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Running head: IMMIGRATION IN U.S.

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Ethnocentrism and Stereotyping as it Concerns Immigration in the United States Paul Hopper University of South Alabama

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To understand ethnocentrism in the United States, one must first understand the subject in every aspect of the classic journalistic style: who, what, when, where, why and how. William Sumner said it best when he described ethnocentrism as “the technical name for this view of things in which ones own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it” (Sumner, 1906). Now, ethnocentric thinking is born – in the most basic form – from the belief in a useful quality in every person’s culture. This useful quality – or virtue as this paper will refer to it – can be one or many and about any area of society. When one identifies with this virtue because they have been taught to do so, they naturally reason at the most basic level of intercultural comprehension, if their way to think about a virtue is good, then any other way is bad. This is only a very simplistic example; however, it does demonstrate how ethnocentric opinions form in everyone – the difference being a person’s low or high-ethnocentric thought. This belief not only affects intercultural communications but also affects intra-cultural communications as well when it concerns micro-cultures within a larger society. The frame-of-reference that we use to view other societies outside of and within our own is colored by our degree of ethnocentrism. This paper has explained who, what, when, and where concerning ethnocentrism. Next the why behind ethnocentrism’s importance and when that importance means the most will be discussed. Ethnocentrism provides a fundamental and perhaps necessary service to societies. According to James Neuliep, “ethnocentrism fosters ingroup survival, solidarity, conformity, cooperation, loyalty, and effectiveness” (Neuliep, 2009). But how do people experience ethnocentrism every day? A common example of intra-cultural

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ethnocentrism comes from the ‘typical’ high school experience in the United States. Imagine one clique of students – the “nerds” – sees another clique – the cheerleaders – being loud in the library while they’re trying to study. Later that same day, the cheerleaders are practicing in the gym and the nerds are sitting around waiting for the bell so they can leave, but this time they’re the ones being loud. Now think of how the nerds perceived the cheerleaders when they were in the library. Their attitude towards being loud in that location was that the cheerleaders were being rude. On the reverse side, the cheerleaders never thought their behavior was rude in the library; however, when they were trying to practice in the gym they did think that the nerds were being rude. The assumption that people should be quiet in the library or the gym is based upon each group’s views about those places providing them with a chance to work and for that they need quiet. But to the opposite group in either situation, the assumption that there should be silence does not apply and is in fact seen as rude; this is ethnocentric thinking. Sense Europeans first began colonizing North America, in what would become the United States, until the year 2000, almost 50 million people immigrated into the U.S. (TSL-EIF, 2008). Between 2003 and 2008, more than six million more immigrants permanently, legally, settled into this country (DHS, 2009). Now the total population of the United States as of October 27th, 2009 was only 307,793,118 people, meaning the total number of immigrants is roughly equal to 1/6 the total population today; so that fraction does not include the posterity of the families who have lived here for over 200 years (USCB, 2009). This paper will begin by discussing immigration in the U.S. by what factors have affected it, its ‘waves’, and current policy. Next stereotypes will be explored, discussing U.S. citizen’s views on stereotyping as a concept and some important

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points of theory to know to understand stereotype formation. Following stereotypes, ethnocentric critiques will be discussed as well as the threat ethnocentrism poses. Racism’s association with ethnocentrism – or lack-there-of – will follow and be discussed including studies to illustrate the point of the section. Finally, the questions of how to change ethnocentric views, should stereotypes be changed, and if ethnocentrism is a negative idea will be discussed. Regardless of one’s stance on the issue of immigration and the attitudes of U.S. citizens towards these newcomers, it is undeniable they have made their impact on the States. It was Thomas Paine who first said, “This new World hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe,” little did Paine know the same could be said for every corner of the world before the United State’s 200 year anniversary (1776). Immigration Factors Affecting Immigration Many factors have affected immigration into the United States. Chief among them are the wars fought inside and out of the country as well as the laws enacted on the subject. The first United States census was taken in 1790 (USCB, 2009). Before then, more than 875,000 people from all parts of Europe, Central America, and Africa had moved to the States. In Florida the Spanish had been established sense the late 1500’s and by the early 1600’s the English had settled New England and Virginia. The Dutch had done the same in New York and New Jersey, and the Swedish in Delaware. That first census counted 3.9 million people in the country – not including Native Americans that lived in the colonies. The largest of the nationalities were the English, followed by people of African descent1 (around 20%)

Immigration in U.S. and behind them the Germans, Scotts, and Irish making the only other sizable national demographics. Laws affecting immigration.

