naturalized, asylum seekers and their generation first generation, second generation, or third generation.

Diversity in European nation-states is also produced by the political changes in Europe. The ethnic Russians in the Baltic states, the citizens of former Yugoslavia, the Greek returnees from the Caucasus, and the German Aussiedler ethnic German re-settlers from East Europe are some examples of groups who are either historically present in a country where the majority has another culture or who share the culture of the receiving society but their members were born elsewhere.

Finally, European unification allows the free movement of European citizens, which also creates another factor of cultural diversity. Thus, cultural diversity in Europe has different origins in each country. Moreover, because of the varied histories of European nation-states and the different relationship of the newcomers with the receiving society, the policies regarding integration and citizenship also differ Geddes, In some states citizenship is granted on the principle of ius solis to those born in the territory, as in France and in others citizenship is granted on the principle of ius sanguinis only to those born by citizens, as in Greece.

It is difficult therefore to have a unitary European policy toward migration albeit the principle of zero migration from outside the European Union is generally adopted. Given these differences, the European nation-states face different challenges concerning migration and cultural diversity.

The older receiving societies face the challenges of integration, whereas the newer receiving societies also have to deal with the reception and legalization of immigrants. Moreover, there are economic disparities between European p. Despite these differences, however, European societies have a common point: their reluctance to accept multiculturalism as a way of organizing society Verkuyten, a.

In the next section, after briefly presenting why people feel threatened by cultural diversity according to social psychology, I analyze multiculturalism as one of the social representations of the social order. This analysis enables me to argue that there are aspects of multicultural ideology that might prevent the integration of cultural minorities and the attribution of justice.

Although different approaches and perspectives have been used focusing on both immigrants and receiving societies, three domains are prominent: 1 prejudice and the hypothesis of ignorance and attraction that leads to an emphasis on intergroup contact; 2 conflict and intergroup competition based on the hypothesis of threat to resources material and symbolic ; and 3 conflict of identities and incompatibility of values that are connected with research on acculturation.

These approaches mostly influenced by research on race relations aim to explain and combat discrimination and to describe routes of immigrant adjustment. I will briefly review these approaches to set the context of the social psychological discussion and to argue that, in order to understand how justice can be achieved for culturally diverse minorities in Europe, we need to analyze prevailing ideologies and representations. Prejudice and the contact hypothesis are based on the idea that individuals form prejudices toward those whom they do not know.

Thus, intergroup relations are more harmonious when group members get to know one another and start to like each other. However, Allport posited four necessary conditions for contact to benefit social relations and to reduce prejudice: 1 equal status between groups in contact, 2 cooperative relations between groups in contact, 3 institutional support of contact, and 4 common goals between groups.

Another condition added later was the possibility of interpersonal contact that would allow the formation of friendships between people belonging to the different groups Pettigrew, However, it is difficult to have these conditions present when we talk about the relations between immigrants and receiving inhabitants. It is possible that people in these contact situations do not perceive these conditions to be present, or they might disagree concerning their existence.

Moreover, as Sanchez-Mazas suggests, the construction of otherness might be the consequence and not the antecedent of the distance toward others. There is no doubt that prejudice reduction should be an important aspect of social psychological research. Not only does prejudice lead to discrimination, it also creates a social climate that perpetuates the conditions of discrimination and prevents the existence of personal relationships Tropp, However, it is important to consider whether prejudices are a type of system legitimation that maintain social inequalities. Moreover, an emphasis on prejudice reduction through contact might diminish the chance that members of dominated groups engage in a struggle that would change the group asymmetry to their benefit.

One could also argue that bringing groups together and increasing their opportunities to know and like each other might bring change at an individual level once the ideology concerning the p. To put it clearly: During slavery in the US, the racial division was salient, and it was ideologically functional to create and maintain a multitude of prejudices toward African Americans in order to legitimize and justify the social system.

Once these social conditions are abolished, we should not be surprised if prejudiced beliefs persist or that it is extremely difficult to change them Finchilescu and Tredoux, ; Ward-Schofield, Contact is sought, however, when the social conditions of slavery are not anymore present and after the civil rights movement. Contact between individuals and groups could be a very powerful tool to reduce prejudice once these prejudiced beliefs are not functional anymore in society and thus when they start to become non-normative.

Concerning immigration, research indicates that intense contact in a restricted geographical area like a neighborhood can reduce prejudice, whereas intense contact at a national level increases prejudice Wagner et al. This is not often the case in European nation-states. One of the aspects of opposition to cultural diversity is precisely the denial to the culturally diverse group to be part of the overall national group. This exclusion from the national polity is crucial for the denial of rights and resources.

The principal idea of this approach is that individuals and groups are in competition for material and symbolic resources. This competition, when resources are insufficient, leads to feelings of threat that, mediated by different emotions, lead in turn to negative attitudes toward outgroups. Their model proposes realistic threats political and economic threats ; symbolic threats threats to the values and beliefs and to worldviews ; intergroup anxiety threat that originates from the anticipation of negative interaction with the outgroup ; negative stereotyping expectation, due to negative stereotypes, that the outgroup will behave badly toward oneself.

In addition, Stephan, Renfro, and Davis distinguish also between individual and collective threats. Several studies have shown the link between perceptions of threat and negative attitudes toward the outgroup. The meta-analysis of this work by Riek, Mania, and Gaertner demonstrates that all four types of threat solidly predict intergroup attitudes. These studies highlight the important impact of threat perception on attitudes toward outgroups. However, these models propose links between psychological variables threats, attitudes, emotions, identifications, stereotypes and do not say much about the relationship of these psychological factors to the social structure in which these threats are produced.

The meta-analysis of Riek et al. Evidently, these are the people who have the privileges that might be lost. However, this result is not trivial. It indicates that threat is linked to the position that one has in the social structure. In particular, those participants who read that immigrants succeeded in a difficult market were more negative toward them. I will discuss this point further later in the chapter. The third domain in which social psychological research on cultural diversity has been oriented is the domain of identity conflicts and acculturation.

This domain is close to both symbolic threats and contact. In this approach, contact between groups brings changes to both. Acculturation is not only a concern of immigrants but also of receiving societies. We should be asking, then, concerning Europe, p. Berry and his school of thought suggest that attitudes toward acculturation are formed in response to two questions: 1 is it of importance that immigrants maintain their cultural traditions in the new country?

Depending on whether the response is positive or negative to each of these questions, four acculturation orientations are produced: 1 integration multiculturalism , when the response is positive to both questions; 2 assimilation melting pot , when the response to the first question is negative and to the second question positive; 3 separation parallel societies , when the question regarding heritage culture gets a positive answer and the question of contact a negative one; and 4 marginalization exclusion , when the response to both questions is negative.

Several studies have examined the acculturation orientations of immigrant groups and of receiving societies. It is important to understand the orientations of individuals and groups regarding cultural diversity. These orientations, in fact, are close to the politics of culturally diverse states.

It is also important to understand when intra-individual, inter-individual, or intergroup conflict might occur in relation to acculturation orientations. However, regarding the situation in Europe, two aspects of acculturation need to be taken into account seriously. One aspect is that the choice of acculturation orientation and strategy is not an individual decision.

It depends also on the beliefs and strategies of the ethnic ingroup and of course on the restrictions and facilities of the larger receiving society Chryssochoou, Thus, focusing on acculturation might give the impression that immigrant integration is an individual matter in which some succeed whereas others do not. Of course, this identity becomes salient with immigration. I argue, however, that this identity does not have a primary position among other identifications and that immigrants should not be expected to protect and defend it more than their other identities.

It is important to remember that people migrate mainly for economic reasons, and they wish to ameliorate their financial conditions and their economic status. It is possible therefore that, for migrants, economic success and amelioration of their status is more important than the defense of their cultural identity. Thus, majorities might perceive the world through the lens of cultural categorization. Immigrants do not deny the importance that this categorization has for them, but they might disconnect it from their inclusion in the new society.

