First Advisor

Grant M. Farr

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology






Chinese -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (96 p.)


Middleman minority theory explains why certain minorities in America have made impressive socioeconomic achievements. It is found that their occupational patterns play an important role in their socioeconomic success. Middleman minorities usually concentrate in certain occupations and dominate these occupations. The term "middleman" indicates that such ethnic minorities are functioning as middleman between lower and upper class, customer and producer in the host society.

The three preconditions through which middleman minorities get into these occupations are cultural, contextual and situational variables.

The cultural variables concern mainly the homeland of the minorities, the value system of their native culture, and the economic background of the minorities. The second precondition consists of situational variables such as immigrants' intention to return to their homeland. This intention of being "sojourners" prevents assimilation of the ethnic minorities into the host culture. The hostile attitudes and strong structural discrimination are the contextual variables of the third precondition. Structural discrimination closes many job opportunities of the minorities.


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