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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 Politics of Cultural Diversity: Racial and Ethnic Mass Attitudes in California

The Politics of Cultural Diversity: Racial and Ethnic Mass Attitudes in California


It is hardly debatable that race and ethnicity play a critical role in American society and politics (Myrdal 1944; Dahl 1972). Even in the face of myriad civil rights laws at the state, local, and federal levels, racial and ethnic inequalities persist (Wilson 1987). This condition is compounded by the fact that America is undergoing significant changes in terms of its ethnic and racial composition (Glazer 1985; Kitano and Daniels 1988). Recent estimates suggest that non-Hispanic Whites will cease to be a numerical majority sometime in the early 21st century and that the state of California is at the forefront of this trend (Bouvier and Gardener 1986).

One of the more fundamental questions about the dynamics of ethnic diversity concerns its impact on American politics. Social scientists have tended to concentrate on the behavioral aspects between and among the various American racial and ethnic groups.Thus there is ample literature on Black political participation (Browning, Marshall and Tabb 1984; Danigelis 1978; 1982; Gilliam and Bobo 1988; Gutterbock and London 1983; Jackson 1987; London and Hearn 1977; Miller 1982; Olsen 1970; Shingles 1981; and Verba and Nie 1972). There has also been work done comparing the participation levels and styles of Blacks and Mexican-Americans (Antunes and Gaitz 1975; Lovrich and Marenin 1976). Moreover, in the last ten or so years some research has focused solely on Mexican-American participatory behavior (Buehler 1977; Flores 1986; MacManus and Cassel 1982; Welch 1977; Welch, Comer and Steinman 1975). Most recently, studies have begun to emerge which examine participatory behavior among Asian-Americans (Nakanishi 1986) and which analyze differential participation rates and styles among several racial and ethnic minorities (Uhlaner, Cain and Kiewiet 1987). The social science literature on race and ethnicity, however, has been conspicuously silent on the consequences of ethnic diversity for mass orientations towardpolitics.1

The central focus of this paper is on the extent to which racial and ethnic differences account for variations in mass political attitudes. In other words, are group differences manifest as differential policy preferences both between and within groups? To answer this question, I analyze attitudinal divergence among Whites, Blacks, Mexican-Americans, and several Asian-American groups in the state of California. I begin by reviewing three theoretical perspectives on cultural integration in the United States. After a brief discussion of data and methodological issues, I utilize multivariate regression models to test hypotheses generated by the literature.

Cover page of On the Costs of Being American Indian: Ethnic Identity and Economic Opportunity

On the Costs of Being American Indian: Ethnic Identity and Economic Opportunity


This paper examines the assimilation of American Indians, specifically in relation to the role that economic discrimination has played in making American Indians one of the poorest groups in American society. The relationship between assimilation and discrimination is particularly important in this context. As assimilation increases, discrimination should decrease and the economic position of the assimilated group, American Indians, should improve. Conversely, those groups least assimilated into American society bear the brunt of racial and ethnic discrimination, and their economic position should be correspondingly lower than more assimilated minorities.

American Indians are a particularly interesting group among whom to examine these ideas. This is because it is possible to identify, in empirical data,distinct groups of persons with American Indian background that are more or less assimilated into American society. In studying the ways in which assimilation and discrimination affect the economic standing of American Indians, this research will address two closely related questions: 1) to what extent are American Indians assimilated into mainstream culture, and to what extent are different levels of assimilation manifest in different types of American Indian ethnic identities; and 2) what are the economic "penalties" assessed on persons who decline to assimilate into the mainstream culture?

Cover page of Local Economy and Ethnic Entrepreneurs

Local Economy and Ethnic Entrepreneurs


In reaction to current emphasis upon internal, supply-side causes, some entrepreneurship researchers have recommended a balancing stress upon the neglected demand-side. Thus, Waldinger, Ward and Aldrich (1985, p. 589) observe that a "common objection to cultural analysis" is its lack of attention to "the economic environment in which immigrant entrepreneurs function." Instead of this lop-sided treatment, they recommend "an interactive approach" which looks at the "congruence between the demands of the economic environment and the informal resources of the ethnic population."Since they wrote, this reaction has achieved the strength of a movement of thought in the entrepreneurship literature (see Morokvasic, Phizacklea, and Waldinger, 1987, p. 6). In principle, a compensatory reaction to cultural analysis is appropriate as a complete explanation of immigrant or ethnic entrepreneurship demands attention to both the demand side and the supply side. Lop-sided explanations must be partial, incomplete, and to that extent wrong.