To do p. These will be briefly presented and discussed in relation to opposition to cultural diversity in Europe. Social Representations theory concerns the transformation of scientific knowledge to common sense and more generally it is concerned with the construction of common sense knowledge through communication and influence Chryssochoou, When people are faced with an unfamiliar or strange event they try to understand and make it familiar by incorporating it in what it is already known and by producing an image, by transforming it into something tangible that is understandable.

These processes take place at a societal level through communication between individuals and groups. According to the theory, when people think, two cognitive systems interfere: one operational system that performs cognitive activities such as inclusions, deductions, categorizations, associations, etc. A representation is social not because it is shared by a number of people but because the way of thinking of a number of people is organized by common principles, even if they disagree between them on the issue at stake.

One such principle is the belief that European nations have indigenous people that form a homogenous community in terms of culture, even if this culture is not defined in terms of language or religion but is defined by secular beliefs and customs as in France. What would be the consequences of their inclusion for the organization of the national society and for individuals and groups within it? I argue that immigrants can claim justice in receiving societies on the grounds of their inclusion to the national group or on the grounds of their inclusion to the human group. These different inclusions are part of two different representations of the social order that coexist in our societies and are used strategically by individuals and groups.

In order to understand the societal changes that international migration and globalization produce, people create representations of the social order. These representations give meaning to their environment. People are categorized according to their merits because what counts are performance and success.

What characterizes this logic is a sentiment that traditional values and politeness are lost and a feeling of insecurity. Within this logic the categories of dominant and dominated are opposed and what is important is status and power. Finally, the logic of cultural diversity is regulated by the principle of heterogeneity. In what follows, I argue that Europe is in a transitional period during which two representations of p. These representations include different aspects regarding the basis of procedural and distributive justice and the basis of equality and inequality, and they differ on the criteria on which high status is achieved and on the permeability of the boundaries between groups.

The theory that gives emphasis on the permeability of the boundaries between groups is Social Identity theory. Two ideological beliefs guide the strategies followed: a belief in individual mobility and a belief in social change. When the boundaries between different groups are permeable and membership in a high status group is possible, people, in accordance with the individual mobility belief, will leave the devalued group for a better one.

However, following a belief in social change, when this passage is obstructed and when people believe that the asymmetric relationship between groups is illegitimate and subject to change, they might engage in collective strategies to enhance the position of the social group as a whole. Is individual mobility open for migrants? Can they enhance individually their position and claim rights in the receiving societies under different representations of the social order? In order to answer these questions, I need firstly to contextualize opposition to migration in the conflicts that the phenomenon of migration produces.

What perturbations do migrants bring in modern nation-states? My argument is that migrants disrupt the social stratification of the nation-state, and with their claims for individual mobility they challenge the criteria of procedural justice. When migrants are employed in tasks that were previously done by non-migrants e. Moreover, migrants aspire to mobility and put effort to this endeavor.

They mainly move in order to better their conditions of life and to give opportunities to their children to succeed by gaining individual mobility. Thus, although their presence gives the opportunity to non-migrants to gain upward social mobility, at the same time, because of their own aspirations to social mobility, migrants compete with them. Thus, I argue that the populations of receiving societies are threatened by migrant claims to individual mobility. As long as migrants stay, as a group, in the lower strata of the division of labor outside the national society, they are not questioning the status of the nationals.

In other words, the representation of the nation-state should recognize that recipients of resources are all people who contribute to its wealth, and thus it should include immigrants. This changes perceptions of procedural justice. This is true within the paradigm of the nation-state because procedural justice criteria are not put into question: the recipients of resources are nationals. Within the nation-state, conflict could rise regarding the distribution of resources between social classes.

In an ideological context in which merit is supposed to attribute social position status , there should not be any relation between membership in particular groups and social position. High status and success are believed to be attributed on an individual basis as a result of merits. However, when people realize that there is still a strong relation between their membership and their status i. What I argue regarding migration is that the individual mobility of migrants is not accepted by the populations of receiving societies because it questions the criteria for procedural justice about who are the legitimate recipients within a nation-state.

One threat to procedural justice concerns social identity, whereas another relates to a change of the social representation of the nation-state. This collective behavior is supposed to bring social change by altering the asymmetric relations between groups. Following this line of thought, it could be argued that the populations of receiving societies can be threatened by immigrants who engage in collective actions to bring social change, who challenge their status and enhance the position of their whole group.

To do so, immigrants should have a strong identification with their group. Thus, research tries to measure whether migrants are loyal to their ethnic group of origin, what their acculturation strategy is, and whether they want to maintain their traditions and practices in the new society. Conflict is perceived to happen between different ethnic groups for the distribution of resources that are associated with status, power and influence e. However, the relations between migrants and receiving populations can be conflictual on another basis.

Migrants claiming individual mobility in the new society put in fact into question the social contract of the nation-state. The conflict is then transformed from a conflict about resources to a conflict about who deserves these resources—in other words, the recipients of the distribution. Thus, if conflicts in nation-states were about the distribution of resources and class struggles, in a globalized era these conflicts have changed and concern the acknowledgment of who deserves the resources: it is about who is part of the group.

These new conflicts change the representation of the social order and call for a new one. Touraine considers that, in order to understand contemporary globalized societies of extreme capitalism, we should change the paradigm in our representation of personal and collective life. He argues that social categories are not any more relevant in order to understand the conflicts and the social order that arise in globalization, which needs to be understood with more general categories than the social ones.

How are status and power conferred in these societies? Is individual mobility a vehicle to status, and what are the criteria for being in a high position as was in modern societies? As was discussed in the previous section, individual mobility based on merit is a common ideological framework for both receiving society members and migrants. The former believe in individual mobility because it would allow them to overcome the conditions imposed by their social membership within the nation-state.

The latter left their national group to better their conditions of life, sharing the fate of another national group and participating in its division of labor. Once in this new group, and not being satisfied by the lower status that their jobs confer to them, they desire, at least for their offspring, ascending individual mobility within this group.

To be able, however, to be individually mobile, one should be recognized as member of the group because, in this capacity, the individual is conferred rights and opportunities that would enable this mobility. By defending procedural criteria of exclusivity, national societies wish to maintain a social division of labor in which their own members are privileged independently of their individual merits, just because they belong to a particular ethnic group: the nationals.

To do so they need to maintain the social representation of procedural justice that considers only nationals as recipients and to alter the representation of distributive justice in a way that resources are not allocated on individual merit but according to particular group memberships. In a globalized era, these groups might be based on ethnicity and culture. Thus, in a world where economic activities are transnational and people move around the world, national communities aim to maintain the power to organize the social relations within the nation-state by changing the criteria of wealth distribution from merit to origins but, this time, to cultural origins.

I argue that these understandings of the social order are forming two different representations of hierarchies: the representation of the social and the representation of the cultural. These representations coexist, and individuals and groups are using them flexibly and strategically. Their co-presence enables the existence of different criteria of justice for nationals and immigrants.

Table As a member of a cultural group, authenticity of beliefs, cultural practices. Cultural ingroup, hierarchy within the ingroup e. In the representation of the social , professions are hierarchically organized and confer status to people. In the representation of the cultural , on the contrary, what matters is a hierarchy of cultures where some cultures are believed to be better p. Thus, in the first representation, status is conferred on the basis of individual merit, and in the second, status is conferred according to the origins of the person and their membership in a cultural group.

These criteria of status belonging to a high profession or belonging to a high cultural group govern the distribution of resources distributive justice. When the social prevails, wealth is supposed to be distributed according to merit, whereas when the cultural prevails, wealth is supposed to be distributed according to group membership. This distribution of resources between individuals and groups presupposes that recipients are included in a higher level membership, a superordinate group within which the hierarchy makes sense.

