Middleman entrepreneurs

Authored by: Pyong Gap Min

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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When two or more ethnic/racial groups live together in a society, they have almost always maintained ethnic stratification. The dominant group has controlled subordinate minority groups, both politically and socioeconomically. Social scientists interested in ethnic and race relations have recognized that certain alien groups have played an intermediary role in host societies between the dominant group and subordinate minorities. They use the concept “middleman minorities” or “middleman entrepreneurs” to characterize these minorities' intermediate economic role, bridging what they call the “status gap” in particular societies. Since the 1960s, the concept has been popularly used in the social science literature (Rinder 1958–59; Blalock 1967: 79–84; Eitzen 1971; Loewen 1971; Bonacich 1973; Zenner 1991).

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