Interethnic relationship definition urban

Define The Relationship. When two people discuss their mutual understanding of a romantic relationship (casual dating, serious boyfriend, etc). Everyday spaces of inter-ethnic interaction: The meaning of urban public spaces in . units when researching social relations (Van Kempen and Wissink, ). immigrants and German inhabitants in urban areas (in Duisburg, West Germany) is investigat this sense The study of inter-ethnic relations deals with a very.

Such a cognitive tendency to perceive others as unique individuals is variously labeled in social psychology as "differentiation," "particularization," "decategorization," "personalization," and "mindfulness. Among such behaviors are attentive and friendly facial expressions and complementary or mirroring body movements, as well as personalized rather than impersonal speech patterns that focus on the other person as a unique individual. Conversely, dissociative behaviors tend to contribute to misunderstanding, competition, and divergence or the coming-apart of the relationship between the participants in the communication process.

Intercultural Communication, Interethnic Relations and |

A communication behavior is dissociative when it is based on a categorical, stereotypical, and depersonalized perception that accentuates differences. Dissociative behaviors also include many forms of divergent verbal and nonverbal behaviors that indicate varying degrees of psychological distance and emotional intensity-from the subtle expressions in what Teun van Dijk has referred to as prejudiced talk e. Nonverbally, dissociative communication occurs through covert and subtle facial, vocal, and bodily expressions that convey lack of interest, disrespect, arrogance, and anger.

More intense dissociative expressions of hatred and aggression include cross-burnings, rioting, and acts of violence. Dissociative communication behavior is not limited to observable verbal and nonverbal acts. It also includes intrapersonal communication activities. One of the widely investigated intrapersonal communication activities in interethnic encounters is the categorization or stereotyping of information about members of an outgroup based on simplistic preconceptions.

Such is the case whenever one characterizes any given ethnic group in a categorical manner, failing to recognize substantial differences among its individual members. This stereotypical perception is accompanied by a tendency to accentuate differences and ignore similarities between oneself and the members of the outgroup and to judge the perceived differences unfavorably.

Robert Hopper explains such an ethnocentric tendency when he focuses on "Shiboleth schema" as the way in which people consider the dialects and accents that are displayed by non-mainstream groups to be defects and therefore objects of discrimination. The Communicator Associative and dissociative interethnic communication behaviors are directly linked to the internal characteristics of the communicator.

An often-investigated psychological attribute is the communicator's cognitive complexity, or the mental capacity to process incoming information in a differentiated and integrated manner.

As explained by George Kelly and by James Applegate and Howard Sypherindividuals of high cognitive complexity tend to use more refined understanding of incoming messages and to display more personalized messages. Other researchers such as Marilynn Brewer and Norman Miller have linked low cognitive complexity to ignorance, erroneous generalizations, biased interpretations, and stereotype-based expectations.

Another characteristic that is important for understanding interethnic behaviors is the strength of the communicator's commitment to his or her ethnic identity. Commonly referred to as ingroup loyalty, ethnic commitment often supports dissociative behaviors such as ingroup favoritism and outgroup discrimination.

Ingroup loyalty tends to increase when the communicator experiences status anxiety about his or her ethnicity in the face of a perceived threat by a member or members of an outgroup. In contrast, communicators tend to act associatively when their identity orientations reach beyond an ascribed ethnic identity and embrace members of an outgroup as well. Kim, refers to such an orientation as an intercultural or interethnic identity—a psychological posture of openness and accommodation that reflects a level of intellectual and emotional maturity.

The Situation In addition to the communicator characteristics, situational factors influence the way communicators behave in interethnic encounters. Each encounter presents a unique set of conditions.

One of the key situational factors is the level of homogeneity i. A high level of homogeneity is likely to encourage associative behaviors, whereas a high level of heterogeneity is likely to increase a sense of psychological distance between the participants and block them from noticing any underlying similarities that they might share.

Heterogeneous encounters are also likely to increase the perceived incompatibility between the participants and inhibit their ability to form a consensus on topics of communication. However, while certain distinct features of communication behavior are strongly related to dissociative behaviors, not all ethnic differences are incompatible. Interethnic communication behaviors are further influenced by the structure that organizes the way in which interactions are carried out. The structure of an interaction provides each communicator with guidelines for his or her behavior.