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In the same year as the first census, the United States Congress passed its first piece of legislation concerning naturalization of foreign peoples in the new country.2 To this point, Congress only stated “…any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States” (TSL-EIF, 2008). However this could be done only after a period of two years residency. Until 1802, Congress passed laws every few years making it increasingly more difficult and complicated for aliens to become naturalized. In 1802, however, a new naturalization act made it significantly easier to become a citizen, decreasing the residency period from 14 years to only five (USCIS, 2006). It is important to note that in 1865 after the end of the American Civil War, Congress and the states passed the 13th Amendment making slavery illegal. Since 1808 slaves were prevented from being brought into the U.S.; however those already in slavery and their posterity were doomed to stay there until the 13th’s passage, though it was not only Africans and Caribbean islanders who were brought in as forced labor. For a nearly 50 year span at the beginning of the colonization of the English colonies, poor Europeans would barter four to seven years of their life to unpaid labor in the colonies in exchange for a one-way trip there and land after completion of their time. Also (and this will be discussed more later on), Asian immigrants were forcibly brought over to work in California even after the passage of the 13th Amendment and the freedom of the slaves (TSL-EIF, 2008). Over the following decades many acts on immigration, naturalization, and the treatment of trans-Atlantic passengers were enacted. In 1875, Congress passed

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their first act prohibiting undesirable immigrants from entering the country as well as the forced immigration of Asian immigrants as a new form of slave labor. In 1882, the “Chinese Exclusion Act” marked the first piece of racially motivated legislation in the U.S. It primarily ordered the suspension of Chinese workers immigrating into the country, barred any Chinese already in the States from becoming naturalized, and only allowed Chinese intellectuals who were “proceeding to the United States… from curiosity” to enter the country on a temporary basis.3 In 1885, the first of a series of Contract Labor Laws was passed, making it illegal to import foreigners into the country by contract for performing a certain number of years service – with a few exceptions (USCIS, 2006). Decades came and went with immigration legislation being passed, mostly making it more difficult and expensive to do so. Key legislation included: 1891’s legislation formally organizing immigration procedures for the Federal government; 1910’s “Mann Act” (ironically named) provided for the illegalization of interstate trafficking of women for “immoral purposes;” the “Immigration Act of 1917” that further limited those immigrants who would be allowed into the country based on literacy, mental health, and ethnicity (USCIS, 2006). Nineteen hundred and twenty one saw the first Quota legislation passed on immigration. This and the acts that followed were attempts by the Federal government to limit immigration from certain areas of the world. The total number of allowable immigrants would be a certain percentage of that nationality already present in the country based on earlier census data – effectively making sure that minorities stayed minorities. Congress continued cutting the percentage of allowable immigrants down further and further with each new quota law (USCIS, 2006). It wasn’t until 1965 that Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Hart-Cellar Act,

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throwing out the quota system and adopting the current immigration system we have today (TSL-EIF, 2008). Wars affecting immigration. War always affects immigration in two ways: first, it changes the ethnocentric perceptions of the citizens in each country; and second, it almost always results in a changing of immigration and naturalization law. For the sake of time and length, only two examples will be shared in this paper; however, this is not to undermine the importance of conflict – even if the country being studied is not involved – on immigration stereotypes and ethnocentrism. From 1938 until 1945, Ellis Island in New York was used to detain around 7,000 legal aliens from Japan, Italy, and Germany as well as naturally born Japanese citizens (TSL-EIF, 2008). Not being limited to the east coast, the majority of the forced resettlements of Japanese Americans as well as legal aliens from Axis nations occurred on the west coast. Nearly 120,000 Japanese were relocated into internment camps during World War II, many of whom were American citizens.4 Though the pretext for this move was security, 17,000 children under ten-years-old were relocated including orphans and adopted children with European-American parents. Also, 1,000 handicapped or infirm were taken from hospitals as well as 2,000 men and women over the age of 65 (Burton, Farrell, Lord, & Lord). Following World War II, the “Internal Security Act of 1950” excluded aliens who had been communists or fascists in their countries from entering the U.S. The Cold War had a drastic impact on immigration to the States; however, the many waves of refugees will be covered later on. Waves – Mass-migrations

