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ERIC Number: ED241654
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jan
Pages: 60
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Asian American Middleman Minority Theory. The Constructional Framework of an American Myth. Draft.
Wong, Eugene Franklin
This paper questions the applicability of middleman minority theory to Chinese and Japanese Americans. The constructional elements of the theory, in its American form, are analyzed in the context of Chinese and Japanese American economic, social, and political conditions. The ethnic group triad (elite-middleman minority-masses) is identified and viewed against actual dyadic ethnic relations. The "model minority" thesis is seen as a link between the presumed middle-class status of the two Asian American groups and the existence of a competitive discriminatory pathology, the primal ingredient of which is proof of one's deprived minority status. This hierarchy of relative social deprivation is suggested as the structural mechanism through which a socioeconomic status bias serves as the estimation of the status of minority groups. (That bias is emphasized by the conspicuous absence of its sociopolitical counterpart, sociopolitical status.) Lastly, the theory is reduced to its central theme: occupational "liquidity" as a function of sojourning. The assumption that Chinese and Japanese Americans are "sojourners," or "strangers," whose occupational preferences are determined by that orientation is challenged. It is argued that the classification and depiction of those two groups as "middleman minorities" are untenable, inaccurate, and based on myth. (Author/CMG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A