Who should receive resources procedural justice is defined by the type of the higher order membership. For the representation of the social, the higher order membership is the national group, whereas for the representation of the cultural, the super-ordinate membership is the human group. People are equal either as nationals citizens of a state or as carriers of a unique culture. The other side of the token—inequality—is based either on individual characteristics e.

They attributed the success of the Greek immigrant and the failure to succeed individually of an Albanian or Bulgarian immigrant to their ethnic origins. In other words, for the ingroup, ethnicity enabled mobility, whereas for a devalued outgroup, ethnicity obstructed mobility. Trust is also conferred differently. In the representation of the social, people are recognized as co-nationals as well as in terms of their professions, their expertise and their merits and they are respected for these reasons.

In the representation of the cultural, people are recognized as human beings and as members of cultural groups with particular practices and beliefs. Respect is based on the role and position they have within their cultural group and on the position of this group in the hierarchy of cultures. From this brief presentation we can see that each representation of society has a different set of values and beliefs and different criteria for conferring status.

They circulate in parallel and are used strategically by individuals and groups who wish to sustain a social order that favors them Bobo, Looking at these two representations we can understand the difficult position in which immigrants find themselves. Migrants today wish to be recognized in terms of merit but also wish to be equal in terms of culture. This poses problems for receiving communities. To recognize them in terms of merit means to acknowledge them as part of the national ingroup, whereas to consider them as equals in terms of culture means to demolish the hierarchy of cultures which maintains an essentialized vision of cultural groups constructed, in particular, to exclude them from individual mobility within the national group.

This battle between recognition in merit and equality in culture could produce reactions that might seem difficult to understand at first glance. For example, it might be difficult to understand why third generation educated women in France claim the right to wear the veil. For them, who have the French citizenship and therefore are part of the national group, it is important to be recognized as individuals with merit that are allowed to progress within the French society. However, as part of an ethnic minority they wish to be equal in terms of culture and therefore demand the right to wear a cultural symbol and display this difference.

The French majority considers that if they want to be recognized on the basis of merit and therefore be considered as co-nationals they need to abandon their claim for cultural equality, especially if their culture introduces a religious symbol into a secular national society. This battle reveals much about diverse understandings of justice.

This battle is presented as a struggle between identities when in fact it is a conflict of procedural justice concerning recognition and, therefore, the fair criteria for defining the recipients of resources. Should these young women receive resources as co-nationals on the basis of their merits, or should they receive recognition as equal cultural agents?

If the former is chosen, they can be individually mobile and successful. If the latter prevails, given p. A conflict between cultural groups becomes a conflict of cultural recognition and hides a conflict for equal access to resources and success. Characteristically, these young women were excluded from school, the only vehicle they had to succeed in the future and to gain autonomy from their families. We can see here the inherent tension between respecting the individual and recognizing difference discussed by Taylor in his famous essay on the politics of multiculturalism and recognition.

In his perspective, the criteria of procedural justice were unchallenged. In seeking justice, very strong identifications, versions of reality and essentialized social categories can be created. To avoid fundamentalisms, movements should perhaps focus on the conflict at stake and not on the affirmation of identities Touraine, The conflict is about the criteria of procedural and distributive justice; it is about defining recipients and then distributing resources. This conflict can be resolved only if a new social contract is build. In a social psychological analysis of conflict and consensus, Moscovici and Doise proposed that a consensus that binds people collectively is built when three conditions are met: 1 when people and groups participate, are included, and are engaged in the debates leading to its construction; 2 when there are real debates and discussions; and 3 when there is particular attention not to avoid conflict.

When these conditions are met, the outcome could bind people together even if their particular positions are not completely represented. The question is how the society, in which people participate and in which they fight to construct a new consensus, is represented. Is it represented in terms of culture or in social terms? This schematic presentation of the two representations, the social and the cultural, aimed to show that if we wish to combat exclusion, we need to understand the kinds of societies that people are included in or excluded from.

We need to understand and study the ideological aspects that are present and that battle each other to exert influence and produce consensus and hegemonies. These two representations are active in common sense and have consequences for the way people behave toward others and consider possibilities of conflict. They also have consequences for how immigrants and ethnic minorities are integrated in societies and how they construct their identities.

In the previous section, I argued that in Europe today, two representations of the social order coexist: one in which social divisions are predominant, and one in which cultural divisions prevail. Both representations are used strategically by individuals and groups to promote a social reality that protects their interests. In Europe today, with the South in deep crisis, the promotion of the cultural representation can have important consequences.

As I argued, dominant groups within nation-states may use this representation to divert conflict that arises from poverty. Thus, working class people and more and more middle class people that lose their economic status are willing to opt for a social order that prevents people from different ethnicities to be socially mobile and thus competitive. The coexistence of both representations allows dominant classes to address a meritocratic discourse toward co-nationals of low status and a cultural discourse toward immigrants and their offspring. The focus for co-nationals is on the distribution of resources distributive justice , whereas the focus for immigrants is on procedural justice and on their inclusion in the group that would give them access to resources.

Conflict then might arise on the basis of cultural origins. Thus, the use of a cultural representation might act as a self-fulfilling prophecy for those arguing that cultural diversity breeds conflict Huntington, The use of a cultural representation is not ideologically p. Dominant groups have an interest to avoid conflict with those dominated that form the majority of the national group. Thus, it benefits them to push lower strata in society to fight each other on the basis of cultural differences instead of allowing conflict to rise between social classes since in such conflict they risk their power.

Without denying the right to ethnic and cultural minorities to maintain and develop their cultural specificity, one should ask whether the insistence to promote dual identities for young people of immigrant descent in Europe is in fact favoring their progress Chryssochoou, On the one hand, they are asked to develop an identity that would include them in the national group, and at the same time an identity that would exclude them from the very same group.

We do not know whether the use of a hyphenated identity, mainly used for minorities, activates a representation of inclusion based on the national group or a representation of exclusion based on the cultural group. The purpose of insisting on the strategic use of these representations is not to argue about new forms of color blindness that deny racism and structural inequalities between cultural groups. Neither is it my purpose to refuse cultural recognition and deny rights to people belonging to different cultures and convey a negative image of multiculturalism.

It is because, as Kymlicka , p. On the contrary, I want to highlight that people usually migrate because they are pushed by the harsh conditions in their original country and find themselves at the lower strata in the receiving society. The question is whether these people are excluded on the basis of their cultural difference or whether cultural difference acts as a decoy or distraction that allows class blindness to be present. This form of blindness has consequences for both nationals and immigrants that are excluded from the scope of justice and are pushed to antagonize each other.

In times of crisis, when more and more conservative opinions prevail among majority populations in Europe, it is important to unpack how issues of multiculturalism and justice might have a perverse effect if we do not take into consideration the position from which each actor speaks from, as well as the ideological context that is promoted widely. Research should look at the social representations people construct and use strategically and the different positions they hold.

In studying social justice in the European context, we need to take into account the context in which social representations are constructed and how different actors behave and try to influence each other. In this chapter, I argued that two different representations of the social order exist in parallel, assuming different criteria of status attribution and different superordinate groups in which justice is conferred.

In European nation-states, rights, resources and respect are distributed to people and groups because of their membership in a super-ordinate group, namely the nation. Within the national group, individuals and social groups fight each other for resources and claim rights on the basis of this common membership. Moreover, considering them as individual cultural agents belonging to another superordinate group—the human group—might confine them to a membership that does not allow individual mobility and success.

This is due to a hierarchy of cultures which is part of wider social representation. For these people, recognition in merit and equality of culture happen inside different superordinate memberships and constitute a real tension. Research should look at these different representations of the social order and their consequences for justice. Under which situations does each representation prevail?