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It is, for the most part, common knowledge there have been mass-migrations of people from all over the world into the U.S. over its lifetime. These waves go from the Pilgrims, to 5,000 English prisoners creating what’s now Georgia, on to the waves of Irish immigrants during the potato famine years, and so on and so forth. Some other migrations that are not so well known include the massive influx of Norwegian immigrants in the late 19th century. In the decade of the 1880’s, a total of 9% of Norway’s total population immigrated to the States (TSL-EIF, 2008). Other migrations were stopped in their tracks by harsh immigration law, such as the influx of Asian and Western Europeans attempting to take refuge in the U.S. just before the outbreak of WWII in the late 1930’s. These people were sent back across the Atlantic and Pacific by the thousands because of strong isolationist feelings. Mass Naturalization. Of particular interest when studying the views of U.S. citizens and its government are the in-mass naturalizations that occurred during the country’s history. There are many examples of this in our nation’s history, but only a few recent cases will be discussed. Earlier, we reviewed the affects of war on immigrants. After 1945 when the Japanese, Italians, and Germans began being released from internment camps in the west – as well as a few on the east coast such as Ellis Island – it became a great concern over what to do with them. United States citizens were allowed to return to their lives, though without reimbursement for the losses of their property and jobs. Interestingly enough, during the war, the U.S. had acquired some 3,000 Japanese from Peru and following the war, Peru would not take them back – mostly because the motivation for ridding themselves of the minority in the first place was not for security but rather anti-Asian

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sentiments in their country. So, the U.S. government had to decide what to do with them. Some of the people were sent back to Japan, but the large majority were given citizenship in the U.S., making it one of the first recent examples of this practice, though certainly not the largest or last (Burton et al). With the Cold War beginning, Europe began taking sides. In a 1947 State of the Union address to Congress, President Harry Truman had this to say about refugees fleeing Europe, “I urge the Congress to turn its attention to this world problem in an effort to find ways whereby we can fulfill our responsibility to these thousands of homeless and suffering refugees of all faiths.” At the time, only around 5,000 immigrants fleeing Europe had been admitted, much less than the number being turned away (Woolley & Peters). Surprisingly, this statement seems to illustrate the stance of the government during the Cold War years; however, it does not entirely represent the view of the people. The following year Congress passed the “Displaced Person’s Act,” and later the “Refugee Relief Act” which gave a few hundred thousand immigrants refuge in the States while still turning away hundreds of thousands more (USCIS, 2006). Three years later in 1956 and ’57, 38,000 Hungarians who had failed to overthrow the Soviet Union in their country were granted refugee status in the States, constituting the first true mass nationalization of one nationality in the Cold War (TSL-EIF, 2008). Under international pressure from the United Nations and Western European allies as well as the executive branch, Congress passed the 1965 “Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments.” No one at the time considered the legislation to be as groundbreaking as it would soon become, but the sheer number of immigrants between 1966 and 2000 proves its effectiveness. Almost 23 million people came into the States as a result of that law (Daniels, 2007). How this law relates to mass

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nationalization of immigrants is how the law affected refugees. Of those 23 million people, only a little over 10 million immigrated into the U.S. via normal means – not using any factors other than their wanting to enter the country (TSL-EIF, 2008). The rest of those people were considered refugees from all parts of the world. The final group to be mentioned were brought in under another Immigration Reform Act passed in 1986. The legislation granted amnesty to 3,000,000 illegal aliens – most of whom were from the south, Mexico and other Central American countries – who had been in the country continuously sense 1982. The other side of the bill contained new controls to discourage illegal immigration as well as making it a crime to hire or seek to hire illegal immigrants. Immigration Now Current Policy. Today, the basic criteria to become a naturalized citizen for the United States are: • Five years of residency starting when you are granted legal permanent alien status. • Three months in the district or state where you will be when you apply for citizenship. • • • • Good moral character. Knowledge of civics (history & government). Understanding of the English language (reading, writing, and basic speech). An attachment to the United States Constitution (oath).

This information came from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website (USCIS, 2009). Current attitudes.

