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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 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 Ethnic Dilemmas in Comparative Perspective: An Overview

Ethnic Dilemmas in Comparative Perspective: An Overview


The papers which comprise this volume were produced by a group of these nationally known scholars who are engaged in research on comparative aspects of ethnicity and ethnic group behavior. Organized around a series of themes which run through the extant comparative ethnicity literature and which reflect the expertise and current research foci of the conference presenters, the volume is divided into five parts

Part I addresses issues related to "Ethnic Assimilation, Segregation, and Neighborhood Change."

Part II of the volume addresses issues related to labor markets and entrepreneurship.

Part III of this volume addresses issues related to ethnic political and electoral behavior.

Part IV of this volume focuses on racial/ethnic issues in higher education.

Part V of the book, which we've entitled "Comparative Ethnicity in Society," addresses a number of pertinent dilemmas which have received considerable attention in both the local and national news media.

Cover page of Ethnic Preferences and Neighborhood Transitions

Ethnic Preferences and Neighborhood Transitions


In the past decade there has been a growing literature focused on explaining the patterns of residential separation in U.S. metropolitan areas. The research of two decades ago which focused on the locational structure of the mono-centric city represented by studies by Alonso (1964), Mills (1967), Muth (1969) and Wingo (1961) was mostly concerned with the way in which land uses as a whole are structured in the city. There was much less attention directed to the issues of residential separation, especially the separation of ethnic areas within metropolitan areas.

In the last dozen years at least three research streams have developed to explore the issue of residential patterning and neighborhood change. One of these streams considers neighborhood change as the outcome of a set of exogenous factors such as income, population growth, changing job locations and housing change.

A second research stream also includes exogenous economic factors additionally includes the role of racially biased household preferences, racial discrimination in the functioning of the housing market and by extension in the transition of neighborhoods.

The third research stream specifically examines the way in which discrimination affects the patterns of separation.

Paralleling the debates about the factors which influence the nature of residential change and residential separation are empirical studies of residential change itself. An important aspect of understanding residential change is residential behavior and the resulting changes in residential separation. Much of the emphasis has been on the role of tipping and explanations of tipping.

Cover page of Recent Racial Incidents in Higher Education: A Contemporary Perspective

Recent Racial Incidents in Higher Education: A Contemporary Perspective


In recent years,there has been a resurgence of racial/ethnic conflict at predominantly White institutions of higher education. Incidents of harassment and violence at the University of Michigan, the University of Massachusetts and other campuses have highlighted the continuing racial/ethnic divisions among majority and minority students (Wilkerson 1988; Farrell 1988a and 1988b; Simpson 1987; Williams 1987). These incidents have emerged during a period when the society, in general, has expressed concern about the declining enrollment of racial minorities -- particularly Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans -- and, to a lesser extent, Asians, in higher education. Therefore, it is ironic that those minority students already enrolled in predominantly White institutions of higher education are experiencing increasing levels of racial/ethnic discrimination and feelings of isolation.

To that end, this paper is a preliminary attempt to develop a perspective on this apparently worsening situation. In order to establish a contemporary understanding of this problem, a general content analytical technique was employed to delineate the most significant contemporary issues/factors surrounding racial/ethnic incidents on the campuses of predominantly White institutions of higher education (Borg and Gall 1979; Babbie 1983). Content analysis has been determined to be an effective tool for monitoring social change. During the past year, there has been an emergence of reportorial interest in racial/ethnic conflict on White university campuses, thus the employment of this technique. The basic approach was to examine the patterns of focus in selected newspapers and related publications and to summarize emergent themes and trends.

For the purpose of this qualitative analysis, a national newspaper, The New York Times, a local newspaper and selected black-oriented newspapers were reviewed for the calendar years 1987 through June, 1988. In addition, related books, articles and periodicals on higher education issues also were assessed. The specific objectives of this investigation were to:

- to provide an overview of minority students on White college campuses,

- to examine the general perceptions of racism in contemporary society,

- to determine the scope of racial/ethnic incidents on campus of predominantly White institutions of higher education, and

- to assess prospects for change.

The main results of this analysis indicate that Blacks were the primary minority group impacted by these "reported" racial incidents, but Hispanics and Asians also have been found to be experiencing increased levels of 'actual" and "perceived"racial discrimination. Native Americans have not emerged in this content analysis as being victims of "reported" racial incidents in contemporary higher education.

Cover page of Place, Politics and Ethnicity in the Contemporary American City

Place, Politics and Ethnicity in the Contemporary American City


The purpose of this essay is to discuss the impacts of ethnicity in the politics of the contemporary American city. The importance of ethnicity is seen as derivative of the structure of local politics in the United States and the processes which have resulted in the establishment and maintenance of ethnic identities and communities in American cities. As such, the paper is intended to provide a context for the remaining papers in this session which focus on the recent political behavior of specific ethnic groups in particular cities.