Which are the groups that use them and for what purpose? Research, for example, looking at the influence of ideology and understandings of justice on cognitive representations of social categories and on social identities formation are welcome. In this chapter, the focus was on multiculturalism due to immigration and to countries that were not based on migration. It is important to compare with what happens in multicultural countries whose foundations are based on migration and where dominant groups cannot claim autochtony United States, Australia, and Canada.

Such comparative research is urgently needed. Finally, a word of caution should be made. In this chapter, after a brief introduction to the European context and the social psychology of cultural diversity, I aimed to start a discussion on the issues that are at stake in contemporary multicultural Europe. It has to be noticed, as highlighted in the beginning, that, despite unification, European nations are not forming a unitary context neither regarding diversity nor regarding their economic position. Thus, I caution the reader of this chapter to keep in mind that the crisis in the South as well as the differences between Northern countries could alter the situation in the future.

Because of the importance of these issues for the life of individuals and groups, more research is needed. Allport, G. The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Find this resource:. Anderson, B. Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London, England: New Left Books.

Azzi, A. Identity and participation in culturally diverse societies. A multidisciplinary perspective. Chichester-Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell. Berry, J. Psychology of acculturation: Understanding individuals moving across cultures. Brislin Ed. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Acculturation and adaptation in a new society. International Migration , 30 , 69— Immigration, acculturation and adaptation. Applied Psychology: an International Review , 46 , 5— Constructing and expanding a framework: Opportunities for developing acculturation research.

Applied Psychology: an International Review , 46 , 62— Intercultural relations in plural societies. Canadian Psychology , 40 , 12— A psychology of immigration. Journal of Social Issues , 57 , — Immigrant acculturation: Psychological and social adaptations. In: A. Azzi, X. Chryssochoou, B. Simon Eds. A multidisciplinary perspective pp. Immigrant youth in cultural transition. Acculturation, identity and adaptation across national contexts.

New Jersey, London: Lawrence Erlbaum. An introduction to psychological dimensions of multiculturalism. European Psychologist , 18 3 , — Bilewitz, M. Antisemitism in Poland and Ukraine. The belief in Jewish control as a mechanism of scapegoating. International Journal of Conflict and Violence , 4 2 , — Bobo, L. Prejudice as group position. Microfoundations of a Sociological approach to group racism and race relationships. Journal of Social Issues , 55 3 , — The dynamics of acculturation: An intergroup perspective.

Advances in Experimental Social Psychology , 44 , — Cameron, D. State multiculturalism failed. Castles, S. Citizenship and migration. Chryssochoou, X. Multicultural societies: Making sense of new environments and identities. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology , 10 , — Studying identity in social psychology. Some thoughts on the definition of identity and its relation to action. The annual income of Asian Americans, considered together, is considerably less than that of European Americans with the same level of education. Yu , p. The investigators found a 50—50 split between the poorly educated and the better educated and more prosperous.

The former tended to be more recent immigrants. But, the latter, despite their educations, were found to be confronting a glass ceiling, with those in the medical and legal professions earning considerably less than their European American colleagues. A report by the College Board cf. Lewin, notes that, as is true generally, Asian American SAT scores are correlated with parental education and income level. And more Asian Americans are enrolled in community colleges than in public or private four-year institutions. In reviewing a novel by the contemporary Chinese American author Fae Ng, Mishan reminds us that while the first people not permitted to enter the United States legally were criminals and prostitutes, the next group was the Chinese.

In the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries, Asian American immigrants, if not brought to the United States to work on railroads or mines, were unwelcome and legally excluded Tien, Chinese immigrants who came to work in the California gold mines were described as depraved beasts of burden and opium addicts Yu, The Chinese Exclusion Act of not repealed until prohibited immigration and banned the naturalization of Chinese already in the United States.

The Immigration Act of declared all people from Asia to be inadmissible, and the National Origins Act of instituted an immigration quota for all nations outside the western hemisphere. Common to most older Asian American family members are memories of war, military control, suffering, and less than welcome entry into the United States Chin, b. Added to these is the unique chilling experience among Japanese Americans of having been imprisoned, many for up to four years, by the U.

Two-thirds of those made to leave their homes were U. The forced dislocation of families from what was called the military exclusion zone states on the west coast impacted those imprisoned as well as all other Japanese Americans.


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In the camps, an entire family lived in a single barracks room; eating, toileting, and laundering were communal activities; and shortages were the norm. Some years ago, I saw such a room on display — a shame-evoking sight. When World War II was over and families moved back to the west coast, they faced discrimination in housing and jobs, and sometimes violence. The internment, many scholars believe, has been the pivotal experience for Japanese Americans in how they see themselves and their relations with other groups.

Kakaiya has described aspects of the Indian immigrant experience. While the earliest Indian immigrants were male farm laborers, after there was considerable immigration of largely technically trained and educated professionals. More common, beginning in the s, were Indian immigrants interested in business ventures such as motels, gas stations, and liquor stores.

Fiction and memoirs have added considerable qualitative information to what we know about Asian American life. She explores the close interrelationships among Indian immigrants of similar background and experience and poignantly examines the tensions between older-generation expectations and those of their children living in a new world. Their work reveals cultures in which the heritage of the past intersects with circumstances and issues of life in the United States. Readers are introduced to language, challenges, adaptations, beliefs, and aspirations that comprise the Asian American experience.

American Indians As is true for other ethnic groups in the United States, there are cultures within cultures among Native American Indians. Among the almost 2. It may surprise many to learn that there are about tribal societies, each of which regards itself as a sovereign nation. Among the Indian tribes are differences in language, customs, history, and size. The U. Federally recognized American Indian tribes constitute the largest landholders in the U. In , a Congressional Act made casino gambling possible in Indian lands, and such establishments can now be found in 28 states, operated by tribes.

Where such gaming revenues are absent, unemployment for both urban and reservation Indians is over 50 percent, and life expectancy is 6—10 years less than that for other Americans. Compared with other ethnic groups in the U. The average income is 62 percent of the U. The economic and environmental exploitation, that began centuries ago, continues. The consequences of this for Native Americans has been loss of survival resources, traditional ways of life, and land, together with war, disease, broken treaties, and genocide. This history of forced colonization, fueled by greed and racism Cramer, , remains part of American Indian identity.

Legends, family narratives, and tribal education provide examples of systematic efforts to undermine the survival of a people. It was U. They were not allowed to speak their own language, their hair was cut, and they were taught domestic or other skills. A character in a novel by Louise Erdrich , p. One day, Seraphine forgot or rebelled and began to speak her own language and would not stop. The matron was showing girls how to mend cushions and chairs. In her hand there was a thick needle. She turned and struck Seraphine. Johnson reports on such a dilemma faced by Crow Indians near Hardin, Montana.

The Hardin high school is growing and was 70 percent Indian in while the Lodge Grass high school on the reservation is shrinking in enrollment. What Indian students can get at the town school are advanced courses in math, English, and the sciences, as well as the Crow language in addition to French and Spanish , and Indian pottery making. Negative stereotypes of the American Indian and anti-tribal attitudes have remained strong in places where there is a significant Indian population and have re-emerged as a backlash to Indian casino successes.

A newer, contrasting picture is of spiritual and noble environmentalists Hamill, From fiction by Tony Hillerman, for example in too many books to cite , readers can get a more realistic sense of what contemporary life is like for Southwest Indians — particularly the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni. Books by Louise Erdrich e. How little non-Indians know about the first people on our continent was sharply brought home to me during an exchange I had with a craftswoman during a Schimutzin celebration in Connecticut.

At these yearly celebrations, tribes from all over North America compete for prizes in drumming, singing, and dancing, and vendors sell Indian art and crafts. As a result of marriage with escaped and freed slaves, some Native Americans identify closely with African Americans. Tied to the CDIB is eligibility for federal programs, such as health care.