One such structural guideline is provided by a shared higher goal that transcends each party's own personal interest. Groups with this type of shared goal would include military combat units, sports teams, and medical teams fighting an epidemic.

The presence of the shared goal provides a structure of interdependence and mutuality that is geared toward cooperation, thereby creating a climate that promotes associative behaviors. On the other hand, a competitive, task-oriented structure for interactions tends to accentuate ethnic differences rather than similarities, engender mistrust, and discourage the building of interpersonal relationships across ethnic lines.

According to Brewer and Millerpeople also tend to exhibit more dissociative behaviors when they find themselves in an organization that is governed by an asymmetric power structure that has been created along ethnic lines.

For example, if few ethnic minorities occupy leadership positions in an organization, this power differential is likely to foster separateness and divisiveness between members of differing ethnic groups in that organization. The Environment The social environment is the broader background against which a particular interethnic encounter takes place.

One environmental factor that is crucial to understanding associative and dissociative communication behaviors is the history between the ethnic groups represented in the communication process.

Dissociative communication behaviors, for example, are more likely to occur in an environmental context that has had the history of subjugation of one ethnic group by another. Often, subjugation has taken the form of political, economic, or cultural domination through slavery, colonization, or military conquest. Members of a group that has been subjugated in the past may feel that they have the right to live on or possess territory that the group has traditionally claimed as its own.

Many historical accounts have been written on the topic of colonization and the subsequent influences on interethnic discrimination and mistrust. In the case of the West Indian immigrants living in England, for example, the traditional colonial history and the domination tendencies of Whites over non-White immigrants have been observed to play out in interethnic encounters even today.

Similar historical influences on contemporary interethnic power relationships can be found in many other societies, including the situations of Native Americans and African Americans in the United StatesKoreans in JapanPalestinians in Israel, and French-speaking Canadians in Quebec. This inequality is further reflected in patterns that separate ethnic groups by socioeconomic class.

Some investigators such as Harold Wolpe have argued that capitalistic economic systems exploit ethnic minorities. Michael Hechter used the term "internal colonialism" to explain a structural or institutionalized discrimination in which the imposed division of labor allows the core or dominant group to keep for themselves the major manufacturing, commercial, and banking roles while delegating the least profitable kinds of work to the peripheral groups such as the ethnic minorities.

Under conditions of inequality, the ethnic actions of subordinate groups serve as an outlet for the expression of comparative feelings of dissatisfaction, thereby increasing the likelihood of divergent interethnic behaviors. By and large, inequities among ethnic groups in a given society are reflected in the laws and rules of the society.

In contemporary democratic societies, laws and rules generally mirror the ideological climate and the values and opinions that are held by the majority of the citizens. Over time, changes in institutional inequity in interethnic relations in a given society tend to accompany corresponding changes in judicial actions as well as governmental and other institutional policies. Since the s, countries such as the United States and Canada have undergone a significant transformation toward an increasing equity among their majority and minority ethnic groups.

There has been a series of legal actions such as the U. Supreme Court's ruling against racial segregation in public schools. However, some formal barriers persist, as demonstrated by the continuing patterns of intense racial discrimination in housing. Nevertheless, significant progress has been achieved in some institutions, notably in education and employment, to promote equal treatment of individuals of all ethnic categories, thereby fostering a social environment that is more conducive to associative behaviors at the level of the individual.

Interethnic communication behaviors are further influenced by the collective strength of the communicator's ethnic group. As Raymond Breton and his associates have theorized, a strong ethnic group with a high degree of "institutional completeness" is likely to encourage its members to maintain their ethnicity and discourage them from assimilating into the society at large.

Individuals in a well-organized ethnic community, such as the Cuban community in Miami, Florida, are likely to adhere more strongly to their Cuban identity and maintain their ethnic heritage more than their German-American counterparts, whose ethnic community is not cohesively organized.

The same Cuban Americans tend to place less emphasis on embracing the mainstream American culture at large. The extent of interethnic contact across different ethnic groups is also an environmental factor that influences individual communication behaviors.

