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Dominant – minority relations in America
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It vividly describes the inter-group relations from conflict and assimilations perspectives, emphasizing that struggles and hostility have been part of every minority group’s history. It also encourages the new generation to see that they are part of the dominant- minority interaction. The Second-Stream Jewish Americans storyline brings out the application of sociological theory in group experience. The dominant ideology describes the morals, beliefs and values shared by the majority in the society, it shows how the majority people think of its society, and thus serves the interests of the ruling class (Myers 2007, p.19). Hence, the scope to which a dominant ideology efficiently dominates collective societal thought has reduced during recent times.
According to Giddens (1991, p. 3) conflict theory pursues the occurrence of social problems as a result of mistreatment of subordinate groups by dominant ones, and hence advocates for power balance between genders. A dominant group is a social group of people that holds the majority of power and authority over other social groups. A minority group is any specific group in society that shares common group characteristics and is obligatory to occupy low position in society due to discrimination and prejudice (Myers 2007, p.60). It is important to note that a minority group is not necessary the minority in terms of numbers, but it is a group that holds law status in rlation of other groups in society. According to the theory society is described as a struggle for dominance among social groups who compete for scarce resources. In terms of gender, it understood that men try to maintain their status quo of being superior at the detriment of women. Thus, men can be seen as the dominant group and women the minority group. (Giddens 1991 p. 38).
Existence of social hierarchies was due to fight for survival of inter-group competition during conflict over resources. Originally, groups organized in hierarchies were superior at combat than groups who were organized in other ways, giving a competitive advantage to groups disposed towards social hierarchies. This is enhanced through the legitimization of myths, which are beliefs justifying social dominance. Ethnic-group identity arises as a result of individuals focusing on cultural and national ties as the basic mode of social interactions and sense to self. A section of the development process of minority groups is usually as a result of existences of dual identity: one in the larger society and another within the person’s own group.
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Dominant Group Reactions
To maintain a paternalistic social system, the dominant group often restricts the minority group voting and education opportunities. It introduces social segregation whereby the involvement in service, social, political and other types of activities are confined to certain members of the dominant group. They can employ maass expulsion which involves the driving out of a group seen as a social threat rather than actually solving the problem. Also they can experience Xenophobia which is undue fear of or contempt for foreigners. It begins with ethnocentric views: Ethnocentrism creates negative stereotypes which escalate through some catalyst resulting to a high emotional reaction. Also, dominant group use annihilation which was common in ancient times. In the new era, some countries employ extermination as means of tackling the racial menace (Gidden 1991, p.60).
Minority Group Reactions
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The minority group status creates a negative self-image on the person concerned. The effect of social segregation causes groups or people to believe they are inferior. Can enhance own shame due to having undesired traits or antipathy aimed at to other members of the group for possessing them. Minority group members are often caught up on a crisis of their values and own identity and the requirement to act in a specific ways so as to be received by the dominant group. This leads to development of marginality which is the transitional period that a minority group experiences so as to be accepted in the society. Marginality is a type of culture disagreement that arises basically due to holding on to certain values within an individual. It is often a one- or two- generation phenomena. Then minority group members usually have assimilated or developed a distinctive subculture and are no more held up within two worlds.
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