The federal government is bound by treaties to provide federally funded health care for Native Americans, although it currently spends less to fulfill this obligation than it does for prisoners or recipients of Medicaid cf. Miller, Fiction by any American Indian writer presents many examples of families and friends moving back and forth between city and reservation, visiting, staying, and moving on. Friedman notes the importance of the point of reference in claiming an Indian ethnic identity. In relation to White people, they are women of color.

Other points of reference are the sites of interactions. But, despite the objective reality of their minority status, Jews are seldom included as a minority group in discussions of multiculturalism. For centuries, Jews have had to cope with various manifestations of anti-Semitism and its personal, political, and economic consequences. In many parts of the world, Jewish communities have, at various times, been physically attacked and brutalized. A fictionalized description by A. Bloom , for example, illustrates the horror and destruction experienced during an eastern European pogrom in the early s.

This is part of the personal story brought to the United States by countless numbers of Jewish immigrants. Such incidents preceded the Nazi-era Holocaust which, in one way or another, affected all Jewish American families, either through direct family ties or general emotional kinship. Another part of the Jewish American story is overt and covert anti-Semitism that, up until the s, presented educational and occupational barriers and challenges to many. Being Jewish provides another interesting example of ethnic complexity. The approximately 5.

Zuckerman, But Jews are found also among working-class, low-income and low-advantaged groups. Within the Jewish community, there is considerable diversity depending upon the part of the world from which they have come. Among religious Jews, there are divisions and different sects and variations in degree of orthodoxy. Diversity is seen also among communities in different parts of the country. After 25 years of photographing Jews in more than 40 countries in all parts of the world, Frederic Brenner rejected the notion that there is an authentic Jew. He found differences everywhere, including between cities and communities in Israel Goodstein, In various places and historical periods, anti-Semitism and oppression forced the conversion of Jews to Christianity.

These Crypto Jews found ways to hide their rituals and ancestry Gitlitz, The question of just who is White and the meaning of whiteness has shifted with historical events. Until the immigration laws enacted in , it was White European ancestry that was the principal basis for admission into the United States Sachs, For many European Americans, their whiteness is invisible and taken for granted as the norm Gillborn, Implicit in this is denial of the role played by whiteness in the domination of those who are deemed non-White and the sociocultural and economic privileges associated with whiteness McLaren, When White persons assert that they have no ethnicity, this may be an exercise in power; it suggests that such a state of being is just human, is to be preferred, and represents progress Perry, There is extensive evidence that whiteness is associated with higher status, privilege, power, advantage, and beliefs about merit.

McIntosh has identified 50 privileges unearned assets that accompany being perceived as White, including the option of not being seen. To Owen , p. The everyday practices and expectations revealed an assumption of the normalcy of whiteness. Such ethnic influences are often revealed in novels e. Krikorian, , by an Armenian American or memoirs.

Psychological Perspectives on Diversity and Social Development

From such literature we learn about the Irish experience, the Italian experience, or the Greek experience, for example, and the consequences of growing up with these ethnic identities in U. Howard writes about a new way of being White by exploring his Celtic heritage and making the connection to his ethnic roots and history. Thus, Whites who are marginalized as a result of poverty or minority sexual orientation are not as likely to receive the benefits of white-skin privilege as middle-class and heterosexual Whites.

These gradations in privilege are often apparent to, and understood by, people of color. It is hoped and thought likely that we will begin to learn more and more about Muslim life in the United States. Phinney suggests that there are three aspects of ethnicity that account for its psychological importance: distinctive values and attitudes; sense of belonging to the group; and experiences of powerlessness and prejudice associated with minority status or the reverse.

Social Justice in Multicultural Europe: A Social Psychological Perspective

These aspects and others influence behavior in complex ways. Beliefs associated with our ethnicity are implicated in vast areas of behavior and everyday life. For example, there are ethnic consequences for the shaping of views about the nature of illness, its treatment, and duration. Watters that not only do ethnic cultures differ in the likelihood of using different diagnoses, but that there are different outcomes for patients similarly diagnosed.

Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, for example, do better in developing countries than in North America and Europe. Barber suggests that this is because those who are ill in cultures in the former societies typically get more support from their families and communities and are less likely to be stigmatized and excluded. The WHO is recommending that mental health work in disaster areas focus on support, and resist imposing assumptions about symptoms and treatment.

Differences among peoples are found in symptoms as well as in beliefs about the best ways to heal. Belief in the positive effects of discussing stress-provoking experiences is not a universal belief. In still another example, Arguello cited by Landrine, found, among a sample of young unmarried Latinas, that anal heterosexual intercourse was considered a way to maintain their virginity and avoid the use of condoms associated with birth control.

A sample of bilingual Chinese students in Canada were randomly assigned to write anonymous and confidential self-statements in either Chinese or English. The researchers concluded that those writing in English wrote self-descriptions that were closer to those written by Euro-Canadians. Similarly, Hong and colleagues used Chinese and U. On presumably unrelated tasks, the participants were then found to behave in ethnically predicted ways in making attributions, for example, about a pictured fish that was swimming in front of a group of fish: was it leading the group or being chased?

The study of ethnic groups has often focused on negative attitudes prejudice and discrimination directed toward minority groups, and on descriptions and consequences of stereotypes held and transmitted, particularly by those who are more dominant and powerful. Those within a devalued ethnic culture share the experiences of social inequality and deprivation and personal challenges that result from both overt and covert prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Sue and his colleagues have called attention to the microaggressions experienced daily by people of color in the United States. These are brief but pervasive everyday snubs, looks, and gestures that communicate disrespect and denigration. In pre-Holocaust Europe, Jews were seen as smart but unoriginal and parasitic. In contrast, a contemporary dominant stereotype is that Jews are intellectual but physically weak, unless they are Israeli.

There are now more and more frequent media accounts of mixed ethnicities and complex ancestries and identities e. Issues of mixed ancestry have been brought into recent prominence by celebrities such as the golfer Tiger Woods, and President Barack Obama. Both present their mixed ethnic family backgrounds as positive features of their personal identities. According to the Census, 7. These statistics are probably underestimates since there are pressures on many to make a choice of one dominant ethnicity. Navarro, Root , suggests that such an identity is accompanied by its own special challenges and experiences.

It is likely to be part of the multicultural uniqueness of more and more persons in the United States. And like other ethnic backgrounds its influence on behavior will vary with the situation, the interpersonal context, the time, the place, and the level of its immediate salience.

Contact across borders

The focus in this chapter is on a category of relationship to other human beings that characterizes most of us throughout our lives — gender. Because these behaviors are, for the most part, unrelated to the few reliable biological imperatives or biological distinctions between the sexes, we use the word gender to refer to these human groups.

The distinction between sex and gender has long been recognized within feminist theory e. The first quote that begins this chapter illustrates the lasting strength, even in this 21st century, of powerful expectations for relationships between women and men and points with striking clarity to the existence of gender cultures. During the past few decades in the United States, we have witnessed a number of wives of prominent men in important political positions facing television cameras as they are humiliated by the public apologies and explanations of their husbands for serious misdeeds involving sexual behavior, lies, and illegal acts.

We witnessed this with Hillary Rodham Clinton as she stood by her husband, President Clinton, during public reports of a relationship with a young White House intern and the subsequent political and social consequences. Spitzer, a Harvard Law School graduate, had put a promising law career on hold at the birth of the first of three daughters to assist her husband in his career and to care for their children.

Governor Spitzer, a former Attorney General and anti-prostitution crusader, admitted to being a client of what was described as an international prostitution ring, and transporting a female sex-worker across state lines in violation of federal law. The words of conservative talk-show host Laura Schlesinger at the beginning of this chapter come from her discussion of this event. On her radio show, she responds to callers with advice on relationships. We also learn which environments are considered suitable for us and which are most available to us.

Consider, for example, the typical preschool play areas of trucks and dress-up and where we are most likely see girls and boys. All cultural designations are subject to change. One can move from one social class to another as a result of education, chance, opportunity, concerted economic effort, marriage, enlightened socio-governmental policies, and so on.

In this chapter, however, we will focus on gender cultures that are primarily heterosexual and mainstream, leaving a discussion of sexual identity minorities for later attention. Differences in Relative Power A feminist perspective analysis posits interpersonal processes as the major feature of gender Gilbert, Thus, gender defines and is defined by the socially prescribed ways in which girls and boys and women and men relate to one another.

The specific features of the interaction in most contexts will reflect the extent and significance of the power difference between the genders. This, in turn, is influenced by time and place and by the other cultural characteristics or categories of those engaged in interaction — especially ethnicity, social class, and sexual identity. A recent phenomenon is illustrative.

Uchitelle notes that in the first decade of the 21st century the percentage of women employed outside the home is dropping, as women struggle with a harsh economy. He cites data from a Congressional study that suggest that women are dropping out of the work force not because they have chosen to stay at home with their children but because of layoffs, stagnant wages, and discouraging job prospects.

The pattern seems similar among well-educated and less-educated women, married and never married, White and minorities of color. While the past few decades have witnessed great changes within gender cultures, it is still the case that women and men are often excluded from what is considered to be the domain of the other.

For women this translates into more limited access to resources, fewer positions of high status, and narrower opportunities for personal growth and development. In , women constituted just 15 percent of Congress and 22 percent of membership in state legislatures, with one lone woman in the Supreme Court Hahn, In , former first lady Senator Clinton, an affluent White woman who sought the nomination of the Democratic Party for president of the United States, was the target of demeaning misogynist humor and taunts. In , women constituted 26 percent of persons so diagnosed for the first time compared with 11 percent in Of the girls and women diagnosed in , it was estimated that 71 percent had become infected as a result of high-risk heterosexual contact.

The intersections between gender and ethnicity emerge clearly from comparing the percentages of newly diagnosed White women 17 percent with newly diagnosed Black women 66 percent Diallo, These experiences take place in families as daughters or sons or mothers or fathers, in schools, in romantic relationships, in occupational and skill preparation, as consumers, and as community participants. Both women and men girls and boys learn continuously from birth the behaviors that are appropriate and inappropriate for their gender Lott, As we grow older and experience changed circumstances in our lives, the earlier lessons may be negated and contradicted, or reinforced and affirmed.


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Variations in what we learn and what we do are tied to place, parental background, and special circumstances. Thus, we can integrate into our perception of Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, that she likes expensive clothes and makeup, is a wife and mother, and also knows how to hunt, skin a moose, compete, and talk tough. How women and men behave depends on the historical, economic, and social conditions of their lives, but almost always as well in contexts where social practices are differentiated by gender, that is, under gendered conditions.

Sarah Palin was carefully presented to the voting public as an outspoken Alaskan who was a former beauty queen and is now a devoted and compassionate mother of five. The cultural aspects of gender are confirmed by studies of contemporary as well as historical institutions — the schools, mass media, religion, family, and politics e. Despite great societal changes in the past several decades, expectations are still not the same for women and men, and significant consequences to the individual follow from both conformity and deviation.

Gender still organizes social life and thus much of individual experience. Sarah Palin described herself as a former hockey-mom and member of the PTA, while describing her husband as a steel worker and snowmobile racer. Particular life conditions remain systematically related — by cultural prescription, regulation, or arrangement — to being born female or male. Reid, Cooper, and Banks , p. One still expects that most nurses will be women, and most firefighters will be men, and we are intrigued by the exceptions. Carbado , p. A script. It is accomplished and re-enacted in everyday social relationships.

Some argue that such a definition of what is appropriately masculine is narrow and restricted, with negative consequences for mental health. A continuing debate is whether motherhood responsibilities take precedence over a career for educated middle-class women.

The media have been particularly eager to write stories about women who opt out of the workforce for home and family e. Typically absent from such discussions of parenting is the role of fathers, husbands, and male partners Corcoran, Countering this omission, Belkin in a recent article in the New York Times Magazine described the many creative strategies used by women and men who are determined to share parenting, despite the institutional obstacles of employment and social custom.

Particularly important in gender prescriptions and proscriptions related to family life is the intersection with age. A sample of young women from diverse backgrounds said that what they saw as important features of adult womanhood were financial independence as well as parenthood, with many hoping for romantic relationships that were equitable so that family and work could be balanced.

Intersections with Ethnicity Generally missing from discussions of conflicts between work and parenting is attention to social class and ethnicity. Two decades ago, Hurtado argued that the construct of gender refers to a process of social interaction in ethnic contexts. While earlier feminist theory focused on women as women, this position has been largely replaced by an appreciation of the significance of group membership so that women and men can be more authentically perceived within ethnic, social class, and other cultural contexts e.

For both women and men, daily life is experienced simultaneously in all cultures of which they are a part, with the importance of each varying with the particular situation and the cues and demands that make one more salient than another. Hurtado noted that although both White women and women of Color are reared from birth to be mothers and partners, each is oppressed differently by men — the former through seduction and the latter through rejection — resulting in the acquisition of different ways of responding.

How woman is socially constructed, therefore, will vary with ethnicity and social class. This, Hurtado points out, is reflected in differences in sociopolitical concerns. While patriarchy, the system of male dominance in major social institutions, is a feature of most societies that have been studied by social scientists Lott, , its manifestations will vary with ethnicity. Hurtado and Sinha interviewed a sample of Latino working class men about how they perceive manhood. The definitions they provided were instructive. They have been characterized as asexual, effeminate, as passive, ugly, and lacking muscles and physical strength.

At the same time they have been stereotyped as the Yellow Peril, dangerous to White women. Asian American women, on the other hand, appear in popular images as hypersexual, exotic, sensuous and promiscuous but also as untrustworthy or treacherous — in the form of a cunning Dragon Lady or a servile Lotus Blossom.

Popular U. The Jezebel image of tough and promiscuous Black women conveniently masks the exploitation of Black women by White men, beginning with slavery. Interactions among Black women and men in the U. Jewish women have been stereotyped as opinionated, forceful, aggressive, pushy, domineering, intimidating, loud, and exotic.

Early in the 20th century, a dominant stereotype was that of the Ghetto Girl — vulgar, loud, and overdressed Prell, To the former is attributed nurturance, self-sacrifice, nagging, and obsession with food, and being controlling, guilt-inducing, and overprotective of her children. The Jewish American Princess is described as manipulative, calculating, overbearing, materialistic, spoiled, self-centered, vain, ambitious, emasculating, shallow, complaining, and a trendy clotheshorse.

Two classic jokes are illustrative. Latina stereotypes are conflicting. Lott and Saxon studied the relationship between such stereotypes and impressions of strangers. A significant finding was that Latinas were judged to be more unsuitable for the job of PTO president than either the Anglo or Jewish women. This result is reinforced by other findings.

Nieves-Squires Bento, found that Latinas in academia were judged to have unclear thought processes, to be hesitant about oral confrontation, and to be uncomfortable in non-Latin settings. What emerges from research with White participants are beliefs in a macho image of Latin American men, particularly Mexican American Chicano men. This image includes being hypersexual, aggressive, prone to anger, an alcohol abuser, dominating, lacking ambition, poorly groomed, and uneducated Cervantes, ; Nieman, Dominant ethnic gender stereotypes are widely shared beliefs that provide meaning and serve to organize perceptions, inferences, and judgments about persons.

