Re: Oppressed Minorities (was: Social Engineering)

Gerold Firl (
17 Feb 1995 13:55:29 -0800

In article <3hr9f4$> (PioneerTom) writes:

> But then Gerold goes on to say:
><The high rates of crime seen in american urban areas, particularly among
>>blacks, could be seen as a consequence of _integration_; as blacks make

>Here I would have to disagree that it was, for certain, racial
>integration, specifically, that would cause that cultural disintegration,
>since there is another level of cultural change that took place almost
>simultaneously with integration. That change was the movement from a
>rural, agrarian, stagnant technology, communications inhibited environment
>to an environment that I have described before as an increasingly
>communications intensive, technological, industrial environment.

True, though it's important to note that communications-intensive societies
are intrinsically integrative. So integration must be seen as more than
just a legal process by which citizens are accorded equal protection under
the law; it is also a process of acculturation by which disparate
subcultures are exposed to other ways of living and other ways of thinking.
The distinctions between the subcultures tend to blur, though generally the
lower-status cultures tend to assimilate, moving toward the high-status

Note: music is probably the best example of a counter-current cultural
blend, where mainstream white culture was profoundly influenced by american
black musical forms. It does happen, when the minority culture has produced
an efflorescense which is perceived as being particularly attractive. This
does create some stress within the dominant culture - think of the record-
burnings which took place in the 50's as decadent negroe music was
denounced by right-thinking americans. But in large measure the movement
goes toward the majority/dominant culture, producing greater stress in the
minority culture.

>This seems to indicate that we should look at the transition from the old
>cultures (adapted to the old environment) to cultures adapted to an
>industrial environment as a large causative agent ...

Agreed. We see it in extreme cases, such as the cargo cults, and to a
lesser degree everywhere, as electronic communications integrates all of
human culture into a global culture.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf