Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community by David J. O'Brien, Stephen S. Fugita

By David J. O'Brien, Stephen S. Fugita

Why perform a little teams continue their ethnicity as they turn into assimilated into mainstream American lifestyles whereas others don't? This research employs either old resources and modern survey info to give an explanation for the seeming paradox of why eastern americans have maintained excessive degrees of ethnic neighborhood involvement whereas turning into structurally assimilated. most standard methods to the examine of ethnicity within the usa are according to the eu immigrant event and finish zero-sum dating exists among assimilation and retention of ethnicity: neighborhood unity weakens as structural assimilation grows more desirable. jap americans, notwithstanding, like American Jews, don't healthy this pattern.

The uncomplicated thesis of this booklet is that the upkeep of ethnic group cohesion, the method of assimilation, and the reactions of an ethnic staff to outdoors forces needs to be understood in gentle of the interior social association of the ethnic crew, which are traced to middle cultural orientations that predate immigration. although usually excluded from mainstream financial possibilities, jap american citizens have been in a position to shape quasi-kin relationships of belief, upon which enduring staff financial relatives may be established. the ensuing ethnic financial system and petit bourgeois relations adventure fostered the values of labor, deferred gratification, and different views conductive to luck in mainstream society.

This ebook should be of curiosity to sociologist and psychologist learning ethnicity, neighborhood association, and intergenerational switch; and to someone attracted to the japanese American adventure from an financial or political standpoint, Asian American reports, or social historical past of the United States.

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The key elements in this culture are not language, religion, or other aspects of ethnicity, which sociologists typicalJy emphasize when they describe ethnic culture (and acculturation), but rather a set of guidelines for structuring social relationships. Our thesis is that these cultural guidelines for structuring social relationships playa critical role in understanding both the structural assimilation and the contemporary retention of ethnicity among Japanese Americans. , 1978; Goldscheider and Kobrin, 1980).

Nevertheless, the japanese might have used other strategies for achieving economic mobility if this level of discrimination had not existed. This interpretation is supported by the fact that japanese Americans moved in large numbers into professional occupations once discriminatory barriers were lowered after World War II. The general impact of discrimination before the war was to force the emergence and institutionalization of a parallel community. This does not mean that japanese Americans were completely isolated from Caucasian society.

We will argue that ethnic cultures also vary with respect to how their internal mechanisms permit adjustment to the changing conditions brought on by structural assimilation. Specifically, we will show that key cultural ideas, manifested in well-defined social organizational forms, created a specific kind of adaptation by the Japanese to the exigencies of American society both at the time of their immigration and later. While recognizing the role of structural forces in placing Japanese Americans in a particular economic niche in American society, it is our position that their ability to exploit the opportunities in such a niche is based on the culture the immigrants brought with them from japan.

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