Cover page of Race, Ethnicity and Employment, 1970-1985

Race, Ethnicity and Employment, 1970-1985


Published government statistics and social science research have documented employment trends for the 1960-1980 period. During the 1960s, the percentage of Black, White, and other men who worked full-year (48 or more weeks per year) increased, and the gap between Blacks and Whites, and Whites and others narrowed (Smith and Welch 1986; Sandefur and Pahari 1987). This improvement did not continue in the 1970s, however, and the percentage of Black, White and other men who worked full-year declined while the percentage who worked none at all increased. Further, the gap in the employment of Whites and Blacks increased.

Most observers attribute the gains of the 1960s to economic growth and to improvements in the average level of education of minority group members (Smith and Welch 1986). The 1970s, on the other hand, was a period of inflation, recessions, and little growth in jobs. In addition, the ranks of those seeking employment increased with the coming of age of the baby boom generation and the increase in job-seeking among women. This made finding employment much more difficult than it had been during the 1960s. The evidence also suggests that Blacks, because of their over-representation in marginal jobs, were hurt more by the problems of the 1970s than were Whites (Wilson 1987).

Most of the research on these trends in employment has concentrated on Blacks and Whites, because these are the two largest racial groups in American society and because data on these groups is more readily available. The limited amount of research on other groups such as Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans indicates that their experiences diverge from those of both Blacks and Whites (see, for example, Hirschman 1988; Sandefur and Pahari 1987). The purpose of this paper is to examine racial differences in trends in employment more carefully. We address two major questions: (1) Have the racial/ethnic differences in employment increased or declined since 1970? and, (2) Have differences in employment across educational groups increased or declined since 1970?

Cover page of Residential Segregation and Acculturation: An Examination of Patterns in California in 1980

Residential Segregation and Acculturation: An Examination of Patterns in California in 1980


This paper will focus on two elements of the expanded version of the assimilation model: acculturation and residential segregation. If, as Gordon has postulated, acculturation is a precursor to other forms of assimilation, there should be a statistically significant association between acculturation and segregation. Specifically, minority groups that measure high on acculturation should be less segregated from the dominant population than groups that score low on acculturation

Cover page of Blacks and Cubans in Metropolitan Miami's Changing Economy

Blacks and Cubans in Metropolitan Miami's Changing Economy


The exponential growth in selected Sunbelt cities since 1960 is now well documented, and metropolitan Miami is recognized as one of the acknowledged targets of Sunbelt growth and development. What is less often acknowledged, is the impact of the transformation of such places on segments of the residential population. In this paper, primary attention will be directed at two subpopulations -- Blacks and Cubans residing in metropolitan Miami just prior to the takeoff era. At the time of takeoff, Blacks represented a quasi-caste population whose role in the Miami economy was typical of that of Blacks in the economy of the urban South, a peripheral one. Cubans, on the other hand, were just beginning to enter the metropolitan economy in substantial numbers and the first wave of migrants from Cuba had yet to make its impact felt. After the passage of almost a generation it is fitting to examine how well metropolitan miami's two primary ethnic minorities have fared in penetrating, and/or altering the metropolitan economy.

Cover page of Ethnicity and Gender in the Global Periphery: A Comparison of Basotho and Navajo Women

Ethnicity and Gender in the Global Periphery: A Comparison of Basotho and Navajo Women


In this paper I attempt to crystalize a number of issues which pertain to the economic roles of women in peripheral areas of the world. To accomplish this goal, I draw on my own ethnographic field research among the Basotho women of southern Africa and the Navajo women of the American Southwest. The comparative analysis of women's economic roles in these two non-contiguous regions is guided by and incorporates several dimensions of world system theory. More specifically, included in the analysis are considerations of the interrelationship among, core, periphery, and semi periphery; and the intersection of class, ethnicity, and gender in the functioning of the economic systems of these two societies.

Cover page of Changing Chicano Gangs: Acculturation, Generational Change, Evolution of Deviance or Emerging Underclass?

