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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Here you will find a comprehensive list of the Working Papers for the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). The Institute for Social Science Research is a center for intellectual activity and basic research in the social sciences. We bring together faculty and students from a wide variety of disciplines, from the basic social science disciplines and the more applied programs in the professional schools alike. Our substantive focus is wide-ranging,including projects on the politics of race and ethnicity, poverty, immigration, public policy, social change, mass media, bureaucracy, ethnic identity in university life, and the political party system. Our particular strength lies in large-scale, interdisciplinary, quantitative research, but we welcome many smaller projects as well. A central component of this activity is the training of students to carry out such research, especially in the use of survey research and the secondary analysis of archived datasets.

Cover page of The UCLA Asian Pacific American Voter Registration Study

The UCLA Asian Pacific American Voter Registration Study


Asian Pacific American political involvement is not a new phenomenon, but it has clearly become a significant focus of attention for the Asian Pacific American population. Perhaps at no other period in Asian Pacific American history have so many individuals and organizations of different issue orientations participated in a wide array of political activities, especially in relation to American electoral politics, but also in the affairs of the Pacific Rim. At the same time, what has come to be taken as a quite expected occurrence in Hawaii, namely the election of Asian Pacific Americans to public office, has suddenly become a less than surprising novelty in the Mainland states with the election and appointment of Asian Pacific Americans to federal, state, and local positions in California and elsewhere. Most importantly, perhaps, Asian Pacific Americans have demonstrated that they, too, have resources and talents--financial, organizational, and otherwise--to advance their specific concerns in a host of political arenas, and to confront political issues and actions which are potentially damaging to their group interests and welfare. After decades of being politically disenfranchised because of laws preventing the naturalization of the pioneering immigrant generation, Asian Pacific Americans are now seeking access to major political institutions of our nation.

In many respects, our scholarly attention to this major community development has been extremely limited. Aside from the biannual Asian Pacific American National Roster: A Listing of Major Asian-Pacific American Elected and Appointed Officials, which is published by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and the occasional newspaper articles on the subject, we lack both empirical data and theoretical perspectives for assessing recent Asian Pacific American political activities, especially electoral involvement. In an effort to rectify this glaring gap in our knowledge about the contemporary Asian Pacific American experience, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Los Angeles, with funding and support from the Southwest Voter Registration Project of San Antonio and the Research Committee of the UCLA Academic Senate, sponsored this study of the voter registration and political party affiliation patterns of Asian Pacific Americans in Los Angeles County.

Cover page of Sex Ratio Imbalance Among Los Angeles Afro-Americans

Sex Ratio Imbalance Among Los Angeles Afro-Americans


This paper explores the social structural implications of a male shortage among Afro-Americans living in Los Angeles County, California from two perspectives: (1) the relationship between the sex ratio and selected hypothesized consequences of sex ratio imbalance and (2) the economic cost of non-marriage for women.

Cover page of The Social Coalition Character of the Democratic and Republican Precinct Cadres in Detroit, 1956-1984

The Social Coalition Character of the Democratic and Republican Precinct Cadres in Detroit, 1956-1984


Political parties are alliances of socio-economic interest groups. One cannot understand party organizational dynamics in any community without identifying the critical coalitional subgroups of the organization, assessing their relative strengths, and analyzing their ideologies and behaviors. This is a position we elaborated long ago in our 1956 Detroit study of the Republican and Democratic hierarchies (Eldersveld 1964). The effectiveness of party structures in electoral democracies depends on their linkages to the significant socio-economic interest sectors of the electorates whose support they seek to exploit and mobilize in order to acquire, and to remain in, power. Hence, the viability of local party cadres depends greatly on their capacity for adaptation to the changing character of their electorates. By adaptation we mean not only their response in terms of the numerical representation of social interests in precinct cadres, but also the qualitative performance of precinct cadres, and their orientations to party politics, including their ideological commitments.

It is most interesting, therefore, to study the changes in party cadres over time, concurrently with observations concerning the social and populational changes in a community. Of course, the focus in this must be not only on the changing social complexion of the party coalitions, but on the relationship of such change to the mobilist role of the party structures--are they continuously effective, are they still relevant, or are they in a state of decline? To try to answer such questions for Detroit, the studies we have conducted from 1956 to the present are of some utility. Periodically we have returned to Detroit to interview a sample of precinct leaders of both major parties; most recently in the fall of 1980, 1982, and 1984. Therefore, we can compare Detroit party cadres of the 1950s and the 1980s--a 30-year perspective.

