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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 Blacks and Other Racial Minorities: The Significance of Color in Inequality

Blacks and Other Racial Minorities: The Significance of Color in Inequality


The major thesis of this paper is that the lower socioeconomic status of Blacks compared to Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans is due primarily to greater racial' discrimination against Blacks in housing. A critical result of this housing discrimination is reduced employment opportunities. Discrimination by Whites against the four racial/ethnic minority groups occurs along a continuum. Asians experience the least housing discrimination and as a consequence have greater employment opportunities. The level of discrimination increases from Asian to Hispanic[1] to Native American to Black.

The effect of such discrimination in housing is manifest in the varying degrees of minority group residential segregation and suburbanization. The differential patterns of residential segregation and suburbanization are related to the educational and employment opportunities available. These differential opportunities result in differential levels of income, education, and occupation.

Cover page of Meritocracy and Diversity in Higher Education: Discrimination Against Asian-Americans in the Post-Bakke Era

Meritocracy and Diversity in Higher Education: Discrimination Against Asian-Americans in the Post-Bakke Era


The primary purposes of this paper are: (1) to examine some of the recent changes in admission patterns and policies among some of the most prestigious institutions of higher education, especially recent moves away from strict meritocratic criteria to increasing reliance on subjective and non-academic criteria and on an emerging, but vaguely defined concept of "diversity," and (2) to determine the implications of these changes not only on the admissions and enrollments of Asian American students in these institutions but also on the time-honored principle of meritocracy upon which these so-called world-class universities have built their reputation of academic excellence. The scope of this study is severely limited by the closely guarded data and documents available to date as well as by the fact that the issue is complex and still unfolding. As a consequence, this study should therefore be considered a contribution to an ongoing public policy debate and its conclusions considered tentative.

Cover page of Ethnicity and the Politics of Growth in Monterey Park, California

Ethnicity and the Politics of Growth in Monterey Park, California


This paper offers one small but dramatic example of grassroots responses to urban restructuring. It is a case study of the politics of ethnicity and growth in Monterey Park, North America's first suburban Chinatown. Evolving after World War II from a predominantly white, middle class suburb into a multi-ethnic city, today Monterey Park has the highest concentration of Asians of any city in the United States.

Our research addresses two issues: (1) the development of the politics of growth and ethnicity in a multi-ethnic,middle class suburb undergoing rapid demographic and economic change as a result of the rapid influx of Asian people and capital; (2) the role and stands taken by new Asian immigrants and established residents -- Latinos, Asian-Americans, and Anglos --in the struggle for ethnic representation and local control over land use, space, language,and the very definition of community.

This paper focuses specifically on the ethnic actors and political currents surrounding the City Council election of April 1988. We used a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate to a community study: demographic analysis,ethnographic observation of the City Council and political campaigns, content analysis of English and Chinese newspapers, interviews with candidates and community leaders, interviews conducted during precinct walking with the leading candidates, and finally, participation in an exit poll and statistical analysis of results.

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 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 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 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 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 Machine-Readable Data Sources for Comparative Ethnic Research: Problems and Prospects

Machine-Readable Data Sources for Comparative Ethnic Research: Problems and Prospects


In the introduction to this volume, Johnson and Oliver (1988) discuss the importance of exploring questions of ethnicity and ethnic group behavior in a comparative context and highlight a specific set of "ethnic dilemmas" requiring immediate attention and remediation. Answers to the types of comparative ethnic questions they raised would ideally require the collection of primary data via large scale social surveys. Because the design and conduct of a social survey is a time consuming and costly undertaking, especially for the lone researcher, social scientists have traditionally attempted to circumvent the problem by undertaking secondary analysis of previously conducted surveys. Given this longstanding research tradition, Stephenson (1988) has compiled an INDEX OF MACHINE-READABLE DATA FILES FOR USE IN COMPARATIVE ETHNIC RESEARCH. The index contains references to UCLA's holdings of surveys, public opinion polls, and both historical and current enumerative data. It will be significantly useful in comparative ethnic research on such topics as: Ethnic assimilation, segregation, and neighborhood change; Labor markets and entrepreneurship; Political and electoral behavior; Health and well-being; Crime; and, Education.

The purpose of this essay is to encourage future comparative ethnic research by highlighting potential uses and limitations of machine-readable data files, such as those referenced in the INDEX (Stephenson 1988). Toward this end, background details are provided on the organizations and agencies that collect or archive publicly available data and describe in detail selected data files. A second section will focus on data collection policies, sampling deficiencies and inherent limitations for research on comparative aspects of ethnicity and ethnic group behavior. In the concluding section the discussion focuses on, among other salient issues, the social scientist's role in future government decisions regarding the collection of data on ethnic groups in America.