Race and Ethnicity: Essays in Comparative Sociology

By Pierre L. Van den Berghe | Go to book overview

2
Distance Mechanisms
of Stratification

Many observers and students of race relations have pointed to an apparent paradox in the practice of segregation in the southern United States and elsewhere. Although the majority of southern whites believe in school segregation between Negro and white pupils, they have no objection to entrusting their children to colored servants. 1 At the height of Jim Crowism in the South, Negro nurses in charge of white children were admitted without question to "white" railway carriages, public parks, and the like. 2 Although many white southerners would not think of inviting a Negro university professor to dinner in their home, they do not object to having their food cooked and served by a colored servant. To cite a more macabre illustration from another culture, Indian medical students in South Africa are not allowed to watch a post- mortem examination performed on a white corpse, but that very corpse is sewed up after the autopsy by a black hospital attendant. 3

Incongruous though such attitudes and practices may seem, the paradox is only apparent. As observed by several social scientists, the key to the problem is social status. 4 As long as the social status of the races is unequal, segregation need not be enforced.

____________________
Reprinted from Sociology and Social Research 44, no. 3 ( January- February1960): 155-164.

-42-

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Race and Ethnicity: Essays in Comparative Sociology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 17
  • Part I - General and Theoretical 19
  • 1 - Paternalistic Versus Competitive Race Relations: an Ideal-Type Approach 21
  • Notes 39
  • 2 - Distance Mechanisms of Stratification 42
  • 3 - Hypergamy, Hypergenation, and Miscegenation 54
  • Summary 63
  • Notes 63
  • 4 - Racialism and Assimilation in Africa and the Americas 68
  • Notes 77
  • 5 - Toward a Sociology of Africa 79
  • Part II - The Americas 95
  • 6 - Stereotypes, Norms, and Interracial Behavior in São Paulo, Brazil 97
  • Notes 105
  • 7 - Ethnic Relations in Southeastern Mexico 107
  • 8 - Ethnic Membership and Cultural Change in Guatemala 137
  • Conclusion 149
  • Notes 150
  • Part III - South Africa 153
  • 9 - Research in South Africa: The Story of My Experiences with Tyranny 155
  • Notes 171
  • 10 - Apartheid, Fascism, and the Golden Age 173
  • 11 - Race Attitudes in Durban, South Africa 188
  • Summary 206
  • Notes 207
  • 12 - Racial Segregation in South Africa: Degrees and Kinds 210
  • 13 - Miscegenation in South Africa 224
  • Summary 239
  • Notes 241
  • 14 - Language and Nationalism in South Africa 244
  • Part IV - The Indian Diaspora 259
  • 15 - Indians in Natal and Fiji: a "Controlled Experiment" in Culture Contact 261
  • Notes 274
  • 16 - Asians in East and South Africa 276
  • Index 304
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