Ethnicity, Pluralism, and Race: Race Relations Theory in America before Myrdal

Ethnicity, Pluralism, and Race: Race Relations Theory in America before Myrdal

Ethnicity, Pluralism, and Race: Race Relations Theory in America before Myrdal

Ethnicity, Pluralism, and Race: Race Relations Theory in America before Myrdal

Synopsis

"A study of the ideas of Robert Park.... It is an interesting and well written piece of work with useful bibliography and notes. It is an excellent introduction to the subject of race relations theory in American sociology in the period from 1920 to 1970. The theoretical and ideological differences in the views of Park and Myrdal on race relations relations are briefly examined at the end of this short study. In a sense, the major purpose of the book is to rehabilitate Park as a race relations theorist who is relevant today. Wacker is quite convincing in his attempt. Lower division undergraduates and up." - Choice

Excerpt

The following study had its origins in the contentious years of the late 1960s and the early 1970s. During those years the constituent disciplines of the social sciences and humanities were attacked from several different perspectives. If the criticisms had a common theme, however, it was that previous generations of scholars had failed to develop an adequate and comprehensive picture of American social reality. the social and cultural conflicts of the 1960s--racial, ethnic, and intergenerational--highlighted the diverse and often divisive nature of American society. One significant intellectual consequence of those conflicts was the emergent criticism of the social thought and social science of the past as too complacent and too committed to a consensus bias or ideology.

During these years, and continuing up to the present, moreover, new cohorts became active within American universities and within the social science disciplines (but especially within those fields with a traditionally humanistic base--sociology, anthropology, history, and psychology). Blacks and ethnics (and later women) who entered the university systems were sensitized not only to the pervasiveness of conflict within American society but also to the increased racial and ethnic consciousness (and later women's group consciousness) which marked that decade and its general and academic politics. From these groups a series of criticisms emerged which threatened the various establishments within disciplines and particular institutions.

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