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In a 2008 Gallup poll, 57% of U.S. citizens over the age of 18 believed the level of immigrants coming into the country was either fine the way it was or should be increased. Thirty nine percent said that the level should be decreased while three percent were unsure. Less than a month after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the same poll was taken with only 38% of the population saying the level was fine where it was or wanted it increased and 58% of the people agreeing that the level needed to be decreased. However, after that year (as the same poll has been taken each year since), the population returned to roughly the same view as it has now. In the same Gallup poll in 2008, 64% of U.S. citizens agree that immigration was a good thing for the country today (Gallup, 2008). According to a September 2009 USA Today/ Gallup Poll, 84% of citizens believe that the country is in a recession, and just over fifty percent of the country believes the economy is getting better to some degree (either a lot or a little) (Gallup, 2009). This information is relevant because, according to scholars on immigration, a trend exists between immigration disapproval and times of economic instability or recession (Fetzer, 2000). Stereotypes Out-group Homogeneity Effect To understand stereotype formation, one of the key theories to identify is the out-group homogeneity effect theory. This theory has been proven many times over in scholarly experiments all over the country and in different cultures. However, the reason behind this effect is still being debated. In essence, the Effect is the tendency of individuals to see out-groups (those groups they are not a part of) as more homogeneous, or less variable, than in-groups (those in which they are a part). In layman’s terms, people see other groups (cultures/ micro-cultures) as more

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similar – and thus more stereotypical – than their own, which they see as variable and not stereotypical (Judd & Park, 1987). United States’ View of Stereotyping In the U.S., stereotypes always carry a negative connotation, whether or not they identify a positive or negative trait in a group of people. Psychologists Donald Taylor and Lana Porter have researched why this is so in the States while it is not generally true in other parts of the world. First, the history of stereotypes here is filled with negative and destructive connotations from European Americans towards African Americans. This automatically taints any usage of stereotypes today in any context. Secondly, they believe the idea of the United States being a “melting pot” of the world’s cultures is directly contrary to the acceptable formation of stereotypes. For by definition, stereotypes call out differences in groups while the “melting pot” idea emphasizes hegemony and the lack of differences. Lastly, Taylor and Porter recognize the well documented truth that people (or groups) are more attracted and willing to like someone (or another group) if they are alike. This means the more differences groups have, the more likely it will be that negative stereotypes will develop (Neuliep, 2009). The fact has been known for some time that stereotypes are one of the first ideas assimilated by children, even before they’re old enough to fully understand or question them (Neuliep, 2009). In fact, a study performed by Ashton Trice and Kimberly Rush on 4-year-old children in varying schools around the U.S. found these children had already developed gender stereotypes about what jobs belonged to men and what jobs belonged to women (Trice & Rush, 1995). One-shot Illusory Correlation

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In 1976, two researchers, Hamilton and Gifford, published an article titled, Illusory correlation in interpersonal perception: A cognitive basis of stereotypic judgments. Essentially, this article identified and began to explain the cognitive perception process an individual watching rare or unusual behavior performed by minority or out-group members goes through. This pairing of rare-behaviors (most commonly given negative connotations) and rare-groups is identified as a rare-rare combination. The theory created by Hamilton and Gifford, called the Illusory Correlation Theory, is contested still with researchers debating the meaning of the experiment results. However, despite doubts as to the legitimacy of Hamilton and Gifford’s theory, three researchers – Risen, Gilovich, and Dunning – published four studies in 2007 introducing and confirming the emergence of what they termed a One-shot Illusory Correlation. The census of the four studies showed this: • Rare-group/ Rare-behavior combinations require more processing time for subjects (Study 1) • Rare/Rare combinations require more processing time because subjects admittedly considered the rare-group member’s association with that group as a cause of their rare-behavior while not doing the same for any other behavior/ group combination (Study 2) • Subjects wondered more about rare-behavior in general, regardless of if it was committed by a rare or common group (Study 2) • Successful cognitive recall of information – as well as the increased processing time and behavior attribution – was proven attributed to rare/rare pairings and not negative-behavior/rare-group combinations (Study 3)