Cover page of Beyond the Neighborhood: The Spatial Distribution of Social Ties in Three Urban Black Communities

Beyond the Neighborhood: The Spatial Distribution of Social Ties in Three Urban Black Communities


This paper explores the distribution of social ties within three black communities. We take seriously the notion that in order to study the personal communities of urbanites we must explore ties both inside and outside neighborhood boundaries. Using data on the interpersonal ties of 352 blacks residing in three contrasting study areas, we explore several questions. First, to what degree are ties neighborhood based or what we term, beyond the neighborhood? Second, are there sub-group differences in spatial location in these study areas; are differences for age, sex, education, and occupational status present? Third, we ask whether differences in the degree of neighborhood embeddedness occur for various attributes of ties; are they equally close, as frequently contacted, or contacted in different ways (i.e., personally or by phone)? Fourth, to what extent are kin, co-workers and co-members spatially dispersed? And finally, in what ways do ties beyond the neighborhood differ from those within the neighborhood in the type(s) of social support that they contain? These questions connect directly to issues surrounding the community question.

Cover page of Ethnic Officeholders and Party Activists in Los Angeles County

Ethnic Officeholders and Party Activists in Los Angeles County


This inquiry into ethnic participation in Los Angeles party politics starts with a look at the comparative success in gaining public office that representatives of five minority status groups have had since 1960. Specifically, the success in winning significant political office by candidates who are Latino, Black, Jewish, Asian and/or women has been quite different. It has been much more rapid for Jews than for Blacks, who in turn have outpaced Latinos, while Asians have had little success throughout the 27-year period. Further, women not linked to these ethnic communities have not done as well as women from ethnic communities in gaining public office.

In 1960, ethnic minorities held 5 percent of the most significant elective positions in Los Angeles County. By 1986, the ethnic communities of Los Angeles (Latino, Black, Jewish and Asian) provided 54 percent of the individuals holding the most significant elective positions. What developments in Los Angeles have led to this inclusion of ethnic minorities into the governing circles? By exploring some trends associated with the political inclusion of minorities in the elective arena, it is hoped that lines of inquiry will emerge which can help explain this phenomenon.

What follows is an examination of the trends associated with Latinos, Blacks and Jews gaining significant elective positions in each of the three stages. Asians are excluded from further analysis because of their lack of success. Specifically, the focus is on whether the positions gained were in districts which were at least one-third minority, recently reapportioned, vacant, or previously held by a like minority. In discussing these trends associated with minorities gaining significant elective positions in Los Angeles County, the election of each minority to a position that he or she had not previously held will consist of a case. Thus, an individual elected to an assembly, state senate and congressional position will be considered three times.

Cover page of Are the Characterisitcs of Exiles Different from Immigrants? The Case of Iranians in Los Angeles

Are the Characterisitcs of Exiles Different from Immigrants? The Case of Iranians in Los Angeles


The main objective of this paper is to use the Iranian case to test three hypotheses about the demographic, religious, and socioeconomic differences between immigrants and political refugees or exiles, which are commonly found in the literature. These hypotheses are tested by using data from the 1980 U.S. Census Public Use Microdata Sample for the 1975-80 and the pre-1975 Iranian immigrant cohorts. Our first hypothesis is that the 1975-80 immigrants include a higher proportion of religious minorities than the pre-1975 immigrants. Our second hypothesis is that the 1975-1980 cohort, composed of a large number of refugees, is much more balanced with respect to age and sex distribution than the pre-1975 cohort. The third hypothesis is that Iranians who arrived in 1975-80 had a higher socioeconomic achievement than those who came before that date. The analysis of data from the 1980 U.S. Census on immigration cohorts is preceded by a brief review of trends and types of Iranian immigration to the United States as documented by tabulations from the INS. While these tabulations pertain only to the United States, they also reflect immigration trends to Los Angeles, since this metropolitan area is the favored destination of Iranian immigrants to the United States.