Stereotypes denote sets of well-learned beliefs that have social if not empirical validation; they tend to be evoked or activated quickly and spontaneously. Devine has compared stereotype activation to bad habits. I have compared stereotypes to illusions Lott, in that their evocation as beliefs is almost irresistible, even when one knows that they are not accurate. These beliefs contribute to the content of gender cultures in that women and men anticipate being perceived and judged in accordance with them. Empirical searches for gender differences do not always find them, although even the slightest hint is eagerly greeted and publicized by the media.

Many studies that have examined well-accepted gender differences have found previous assumptions to be faulty. When Spelke , for example, reviewed more than 40 years of research on sex differences in aptitude for mathematics and science, persons of both genders were found to share the same cognitive capacities and to be equally talented. Research data do not support the supposed truism that women surpass men in verbal ability, nor that they differ reliably in communication styles.

A full review of the literature led Burleson and Kunkel , p. Some differences were found under certain conditions, such as being in mixed-gender interaction situations where men were found to talk more than women. Cameron cites evidence that men talk more than women in statusrelevant situations.

Meta-analyses by Hyde of psychological gender differences in a wide range of domains have found little support for previous expectations. This is remarkable in light of the still dominant average separation between the genders in experiences and in situations deemed appropriate for them, beginning at birth and continuing through all developmental periods. Hyde suggests that we need to understand gender less as a person variable and more as social-stimulus variable.

In societies rated as more gender equal, girls and boys perform equally well in mathematics. The search for sex differences continues and any that are found quickly become headlined news. A study that analyzed personality tests from 60 countries and found gender differences was eagerly reported in The New York Times. I have argued Lott, that a sex-difference focus supports the status quo by keeping attention away from a serious examination of the conditions that societies link to gender and of the behaviors linked to those conditions.

Avoiding examination of gender-separated situations and experiences helps to maintain gender stereotypes and unequal power. That the context can result in the heightening of gender similarities and the reduction of differences is suggested by the findings of a study of over 11, people in eight different parts of the world.

Struch, Schwartz, and van der Kloot found, from ratings of 56 value statements, that within each of the societies from which the respondents came there were no significant gender differences. Within each of the larger groups women and men responded similarly to questions about the guiding principles in their lives, such as equality, pleasure, creativity, friendship, health, and peace. The investigators note, however, that within a particular society, women and men may well differ in how they translate their values into action, depending upon the salience of their gender identity and situational factors.

It surprises some and shocks others that some older expected differences in the behavior of girls and boys or women and men are disappearing. Data from large-scale studies in the United States now find little difference between teenage girls and boys in smoking, drug use, and consumption of alcohol, and girls are beginning to get into as many car accidents as boys see Aratani, But it is very likely that the pressures on each gender to support such dangerous behavior may not be the same. Teenage girls are still getting messages from their specialized media about how to attract boys, about clothes and makeup and hair-styles.

How these messages translate into the growing rate of risky behaviors that resemble those of boys is an important research question. There remain, in most societies, as in the United States, clear differences between the resources available to women and men, in their projected life course, and in their day-to-day experiences. Yet, there are places and times when some women are just as combative and aggressive as our model for men, and when some men are just as nurturing and harmonyseeking as our model for women.

Divergent cultural content based on gender remains dominant and amply reinforced in the media images found in magazines, television, films, popular music, and fashion.

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Hair can be cut in barbershops or beauty salons, but it is almost always in the latter that hair is dyed or permed and finger nails and toe nails are painted. And while there may be conversations in each, the content is likely to differ. The film Sex and the City, about affluent White single women whose lives center around clothes, more clothes, and relationships became a box-office hit soon after it opened in It was flocked to by women of diverse ethnicity and social class as avidly as when it appeared for many seasons on television.

The salience and influence of gender on behavior will, of course, vary with person and situation, with time, place, experience, and context. It is likely, however, that gender in the United States rarely stands alone as an identity, and that other group memberships are always strong intersecting influences on behavior, depending upon the issue or event. This is an important empirical question. The media reported that these voices were sometimes joined by those of White working-class men who felt that their interests were best represented by Senator Clinton.

At the same time, we are not surprised that, in , a woman and her same-gender friends might be discussing a mutually enjoyed daytime serial watched during lunch or a new recipe, while her male partner and friends are watching a ballgame on television. While the same ballgame may be of interest to some of the women, and the recipe of considerable interest to some of the men, a gender separation is most likely. What variations there might be in terms of ethnicity, social class, or sexual culture identity are more questions that need to be pursued.

A discussion of multiculturalism in Australia from educators’ perspective

In all but the simplest societies, there are divisions among families and communities by status, expectations, location, and power. In the United States, one is born into a family that can, with considerable reliability, be identified as working class, middle class, or wealthy both objectively and subjectively. This chapter is focused on the cultural dimensions of such broad societal divisions, particularly on the relationship between social class and power i. It thus mediates and influences, directly and indirectly, what a person is likely to learn, experience, believe, and seek after.

Social class represents sets of life experiences to which people must adapt and learn to navigate as competently as possible for maximum benefit and minimal injury. Ryan and Sackrey suggest that different ways of being human result from the existence and operation of social class structures and behavioral prescriptions. Class origin remains reliably predictive of what life holds in store. It is estimated that a child born to parents in the bottom quarter of the income distribution in the United States has an almost 50 percent chance of remaining there, and almost 67 percent, if Black cf.

Krugman, Recent research findings support the conclusion that there is less class mobility in the U. Nevertheless, other data suggest the seemingly contradictory phenomenon that we really do not believe this to be the case. Class awareness, though not much discussed, appears to exist Stuber, , with those who identify as working class being most sensitive to and conscious of class differences.

Doing Social Class As with gender, social class is a social construction, and can be described in terms of what persons do, that is, in terms of performance. Social class, notes Langston , p. Tough, , p. I have often shared the experience described by Vanderbosch as she watched a group of preppy students in Harvard Square. That entitled air. That they had been born to inherit the earth. Raffo , p. It was not just the clothes — expensive scarves, jewelry, and jackets — but the behavior and attitude.

Consistent with such findings are data on expectations. Aries and Seider , for example, found important differences in occupational aspirations between affluent and lower income students attending the same selective private college. The former looked forward to doctoral and professional degrees leading to careers as professors or in law or medicine, consistent with the work done by their parents. The students from lowincome families anticipated jobs in teaching or counseling. Middle-class male targets were given a clean appearance, were dressed in a sport coat with tie, and were identified as an accountant, real-estate agent, bank manager or high school principal.

Unequal Access to Resources Power is derived from access to resources. Social class position is associated with the distribution of political and economic influence and access to all essential resources — food, medical care, shelter, education, and income. Ehrenreich, a. Each of us comes face to face with a remarkable and well accepted symbol of class divisions in the U. Recent cost-cutting measures have affected the meals and wine.

At some airports, first-class passengers are sent ahead of others in security lines. On recent United Airlines flights, I was amused and disheartened to notice that first-class passengers had red carpets to walk on when entering the departure gates — silly but discomfortingly symbolic. Ip, The top tenth of the highest earning 1 percent , individuals had nearly as much income as the million Americans who comprise the economic lower half Johnston, b.

In , the highest rate at which U. And, according to the Government Accountability Office, two-thirds of all U. Browning, , taking advantage of legal tax-code allowances and deductions. Thus, it is perhaps not surprising to learn, from data gathered from a country study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, that the United States had the highest rate of inequality and poverty after Mexico and Turkey cf.

Family earnings remain correlated with family ethnicity. Median household incomes in reported by the Census Bureau cf. Home ownership among Blacks is 47 percent, among Latinos The subprime mortgage crisis of has hit minorities of color the hardest. The Gini index, which summarizes income distribution across all incomes, ranges from 0 for perfect equality to 1 for perfect inequality. In , it was.