Arrangements such as integrated schools and neighborhoods in urban centers allow for maximum contact and interaction, while other arrangements such as segregated ethnic neighborhoods provide the least amount of potential for interethnic interaction, which results in the cementing of any existing hostilities or prejudice.

Accordingly, the classical approach to reducing interethnic dissociative behaviors—the contact hypothesis originally articulated by Yehuda Amir —has been to increase equitable and cooperative interethnic contact so as to increase mutual understanding and cooperation.

This approach has not always been successful. Research has shown that, at least in the short run, interethnic contact is just as likely to heighten conflict as it is to reduce it.

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Conclusion The communicator, the situation, and the environment are all important elements to consider when examining the specific contextual factors related to understanding the associative and dissociative behaviors of individual communicators in interethnic encounters. Associative communication is more likely to occur when the communicator has a high degree of cognitive complexity and an inclusive identity orientation that embraces individuals of differing ethnic backgrounds as members of the ingroup.

Communicators are more likely to engage in associative behaviors when there are minimal ethnic differences between them.

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In addition, associative behaviors are more likely to occur in a situation where there is a shared higher goal, where there is a spirit of mutuality, and where there is a power structure that is minimally differentiated along ethnic lines.

Associative behaviors also tend to occur in a social environment where there has not been a strong historical legacy of one group dominating another, where there is minimal socioeconomic stratification along ethnic lines, and where legal and other social institutions are based on the principle of equal rights for all individuals without regard to their ethnic backgrounds.

Dissociative communication is more likely to occur when communicators categorize members of an outgroup based on simplistic and rigid stereotypes and an exclusive ethnic identity that engenders ingroup favoritism and outgroup discrimination. Again we may perhaps turn to the work of Max Weber 4 for preliminary 3 Inter-ethnic relations in an urban context orientation to the study of this problem. The first of these is the social order of traditional society where affective and kin-based ties are strong, and rational calculation as a basis for behaviour is at its minimum.

The second is a society of the market place in which there is no overall social will and no human restraint on the level of exploitation. The new immigrant with a minimal relationship to the host society would find himself in a position of the second type.

Not merely would he have purely contractual relations with his employer, his only larder would be the grocer's shop, his only dining room a cheap cafe, and his only means of sexual and emotional fulfilment the brothel. Those who have lived in the twilight zones will know that this ideal type is sometimes quite close to the reality which men experience. Thus most men new to the city seek out a group within which they can find emotional and moral support and social ties of a less rational-calculating kind.

The problem of what kind of group life men seek and hence of what types of groups are bound to exist in the zone of transition is an interesting one and of some importance to sociology. I believe that such groups must fulfil three major functions, each of which is closely related to the other. The first of these is the overcoming of social isolation. The second is the affirmation of values and beliefs. The third is the performance of some kind of pastoral or social work function.

The connection between the first and second of these functions is obvious as soon as we consider the paradox of urban loneliness. Why is it that, although the immigrant to the city finds more people there than he has ever seen simultaneously before, he is also more lonely than ever before.

Obviously in part this is due to the fact that he can make no claim based upon kinship. But perhaps even more important than this is the fact that he simply lacks the means to communicate his claim. For to overcome loneliness and social isolation means more than that we should have other people. People there may be in John Rex plenty. But unless we have the shared language and culture to communicate with them they might as well be stones or animals.

The set of understandings, the shared culture and language necessary for communication is provided for the immigrant by the colony of his fellow-countrymen. Anyone who shares that culture now becomes a kind of substitute kinsman. One has a claim on him as one does not have on other men one meets in the market place. And with him one may let one's hair down, reveal something of oneself and privately discuss the harsh world within which workaday life must be lived without discussion.

The answer is that they are very intense indeed, but they are different. But starting with the elements of that culture, men who discuss their new experiences privately with their fellow immigrants define new meanings and create a new culture which is specifically and peculiarly the culture of the urban immigrant colony. A system of beliefs and values such as arises amongst immigrants not merely describes the world, it evaluates it, and imposes on those who share it the obligation to sustain or to change that world.

Such a system is already given to some extent in the very structure of a language. But over and above this there are always new meanings to be defined and this various groups of immigrants will do.