Cover page of Learning About Bilingual, Multicultural Organizing

Learning About Bilingual, Multicultural Organizing


This paper is a reflection on several years' struggle to establish a federation of housing cooperatives in a low-income, multi-ethnic, bilingual community in Los Angeles. The history of this organization has significant implications for the study of multicultural organization in general, and for the modeling of multicultural, as opposed to assimilative or pluralistic, society. The concept of multiculturalism has grown in importance as the melting pot myths of the past and shortcomings of pluralism are fully exposed.

Cover page of Party Coalitions and Ethnic Divisions in a Multi-Ethnic City

Party Coalitions and Ethnic Divisions in a Multi-Ethnic City


Historically, the emergence of mass politics has depended upon a minimum of social heterogeneity (LaPalombara and Weiner 1966; Dahl 1966; Lipset and Rokkan 1967). Religious, economic, ethnic, linguistic, and regional differences provided social cleavages along which organizations, especially political ones, developed. The number, salience and centrality, and political significance of the cleavages varied among societies but the existence of differences, their expression as groups within the larger society, and their politicization are virtual constants. In all mass democracies, not excluding the United States, parties are instruments of collective action through which groups promote and protect interests which are not satisfied by the usual operation of the social structure and markets.

As a result, groups provide the working politician with a guide to the elec- torate, and it is the rare one who deals with it in any other fashion. The variety of groups with which parties and office-seekers must deal varies greatly among societies. In some cases the lines of cleavage are few and, relatively speaking, simple: parties coincide with a few groups, and sometimes only one. In other cases, supporters of a party are religiously, ethnically, racially, linguis- tically, and class heterogeneous; no group, however defined, represents more than a fraction of a party's supporters (Rose and Urwin 1969).

Whether their base is heterogeneous or homogeneous, politicians reinforce it through their appeals to the electorate. The heterogeneity of a party's support is, however, an important variable. Parties with a homogeneous clientele present a homogeneous programmatic face to the electorate because, ceteris paribus, the interests and concerns of their supporters are more focused. Heterogeneous par- ties, by contrast, enjoy agreement on a smaller number of issues because, again, ceteris paribus, the social and economic differences which divide their supporters also promote inconsistent issue agendas among them. The apparent programmatic vagueness of the American parties reflects the diversity of their coalitions.

Southern California is an appropriate observatory for the study of party coalitions because it offers an opportunity to examine further some political con- sequences of social heterogeneity. Two issues are examined in this paper. First, how is the social diversity of the electorate represented in the parties? Do the parties mobilize groups different from those in the national parties? Do the "new" ethnics have a particular impact on the coalitions? Second, how do the local parties represent the policy agendas of the groups that constitute their support base?

Cover page of Sources of Stress in Latino Women Experiencing Unemployment After a Plant Closure

Sources of Stress in Latino Women Experiencing Unemployment After a Plant Closure


A common assumption about women as laborers made in past unemployment research has been that their participation in the labor force is optional (Schlozman 1979). This assumption suggests that when unemployed, such women should be less susceptible than are males to personal, familial or social sources of stress (Rundquist and Sletto 1938). Additionally, this view suggests that women, especially Latino women, who are accustomed to the role of homemaker, should not object to job loss nor to a return to this role, particularly since they are supported by their husbands (Rundquist and Sletto 1936). However, current demographic data indicate that the number of Latino families headed and maintained by women have continued to increase since 1970. In 1983, women maintained 23 percent of Latino families (U.S. Department of Commerce 1984). Thus, the assumption must be questioned that participation in the labor force is entirely optional for Latino women, and that these women are not adversely affected by job loss. There is indeed a need to examine the nature and extent of the stress subsequent to job loss that affects unemployed Latino women.

Cover page of Post-Industrialization and the Social Organization of Afro-Trinidadian Immigrants in Los Angeles

Post-Industrialization and the Social Organization of Afro-Trinidadian Immigrants in Los Angeles


In this paper, the author examines the relationship between "post-industrialism" and patterns of social organization that may be observed among international migrants at the micro-level; more specifically, the connection between certain aspects of post-industrial technology such as innovations in telecommunications and transportation and the social organization of Caribbean immigrants, a subset of the New Immigrants to the United States. The intent is to draw attention to the idea of non-territorial social systems as an emerging social form in the post-industrial era. This paper focuses on the New Immigrants largely because the New Immigration has coincided with the development of the computerization and automation of information, communication and transportation infrastructures, which is to say, at a post-industrial moment in history.