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Terms out-group and rare-group were found to not be synonymous when creating one-shot illusions. Rare-groups specifically brought a greater response than out-groups only (Study 4) (Risen, Gilovish, & Dunning). Though how does the One-shot Illusionary Correlation work in a real world

scenario? An example would be a man in the Midwest of the United States standing in line at the grocery store. This day he sees a woman from the Middle East wearing a chador – the traditional covering for a Muslim woman particularly in Iran. He’s never seen a woman from that part of the world before or one wearing a cador, but he knows it is something worn by Muslim women. While at the store waiting in line he notices that the woman never looks the man who’s bagging her groceries in the eyes and continues to stare at the floor while he’s helping her with her purchases. After leaving the store the man begins to wonder if the woman wouldn’t look at him because she was from the Middle East and a Muslim. The man’s cognitive thoughts about why she would not look the worker in the eyes is a simple example of the One-shot Illusory Correlation. He took extra time to register the event and attempted to identify her background as its source.5 Group Related Stereotype Formation Perceived group variability. When discussing stereotypes anywhere in the world, two other theoretical trends are helpful in understanding their formation and supposed validity. The first one of these is the premise of perceived group variability. Perceived group variability is usually seen as a gateway to understanding other factors of ingroup/out-group effects, though, Bernadette Park and Charles Judd assert P.G.V. is a field of study unto itself. Their research in how variability is measured and factors contributing to its formation helps to improve all aspects of group effects. Simply

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put, a perceiver (one forming the judgment) witnesses behavior by an exemplar (member of the in/out-group being perceived) and encodes that behavior to be recalled later. Controversy surrounds the factors associated with the recall and implementation of variability assessments though. One camp, led by Lineville et al, would assume that exemplars are the only encoded memory of groups. Therefore, when one is recalling a stereotypical judgment about a group, they do not recall group level information but only exemplars and thus each time come up with a new construct of the group variability and stereotypes. On the other hand, Park and Rothbart have come up with a more mixed approach, wherein the perceiver encodes exemplar information but also their judgments of the group at that time. So when information about the group is recalled, the perceiver brings up first group level generalizations of variability and stereotypes and secondly information on specific exemplars. These two leading theories represent how P.G.V. forms and is recalled. Understanding this is fundamental to further group variability research (Judd & Park, 1990). Out-group homogeneity effect. The second trend that is helpful in understanding stereotype formation in any culture is the out-group homogeneity effect. In its essence, it is the tendency of people (members of their own in-groups) to perceive others who are not members of their group (out-group members) as less variable and more homogeneous than their in-group. This OH effect – as it’s called – has been documented across many types of groups in multiple studies. Now why is it important? If one believes in this effect, then it helps to explain the confidence level of peoples’ stereotypes as well as their extent. The level of prejudice in study subjects has also been found to correlate to these factors (Rubin & Badea, 2007).

Immigration in U.S. Gender based stereotypes. It should be noted and referenced that stereotype formation is a much

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broader spectrum than different cultures, races, religions, or socio-economic status. Studies have shown over and over that gender stereotypes are among some of the most prominent in our society. A study by Ashton Trice and Kimberly Rush demonstrated the sex-related stereotype of 4-year-olds in preschools when asked about professions. The results of the study demonstrated a stereotypical trend in which professions the children deemed appropriate for males and females (1995). Beyond profession related stereotyping, another study by Amanda Durik et al compared gender stereotypes among different ethnic groups. Studying European, African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, the study found that “across ethnic groups, women are consistently stereotyped to express more fear, guilt, love, sadness, shame, surprise, and sympathy” than men in those same ethnic groups (2006). Both of these studies were performed in the United States but demonstrate the ability of stereotypes to form cross cultural similarities. Ethnocentrism Critiques of Study Crisis of modernity. This paper has already discussed ethnocentrism in detail above, what it is and why it is important. Before one may begin to analyze how ethnocentrism presents itself in the society of the United States, one should be aware of its criticisms. Normally, the Crisis of Modernity would not be an issue when discussing ethnocentrism in one’s own culture. However, in the case of the U.S. and a handful of other nations, the CoM is an issue which must be explored. In short, the CoM is the new doubt that what is considered the modern view of human history and

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cultural evolution is the true picture of how things occurred. This issue threatens the frame or context in which most if not all social science studies are conducted. Universalistic convictions. Next, a branch of the CoM is the belief in a Universalistic Conviction. Essentially this is the risk of assuming all world cultures have as their final “goal” – one could say – a Western society with its behaviors and beliefs at their core. This is obviously a fallacy in any argument; though many researchers find these fallacies in others analyses of non-Western culture. Cultural Pluralism is what threatens the universalistic approach to thinking (Cabrera, 2008).6 The Ethnocentric Threat “Racism and ethnocentrism are not synonymous, they are related” says Neuliep. The relationship he refers to is also the threat ethnocentrism can form in a culture. Ethnocentrism is almost a requirement for racism; however, racism is not a requirement of ethnocentrism. The traits and motivations of racism will be discussed later. Ethnocentrism on the other hand is a natural process of human nature. In fact, many researchers believe we as humans are born into ethnocentrism through our ethnicity and cultural upbringing. It has been described as a “survival instinct” relative to all “people in all cultures” (2009). However, when ethnocentrism is taken to extremes, it can become a learned cognitive process with alternative motivations and bases for its ideology. Racism Racism, unlike ethnocentrism, is a process rooted in biology. It is the hierarchical belief that all other racial groups are inferior to the one and this cannot be changed through education or culture. Racism is unchanging and takes no other factors into consideration when deciding racial dominance.

