The most predominant aspect of middlemen minorities for instance in Europe indicates abuse of their economic and social roles in the settings. Socially the lives of these people revolve around a communal setting, where their work engages interaction between the produces and clients. They have a unique humble petty beginning level, such as peddler. Whether they are involved in retail trade or money lending, these levels grew drastically for instance “the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s or the Levi’s” which began as low peddlers.
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There is a notable widespread experience on the starting point of a peddler’s life among such groups as the Jews who were immigrants from Eastern Europe to various other destinies such as America. This trend of taking up similar steps to own small retail outlets is common among the “Lebanese in Brazil” and “Chinese in Southeast Asia”. It is established that they lived in little establishments of poverty, remain self-centered, and slowly rise to eventual prosperity over the years in their generations. This is evident from Sowell’s writing (12) where there is an indication of some Jewish shopkeepers in America behind or over their stores. In India, Marwaris often missed census because of confining to their little shops instead of being in the residential neighborhood.
Arguably, they have such kind of restrained lifestyle because the majority in the neighborhood who are well up within the settings would view them as just middle adding no value to the economy but finding something for their up-keep from it.
It is evident in history that eviction of such intermediaries does not improve the economy but rather brings conflicts or catastrophic decline of the state. Culturally most other majorities viewed the intermediary’s activities as uneconomically sophisticated and thus adding no value to the economical growth. The ingredients of the resentments between these minorities and other majorities laid on the ethnic differences and the aspect of growth. They were able to start from mare poverty levels to economic prosperity and this kills the ego of the already well-established majority. The majority feel outperformed by such people whom they have known to arrive as destitute with little or no knowledge of the local language. The hostility is traceable back to the feeling they have where they wish they had stopped before it ever began. In line with Sowell (54), whenever people get a confrontation with the choice of or hating others for the progress or hating themselves for not working hard, they seldom take the latter option.
Examples of aspects of the culture
The prosperity of the Korean grocers came about because of their hard work and the economical livelihood measures that they had. They were able to open a shop in the African-American ghettoes because they were dedicated to their jobs. These Koreans had to put in long hours for their economic survival. Believes among the majorities in such settings were that the Koreans received government favors, grants, or sponsorships thus preventing the African-Americans from competing with them. African-Americans had high cost over their ego and this was the source of hostility, humiliation, and dehumanization towards the intermediaries, who were minorities. Their prosperity inflicted wounds on the egos they had out-performed and therefore they had better chances of advancing.
The most striking statistic of Jewish success in the United States in Sowell’s writing (12) is their progress over the generations. Although the majority of them settled in the US with no or little education. The language barriers were a major setback on their undertakings but once they began to prosper, they were determined to fight illiteracy by educating their children so that they keep their legacy. This is evident from the Chinese schools they financed to build through their small enterprises. Their culture-valued education even when the majority had very little education. The education might have been the key to their rice, which is evident today. They had a rough time and it is evident that it was only after economic prosperity, that they were able to dispense the children’s labor for school and later finance their higher education. This aspect definitely reinforces their stereotypes.
The most striking statistics of Jewish success in the United States in the Lipset article
The Jews were full citizens in the United States than anywhere else, this meant that they suffered less discrimination compared to other countries and this has hugely contributed to their success. They have a better representation of the entire population, which is evident in many public ceremonies. There is a great appreciation of Jews for their ability to attain high education standards in which case the reward is equally high occupations and income standards compared to other sub-groups. According to Lipset, (3) a survey conducted over American Jews indicate that they are among the wealthiest group in the United States enjoying an income that is twice that of non-Jews. They have a high social-economical level compared to other subgroups. Consequently, they are an over-representation of Jews in many high learning institutions all over the country with a wide presence among top intellectuals in the institutions and universities, high-level civil servants, leading partners in firms, and top editor writers and producers in media houses. His article (4) indicates that they have attained extraordinary scholastic achievements.
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Arguably, their high achievement in America is due to their congruent with the general culture in terms of characters and values. This makes them resemble the national modal pattern. The argument placed by Lipset (5) in his writing is that they are high achievers who need recognition as quintessentially Americans with great energy and drive for economic growth.
Do these characteristics strengthen stereotypes?
In line with Lipset, (6) the Jews are equally enthusiastic and have a strong secular cultural and religious belief regarding their workmanship. They believe in hard work and spiritual assistance, which they consider only available after good personal efforts. Their characters have accorded them high status and recognition among many countries as is evident in their appointments to cabinet posts and special designations.
Other countries such as Britain emulate American’s consideration over the Jews. Their tough-minded, work-oriented, and self-drive spirit, commitment, and personal philanthropy have caused great admiration and the need to borrow a leaf from them. Evidently, there have been suggestions for consideration of their culture historically which should be taught in schools to allow for a better understanding of the strong spirit and secrets to success. Arguably, this will assist people to understand the historical growth of religion. Their culture helps in building a strong social and culturally upright country free of post-feudal standing and mercantilist-socialist rudiments. (Lipset, 6)
Sowell, Thomas. Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Encounter Books publishers. 2005.
Lipset, Seymour. Martin. American Pluralism and the Jewish community, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1990.