Undoubtedly, however, the process is facilitated when the group has a distinctive system of religious belief and practice. In the temple, the mosque, the church or the chapel the immigrant learns a moral orientation to his new world. Almost inseparable from the groups to which a man turns for moral support and advice, however, are those who offer him help of a more material kind, and no group could survive long amongst immigrants which did not offer along with its belief system and culture some kind of help with the daily problems of housing, educating the young, getting work, communicating with those at home, or any of the other problems which the immigrant must solve if he is to survive.

So, supplementing the bureaucratic services provided by the Welfare State the immigrant finds that there are other services which at worst act as 4 Inter-ethnic relations in an urban context a channel of communication with the formal services but at best provide him with an additional and more direct source of aid. What we may expect therefore amongst all new, underprivileged immigrant groups in the city is that they will involve some sort of colony structure and that although the actual physical dwelling place of an immigrant may be a room branching off a bleak corridor in a house where he neither knows nor cares about the other tenants, he will have some place to which he can go, to a church, to a restaurant or public house, to a shop or simply out on to the pavement where he may be sure of meeting others like himself, others with whom he could feel at home.

The world of the colony is of course the springboard from which the immigrant will, unless the society is determined upon a policy of discrimination and segregation, enter the more individualistic society. In time the immigrant or his children will learn to speak the language of the host society. He will gradually be less punctilious about his own religious observances. He will come to look outside the colony for friends and when he is in need he will go like any other citizen to claim his citizen's welfare rights.

But to say that this is his long term destiny is in no sense to imply that the colony stands in the way of his making the transition. Far from this being the case, were it not for the colony he would not have been able to survive long enough in the city to make even the first faltering steps towards assimilation. This by no means implies that those consigned to the ghetto will not adopt the culture of their hosts.

They may well do. But if they do suffer this fate of ghettoization their ultimate relationship with the city will come to depend upon the overall balance of political power, whether that in turn depends upon the ballot-box or upon street riots.

So far, however, we have been talking of ghettoes and colonies and conflict groups. It remains to be shown what relationship there is between these abstract sociological categories and the actual groups to which men belong.

The first thing to be said about this is that whatever the overt purpose of the various organizations and groupings which exist, the likelihood is that they will continue to have a vigorous life because they will be fulfilling the functions of a conflict organization or a colony as we have outlined them.

It would seem then that the struggle over housing rights and the urban socialization process dictate a certain pattern of community organization and structure and that we should expect organizational forms of the kind mentioned to arise in areas of immigrant settlement. We should notice, however, that segregation and conflict are not the only possible patterns for the relations between these various groups. Indeed the most interesting feature of urban social dynamics is the way in which organizations based upon colonies and conflict groups become interlocked with one another, or give rise to wholly new, community-wide forms of organization.

Thus men cannot hope to find in England a church which exactly reflects in its gloss on the Christian or some other doctrine the picture of the world which has been worked out by members of an immigrant group or a sub-group within the host society.

Nor is there a political party which exactly reflects the interests of each conflict group. It is true, of course, that for the sociologist the fascinating thing about the life of these and other organizations is how readily they become adapted to serve the new social situation created by inter-ethnic group contact.

But when this has been emphasized it still remains the case and an essential part of a full sociological description that these organizations, having, as they do, commitments arising in other times and places, do represent an independent factor and a brake on the overall drive towards conflict.

A Protestant church may be faced with an influx of confirmed members from another country asking for communion. A political party will be influenced by pressures of a more universalistic kind arising in other constituencies.


And even a licensed public house might out of regard to the terms of its licence refrain from excluding strangers. Such movement between organizations as this produces may serve to create the sense that the organizational facilities of the community belong to all its members rather than each organization being at the disposal of one group only.

And this sense wil] be strengthened if the leaders of the various organizations come to recognize that some of their interests are shared.

But I would not want to over-emphasize their importance. They are the organizations which are commonly talked about when liberal-minded optimists who are concerned at all cost to avoid conflict and judge the importance of different organizations somewhat wishfully. In my view they are at the moment merely braking mechanisms which serve to blur and check incipient conflict.