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The differences between racism and ethnocentrism are relatively easy to identify. The differences between racism and stereotyping may sometimes be blurred. Stereotypes are thought to be altered whenever new stimulus is brought to the perceiver’s attention. Although with racism, again, no factors beside the genetic component play any role. So one might ask why racism would ever be taught to a culture. The main argument for the propagation of racism is a society’s ignorance of another, fear of their cultures, and hatred towards their actions (Neuliep, 2009). Merits of Ethnocentrism and Stereotypes Stereotype Functionality This paper has covered the pros and cons of stereotypes. It has discussed how they are formed and why. Though it has not, until now, speculated as to if they should or should not be changed. Stereotypes by their nature are moldable. They are created from impressions given to us by exemplars or by third parties such as the news media and we then use the information to develop a group association. In short, yes, some stereotypes should be changed. Though, only some should be changed because – unlike the belief in the United States – not all stereotypes are considered bad everywhere in the world. Stereotypes can serve a purpose in helping micro-cultural groups retain important values of their groups. Stereotypes may also serve as a warning, a defense mechanism for some societies where law and order are not so readily enforced. Stereotypes should however be changed when they begin to solidify and border on racism. Society, not just in the United States but elsewhere, must be careful to caution micro-cultural groups as well as the dominant culture from believing too firmly in stereotypes. There must be a line in the sand – so to speak –

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where a society can tolerate the individual stereotypes of its people but step in before those stereotypes become dangerous racially based beliefs. Ethnocentrism Functionality For much the same reason stereotypes can be useful to society, ethnocentric thinking can also be useful. Things like ideas, train of thoughts, and cultural evolution as a whole are culturally specific. One of those things created in the United States will not work the same if it is put into practice in the Middle East, Asia, or a number of other societies. However, a train of thought which has been working well in the United States might – and most likely will – continue to do so and is therefore perfectly acceptable. So where one must remain cautious is how they treat other civilizations. One cannot apply their own ethnocentric notions of conditions and measures of culture to other areas of the world and expect them to be accurate measurements. These types of areas of research must be rethought from outside of the mold in order to find ways to accurately understand and categorize different cultures. These new ways cannot be biased or subject to Universalistic Convictions from Western Civilization or any other. Changing Ethnocentric Viewpoints When a society, such as the United States’, hopes to develop a “melting pot” culture where many religions, traditions, and a variety of other ways of life are brought together and treated equally, cultural education becomes paramount to change ethnocentric viewpoints. Especially in the beginning, with the first generation to attempt this, cultural literacy must be stressed in curriculum with the goal being to override the ethnocentric viewpoints each child is taught from birth.

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This is certainly easier said than done. Kenneth Carano, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida, is a Peace Corps veteran who has spent much of his career teaching school children about other cultures. A 2006 National Geographic and Roper survey cited in Carano and Michael Berson’s paper announces, “90% of young Americans were unable to locate Afghanistan on a map” and only 63% could find Iraq. This geographic literacy deficiency is not only limited to physical geography. Studies have proven that young citizens of the United States are more apt to the Out-group Homogeneity effect than people of similar ages in other areas of the world. Carano and Berson give our best chance to increase children’s cultural literacy to technology. They first propose using the Internet in Social Studies classrooms to connect children from different backgrounds so they may share their opinions and beliefs. The other important use of the Internet, according to Carano and Berson, is to allow children to find news sources of their own to expand their knowledge of the world (2007). Even the use of the Internet in these ways is not enough. Educators must incorporate global perspectives into Social Studies curriculum. There are eight Dimensions of Global Perspective listed by Carano and Berson but created by other researchers. According to these two men, inclusion of technology into the classroom and the Either Dimensions of Global Perspectives into the curriculum would be enough to begin altering the naive cultural perceptions of youth in the United States. Conclusion This paper has given an overview of most of the topics one would need to understand in order to accurately begin to measure and discuss ethnocentrism and

