Chapter Four Overview - Chapter Four Overview The United...

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Chapter Four OverviewThe United States is essentially a country of immigrants. The concepts ofassimilation, culturalpluralism,andacculturationare defined. U.S> households are becoming more diverse in racial and ethniccomposition. Since the turn of the century, there has been a significant shift in the numbers of immigrantscoming from various countries. In 2006, Europeans made up only thirteen percent of all new immigrants,and most immigrants now come from Latin America (mainly Mexico) and Asia. Large numbers ofimmigrants, about 12 million, are undocumented (59% from Mexico). Americans are sharply divided intheir attitude towards immigration and immigration policies. Both costs and benefits of immigration areoutlined in the chapter.The most important characteristic of aminority groupis its domination by a more powerfulgroup. Race (racial group) and ethnicity (ethnic group) are two of the most important physical andcultural characteristics that single out minority groups from a dominant societal group. Race and ethnicitystill matter because they are closely related to social outcomes of groups defined by race and ethnicity.Racismrefers to a set of beliefs that one’s own racial group is inherently superior to others.Prejudice(anegative attitude towards someone) anddiscrimination(an act hurting someone’s interest) continue to bepervasive problems that affect all racial-ethnic families in areas like housing, employment, and education.African American families are heterogeneous. They vary in terms of kinship structure, values,lifestyles, and social class. Although the black middle class is expanding, it is still relatively small incomparison to whites. A disproportionately large number of blacks do not have college degrees, work inlow-paying jobs, have higher unemployment rates, and are more likely to be poor. Among low-income

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American Families

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