Race and Ethnic Conflict: Contending Views on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Ethnoviolence

By Fred L. Pincus; Howard J. Ehrlich | Go to book overview

firmative action to ensure group quotas will create white backlash and serve as a continuing major irritant in the relationships between racial and ethnic groups. Those who favor policies which fall, logically, under the rubric of corporate pluralism emphasize, in return, the moral and philosophical position which posits group rights as well as individual rights, and the need for major compensatory measures to make up for the massive dimensions of racial discrimination in the past.

And so the argument is joined. This article has been written with the distinct conviction that the argument is a momentous one and that its resolution, in whatever form, will be best served by as much intellectual clarity, thoughtfulness, and good will as we can all muster in the process. Certainly, what the American people decide about this patterned complex of issues in the last 20 years of the twentieth century will have much to do with determining the nature, shape, and destiny of racial and ethnic relations in America in the twenty-first century which will then follow.


NOTES
1.
Gunnar Myrdal, with the assistance of Richard Sterner and Arnold Rose, An American Dilemma ( New York: Harper and Brothers, 1944), particularly, chs. 1 and 45.
2.
Milton M. Gordon, Assimilation in American Life ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1964); see also my Human Nature, Class, and Ethnicity ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1978).
3.
See Herbert J. Gans, "Symbolic Ethnicity: The Future of Ethnic Groups and Cultures in America," in On the Making of Americans: Essays in Honor of David Riesman, eds. Herbert J. Gans , Nathan Glazer, Joseph R. Gusfield, and Christopher Jencks ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1979).
4.
See Milton M. Gordon, Assimilation in American Life, passim.
5.
Milton M. Gordon, "Toward A General Theory of Racial and Ethnic Group Relations," in Ethnicity: Theory and Experience, eds. Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975). This paper is reprinted in my Human Nature, Class, and Ethnicity. The terms "liberal pluralism" and "corporate pluralism" were chosen because they appear to me to portray accurately and nonpejoratively the salient and historically appropriate characteristics of each type of pluralist society. It is true that many liberals today support measures which fall in the "corporate" variety of pluralism. But there has been a longer historical association of the term "liberal" with those measures and conditions which I am grouping under the term "liberal pluralism."
6.
See Nathan Glazer, Affirmative Discrimination ( New York: Basic Books, 1975), ch. 1, for a presentation of such a viewpoint.

-246-

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