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stereotypes in the United States. The point of the theory explained and history given is to educate the reader in how stereotypes and ethnocentric thinking effect their everyday lives. Ironically, it is the desire of the author to promote the reader of this paper to change not their actions towards others or even their thoughts (stereotypes) but instead to rethink the perceptions they have made about others in out-group settings, whether those out-groups be micro-cultures here in the United States or other cultures which interact with the United States. It was the 1864 Republican Party platform that might have summed up the author’s view on immigration the best when they said, “Foreign immigration which in the past has added so much to the wealth, resources, and increase of power to the nation… should be fostered and encouraged” (TSL-EIF, 2008).

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television news exposure and stereotypical perceptions of African Americans. Journal of Communication, 58, 321-337. Durik, A. M., Hyde, J. S., Marks, A. C., Roy, A. L., Anaya, D., Schultz, G. (2006). Ethnicity and gender stereotypes of emotion. Sex Roles, 429-445. doi: 10.1007/s11199-006-9020-4 Fetzer, J. S. (2000). Public attitudes towards immigration in the United States, France, and Germany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gallup Poll. Immigration [Charts]. Retrieved from Judd, C. M., & Park, B. (1987). Out-group homogeneity: Judgments of variability at the individual and group levels. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54 (5), 778-788. Judd, C. M., & Park, B. (1990). Measures and models of perceived group variability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59 (2), 173-191. Neuliep, J. W. (2009). Intercultural communication: A contextual approach (4th ed.). United States: Sage. Paine, T. (1776). Common Sense. Philadelphia: Bell. Risen, J. L., Gilovish, T., & Dunning, D. (2007). One-shot illusory correlations and stereotype formation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1492-1502.

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Rubin, M., & Badea, C. (2007). Why do people perceive ingroup homogeneity on ingroup traits and outgroup homogeneity on outgroup traits? Personality and Psychology Bulletin, 33, 31-42. Sumner, W.G. (1906). Folkways. Boston: Ginn. Trice, A. D., & Rush, K. (1995). Sex-stereotyping in four-year-olds’ occupational aspirations. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 81, 701-702. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (2008). Ellis Island. Retrieved from Trice, A. D., & Rush, K. (1995). Sex-stereotyping in four-year-olds’ occupational aspirations. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 81, 701-702. United States Census Bureau (2009, October 27). Population clocks. Retrieved from United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (2006). Legislation from 17901900 [PDF]. Available from USA Today/ Gallup Poll. Economic outlook [Charts]. Retrieved from Woolley, J. T., & Peters, G. (n.d.). The American Presidency Project. Santa Barbara, CA: Gerhard Peters. Available from

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In 1619, the first slaves began being forcibly brought to the colonies from the

Caribbean and afterwards increasingly from Africa (TSL-EIF, 2008).

The Federal government, it was believed, did not have the authority to

regulate or monitor immigration into the United States until 1875 and did not do so until 1890. Before then, Congress had only monitored immigration. Essentially the states themselves turned over that power to Congress (TSL-EIT, 2008).

The “Chinese Exclusion Act” was not repealed until the end of 1943. The U.S. government decided a person would be considered Japanese if they


had a 1/16 Japanese heritage (Burton, Ferral, Lord, & Lord). That comes down to one of your great-great-grandparents being of Japanese descent.

Though not a true One-shot Illusory Correlation, a study performed by Travis

Dixon with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted a study of what could be considered a One-source Illusory Correlation. In his study, Dixon found with respondents to his randomly sampled phone survey there was a correlation between network news exposure and a negative estimation of African American income, a positive relationship with African American stereotype endorsement, and a positive relation to racism in its modern context (2008).

Authors Patrick Chabal and Jean-Pascal Daloz critique the current status quo

in their book, Culture Troubles: Politics and the Interpretation of Meaning. Among many other things they dispel the idea of seeing cultures as sets of norms, beliefs, creeds, and values as well as the idea of seeing cultures as universally unconscious networks integrated into human nature. The two propose a new way to study

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culture which encourages a “System of Meaning,” hopefully to uncover the “webs of significance” behind cultural actions without ethnocentric bias (Cabrera, 2008).