Census Bureau, Among the million inhabitants of the U. In these households, at least one adult is employed outside the home. There is considerable criticism of the way that the federal poverty threshold is calculated since it seriously underestimates the number who are poor. Established in by the Social Security Administration, the level is obtained by multiplying by three the amount a family is said to need for basic, minimally adequate, food.

Critics such as the Columbia University National Center for Children in Poverty maintain that families need twice the calculated official poverty level to meet their basic needs cf. Satyanarayana, Inequality in access to resources is seen clearly in statistical data. Social class as culture can be seen in a report of a summer vacation by one of the high school senior girls studied by Bettie Once a year, Brenda and her mother went to Discovery Park.

Despite its name, this was not an amusement park, but just a park with picnic tables by the river. Among the very poor in the United States are families eligible for some form of public assistance. Working-Class and Low-Income Families It is ironic that until the recent widespread economic recession while they were almost entirely absent from the rhetoric of mainstream politicians and legislators, and from the entertainment media, considerable public attention was paid to working-class people and poor or low-income families in the context of public costs and budgets. In this context, they are the subject of media and public policy concern and scrutiny, and social science study.

Included in this very broad category is a wide spectrum of adults — those who work for wages not salaries at union or non-union jobs, blueor pink-collar jobs, those who work full time at low-income jobs, those working part time without benefits, and those who cycle in and out of such public assistance programs as food stamps or Medicaid and whose families would not survive without them. When the poor are thought of, the faces that often come to mind for many in the United States are those of urban ethnic minorities. But 68 percent of families below the poverty line in the U.

Research substantiates the conclusion that low income is reliably associated with a vast array of negative psychological, physical, health, educational, and political correlates. In addition to low wages — inadequate purchasing power — there are related problems that are not likely to beset those with higher incomes — frequent layoffs, job instability, and lack of incentives and benefits, including sick pay.

Nearly half of the full-time workers in private industry get no paid sick days; among the lowest quarter of wage-earners, 80 percent get no sick days Herbert, a. In addition, involuntary part-time employment with no benefits described the work status of 3. Lowincome families face a problem that is hard to imagine if you are middle class — until you meet with economic adversity — and that is how to feed a family with sufficient, and good-quality food. A new concept introduced by the U. In the United States, Mozes, Substituted are less expensive emptycalorie foods high in sugar and starch.

A correlation between obesity and social class is thus understandable. While families with incomes that are percent of the poverty level are eligible for federal food stamps under a program begun in , half of such families are not receiving them. The reasons for this include lack of information about benefits and unclear eligibility rules Hotokainen, In my state Rhode Island , food stamp recipients are subjected to a discouraging bureaucracy, needing to re-enroll every 6 months, having to fill out lengthy forms, and being offered difficult hours and sites for sign-up.

The conditions of working-class and low-income life shape daily experience in myriad ways, in intersection always with ethnicity, age, and particular contexts — the schools, the health care system, the law, and so on. Housing Low-income families cannot readily afford to buy a home. The mortgage crisis of the first decade of the 21st century hit poor communities the hardest and caused the largest loss of wealth for minority homeowners in U.

Lenders in the mortgage industry took advantage of aspirations to offer complex, deviously presented, unclear, and dishonest mortgage contracts to poor and minority families. Between and , high-cost sub-prime loans were made to 55 percent of Black borrowers compared with 17 percent of White borrowers cf. Singletary, The irony of these data, and their consequences, is captured by a cartoon Wasserman, that first appeared in The Boston Globe. Two men in business suits are hurrying away from a disaster scene in which people and household objects have been buried.

A related pressing issue that affects low-income families is the scant availability of affordable rental housing. This is a nationwide urban and rural problem. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that, in , 6 million households lived in substandard housing or had to use most of their monthly income to pay for housing cf.

Pugh, These families received no federal rent assistance. There are long waiting lists for housing subsidies sometimes two or three years that currently go to only 25 percent of eligible families. Low-income residents are forced out of their communities to make way for trendy restaurants, boutiques, and tenants who can afford higher rents or the purchase of a home.

Contributing to this outcome are structural inequalities that impact schools as well as the failure of schools to confront the existence of social class. Yet, social class predicts teacher perceptions and expectations of students and their families. These data confirm findings from other research.

Cultures, Subcultures, and Countercultures: Crash Course Sociology #11

What poor students and their parents are likely to learn about themselves is that they are not as capable as others or that they are potential troublemakers or criminals Kincheloe, The very resources that would enrich the educational experiences of low-income children are typically in short supply because of the ways that public school districts are financed. There are consequences that follow from such inequities.

As noted by Johnston a, p. Students who were clear in their expressed desire for caring and competent teachers and instruction were, instead, going to schools with inadequate materials, rapid teacher turnover, and non-responsive administrators. Kincheloe and Steinberg , p. One can quite quickly discern the impediments to learning. This begins as they start the school day and have to wait to be allowed inside and into police-patrolled hallways. The message is that students in some neighborhoods are not to be trusted Pastor et al.

Herbert, b documents systematic mistreatment of students in low-income schools by resident police who belittle, curse at, search, humiliate, and improperly touch students. It is clear that children in schools with fewer resources have considerably different and less positive or enriching educational experiences than those in schools with greater resources and, beyond that, are more likely to learn hopelessness and distrust.

The lessons learned by low-income students in elementary school and high school are largely repeated in institutions of higher education. Summarizing the available data, Duffy , para. Bergerson , p. They, their families and their peers speak the language of higher education, understand how admissions processes work, and are aware of scholarships and financial aid options. Additional aspects of social capital not readily available to low-income students are learning opportunities such as those derived from summer internships, research assistantships, and study abroad Konigsberg, Lowincome high school students need to use their summers to earn money in whatever jobs they can find — affording them learning opportunities of a different kind.

A study of elite colleges cf. Harvard and Yale, in announcing a new policy to make their colleges more affordable, will actually make more financial aid available to upper-middle-class applicants. Two-year community colleges are attended by 6. Many of these students also have parttime or full-time jobs and many end up dropping out of school. Lenders, in making borrowing difficult or impossible for some students, hurt those who need the most help to stay in school.

Without such financial assistance, low-income students must leave school or take on additional jobs. A two-year study of New York City high schoolers making postgraduation plans J. Bloom, found that many working-class students were anxious and confused about going to college — with lack of money their biggest obstacle. The average yearly cost of attending a public four-year college is nearly 60 percent of the income of a low-income family. Thus, poor students must borrow more than more affluent students, resulting in a greater pay-back burden, and greater fear of taking out loans.

Financial aid forms request information about family cars, mortgages, and investments that may be meaningless and unnerving to poor students. The reality of such challenges and risks is revealed by studies of college students e. Markers that indicate who does and does not belong in the college are both implicit and overt. A report by the Government Accounting Office , p. Lower-income individuals experience higher rates of chronic illness, disease, and disabilities, and also die younger than those who have higher incomes.

Harris, In , This number includes full-time workers and more than 8 million children. In addition, and less often discussed, is that 25 million in the U. A survey by the Commonwealth Fund found reports of high deductibles and out-ofpocket medical expenses, as reported in a New York Times editorial Editorial, , para. Many of those surveyed had put off seeing a doctor when sick, failed to fill prescriptions or skipped tests, treatments and preventive care.

About half had difficulty paying their bills; many took out loans, mortgages or credit card debt to pay them. Higher rates of all major diseases and mortality are found among low-income households. Socioeconomic status is reliably and consistently correlated with health outcomes and disease, and the material and psychosocial conditions that influence this relationship begin early in development Kroenke, Among the suspected correlates of the poor health of low-income people is the greater probability of exposure to air pollutants.

Exposure to disproportionately high levels of pollution is positively correlated with rates of childhood asthma Little,