The Survey's Ends
The Survey of Race Relations on the Pacific Coast marked the beginning of American social science's long-term interest in Orientals. Originally defined by the outlook and concerns of Protestant missionaries and reliant upon their social networks, the survey's construction of the Oriental Problem was eventually built upon the needs of the sociologists. Their understandings of Orientals in America would structure the way American intellectuals thought about Asian immigrants for most of the twentieth century. The goal of the missionaries was to reeducate the public about Asian immigrants and therefore lessen anti-Asian hostility; the sociologists' ambitions ended with their acquisition of knowledge about Orientals. What they learned would serve less to enlighten Americans than to elaborate and validate their own theories. This disagreement over the survey's purpose would fracture the alliance between the missionaries and sociologists and lead to the survey's premature end.
Enlightenment and Changing Attitudes as the
End of Racism
In 1925, as Park was ending his tenure as research director of the Survey of Race Relations, a discussion took place at a meeting of the Research Council over the end goals of the survey. 1 Some argued for the importance of “just getting the facts,” while others wanted to change social attitudes.
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Publication information: Book title: Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact, and Exoticism in Modern America. Contributors: Henry Yu - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 72.
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