Cover page of Alternative Thesis of Minority Mobility: Comparing Los Angeles County West Indians and Chinese

Alternative Thesis of Minority Mobility: Comparing Los Angeles County West Indians and Chinese


For several decades an argument has raged over the determinants of minority mobility. This paper reviews competing theses in this argument. It then relates hypotheses deriving from the competing theses to empirical findings on West Indians and the Chinese population of Los Angeles County.

Cover page of Exclusion of the Majority: Shrinking College Access and Public Policy in Metropolitan Los Angeles

Exclusion of the Majority: Shrinking College Access and Public Policy in Metropolitan Los Angeles


This paper focuses on educational mobility, particularly racial or ethnic minority group access to institutions of higher learning in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In America education determines opportunities for jobs and income, and therefore is the principal avenue through which the tremendous inequalities among groups in the population can be reconciled. If all people have equal access to education, then the present racial or ethnic group based inequalities will not persist. To the extent that inequalities would continue to exist, they would not be based on race or ethnicity but increasingly on actual differences in merit. If, on the other hand, the opposite were true, that is, there was no equal opportunity for schooling and discrimination persisted even when non-Whites dedicated themselves to education, then the idea of equal opportunity would give way to questions about the legitimacy of the entire system. Instead of offering a genuine chance, the educational process would be a part of a self-perpetuating cycle of inequality, all the more damaging because it encouraged people within it to believe that they were being prepared for an equal chance,leaving them to blame themselves when they failed.

Our research in large American metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles,suggests that equal educational opportunity does not exist across racial lines and that most Black and Hispanic students are educated in ways that are much closer to self-perpetuating cycles of inequality than to genuine preparation for mainstream opportunities for college or jobs. If this is true, the full potential of most of the young people in metropolitan Los Angeles is not being developed and the long-term potential for social and political conflict from the groups that are excluded is very severe.

Cover page of Some Problems in the Sociology of the Ethnic Economy

Some Problems in the Sociology of the Ethnic Economy


If we consider Marx an economist, then Weber and Simmel were the first major sociologists to devote considerable attention to the causes and consequences of the economic behavior of religious and ethnic groups. As is known, one of Weber's major interests was the part played by different religious groups in the development of rational capitalism in the West (Weber 1958). Weber concluded that adherents of Calvinism and other Protestant sects were possessed of a worldly asceticism which was highly consonant with the requirements of modern capitalism. Elsewhere, Weber pondered a related issue, to wit, why "no modern and distinctively industrial bourgeoisie of any significance emerged among the Jews" (1964, p. 249). Weber's answer adduced, among other things, that a serious study of Jewish law was more compatible with such pursuits as moneylending and that the institution of the dowry "favored the establishing of the Jewish groom at marriage as a small merchant" (1964, p. 255). Another reason why, in Weber's view, industrial production was not a favored activity among Jews was the dual ethic: "what is prohibited in relation to one's brothers is permitted in relation to strangers" (1964, p. 250). As a result of the dual ethic, the Jew, unlike the Calvinist, found it "difficult... to demonstrate his ethical merit by means of characteristically modern business behavior" (1964, p. 252).

As for Simmel, he saw the European Jews' tendency to engage in trade as being inextricably related to their status as "strangers" in society. As he put it (1964, p. 403): Throughout the history of economics the stranger everywhere appears as the trader, or the trader as stranger... Trade can always absorb more people than primary production; it is, therefore, the sphere indicated for the stranger, who intrudes as a supernumerary, so to speak, into a group in which the economic positions are actually occupied -- the classical example is the history of European Jews.

The impact of Weber's and, especially, Simmel's pioneering ideas regarding ethnicity and economic behavior is discernible early in U.S. sociology. The notion of the "trader as a stranger" is found in the work of Park (1950a, 1950b), Wirth (1928), and Stonequist (1937). Becker's book (1956) devoted an entire chapter to "middleman trading peoples," in which he discusses, among other things, the concept of the "dual ethic." For reasons not entirely clear, interest in the sociology of ethnic economic behavior remained dormant for a while, but reappeared in the 1950's (Cahnman 1957; Rinder 1958; Stryker 1959; Blalock 1967). This interest persists today under the leadership of Bonacich, Light, and Portes, among others. As a result, a considerable body of writings has emerged. Although this literature has added to our knowledge, it suffers from some problems. There are issues which have not been explored sufficiently, discrepancies regarding important concepts, contradictions, and dubious assumptions. In brief, the field of study seems to be in need of careful reexamination. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate such a reasses- sment.

Cover page of Racial and Ethnic Politics in America

Racial and Ethnic Politics in America


In this paper I examine the conditions under which racial and ethnic groups in America express their group identities through political action. Toward this end, I review first the socio-economic status model of political and electoral participation. In the discussion of this model, I open up for consideration the much broader range of types of political participation possible in society. I then hypothesize that there are an enormous variety of stimuli possible which provoke group based electoral and political behavior, and based on the political participation model -- an alternative model introduced in Race and Ethnicity in Chicago Politics (Pinderhughes 1987) -- briefly discuss some of the factors which explain their existence. Finally, using Black political behavior as an example, I specify some of the ways in which extensive group based political mobilization has occurred in the U.S.

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.