Changing Chicano Gangs: Acculturation, Generational Change, Evolution of Deviance or Emerging Underclass?


In this paper I will focus on changes between the 1950s and 1970s. Our data are drawn from a sample of men and women (157 persons in all) who were members of two major East Los Angeles gangs during their adolescence. Few researchers have considered gangs as long-lasting or quasi-institutionalized groups, but when we consider the differences between the two cohorts in family characteristics, behavior and values, at least three distinct interpretations are possible.

First, since the earlier gang members were largely children of Mexican immigrants and the parents of later members were born in the United States, we would expect the older cliques to be more "Mexican" and the younger, more acculturated. To some extent this also implies that the more 'Mexican' families may be more likely to be traditional.The younger ones may be more likely to be disorganized.

Second, it might be argued that the gang is a 'deviant," and hence socially isolated group,with its own subculture. As such, we might expect that deviant group subculture to evolve on its own.

Finally, it may be that today's gangs are developing into a fraction of an emergent underclass in these Chicano communities, parallel to developments in Black communities elsewhere in the nation (cf. Wilson 1987).

To deal with these interpretations we must first describe the major differences we found between older and younger cliques in three basic respects: (1) family background; (2) behavior and values relating to the gang; and (3) current status. Throughout this discussion, 'older members' will mean those cliques of the gang active in the 1950s. The "younger members" are those active in the 1970s.

Cover page of New York City's Informal Economy

New York City's Informal Economy


A central question for theory and policy is whether the formation and expansion of informal sectors in advanced industrialized countries is the result of conditions created by advanced capitalism. Rather than assume that Third World immigration is causing informalization, we need a critical examination of the role it may or may not play in this process. Immigrants, in so far as they tend to form communities, may be in a favorable position to seize the opportunities represented by informalization. But the opportunities are not necessarily created by immigrants. They may well be a structured outcome of current trends in the advanced industrialized economies. Similarly, what are perceived as backward sectors of the economy may or may not be remnants from an earlier phase of industrialization; they may well represent a downgrading of work involving growing sectors of the economy. This type of inquiry requires an analytical differentiation of immigration, informalization and characteristics of the current phase of advanced industrialized economies. That should allow us to establish the differential impact of (a) immigration and (b) conditions in the economy at large on the formation and expansion of informal sectors.

The research on the informal sector in New York City seeks to contribute information on these various questions. The working hypothesis is that the current phase of the advanced industrialization contains conditions that induce the formation of an informal sector in large cities. There are two distinct methodological components to the study. One is concerned with identifying conditions in the major growth sectors that may induce informalization. This analysis has been completed (Sassen-Koob 1981; 1984a). The other is concerned with identifying the characteristics of the informal sector itself. This paper reports on this part of the study and the findings for New York.

Cover page of Mexican Labor in Los Angeles

Mexican Labor in Los Angeles


This paper examines the status of Mexican labor in Los Angeles since 1970, the period of extraordinary growth. Historically, mexican workers were an integral but subordinate part of the Southwest in general (Briggs, Fogel and Schmidt 1977; Barrera 1987) and Los Angeles in particular (Romo 1983), but it is only recently that they have reemerged as a major component of the region's labor force. Approximately one in four workers in Los Angeles is now Mexican. This study analyzes both the immigrant workers, whose economic plight has been highly publicized, and the American-born Mexicans, the Chicanos, who had until recently constituted the majority of the Mexican labor force. Although the typical Mexican worker is at the bottom of the economy, the group as a whole is diverse in terms of economic status, as the data presented later in this paper will show.

This paper examines the issue of inequality, along with providing a general background on the Mexican labor force, and is divided into four parts. Part I examines the growth in the supply of Mexican labor. The major factor has been immigration; nonetheless, Chicano workers remain a significant proportion of the labor force. Part II examines the characteristics of Mexican labor, which on the average is younger and less educated than Anglo labor, and possess lower English language skills. Part III examines their economic position in Los Angeles' economy. On the whole, Mexicans can be characterized as low-wage workers situated in less stable parts of the economy. Part IV examines the determinants of labor market status. The low economic status of both immigrants and Chicanos is the product of inadequate education and on-the-job training, wage discrimination, and racial barriers that hinder the acquisition of human capital. For immigrants and new entrants into the economy this is further compounded by a changing structure of employment opportunities.