Thinking about the outcome of mixing races, are Asians and Europeans distinguishable in the distant future? As intermarriage goes intense, there would be many minorities in race. In contrast, majorities’ attitudes toward minorities generate discrimination simultaneously; minorities are more likely to be exposed to prejudice. However, Steve Olson says that each mixed individuals are the key to weaken the barricade between races.
Matthijis Kalmijin also supports the point that intermarriage decreases the conflicts between cultural groups and it weaken prejudice and stereotypes against other races. In the past decades, researchers have described patterns of marriage, and examined individual variations in intermarriage. In terms of making selection on partners, it seems race has had much influence on it. In the report written by Matthijis Kalmijin, he says “People have a tendency to marry within their social group or to marry a person who is close to them in status.
Although many characteristics play a role in the choice of a spouse, sociologists have most often examined endogamy and homogamy with respect to race/ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. ” According to the research, in a sense that people have tendency to marry a person from the same race or close status, endogamy will still be practiced even if intermarriage go intense. Therefore, Asians and Europeans would be physically distinguishable in the future. Native Hawaiians are one of the good examples of “minorities” in race. How did they become minorities?
On November 26, 1778, an European ship captained by James Cook first arrived at the Hawaiian island of Maui. Never seen Europeans before, yet Polynesians accepted them without hesitation; women from lower classes were willing to exchange their bodies in order to move up in social status. In 1852, 84 years later of his arrival, three hundred Chinese men arrived to work on plantations, and in the next century nearly half a million more workers followed, including China, Japan, Korea, Puerto Rico, Spain, Austria, Germany, Norway, and Russia.
This is how so called hapa Haoles came out. What does this history bring in today’s Hawaiian society? According to Olson, Native Hawaiians have the lowest incomes and highest unemployment rates of any ethic group. They have the most health problems and the shortest life expectancy. They are the least likely to go to college and the most likely to be incarcerated. This is caused by a vicious circle; discrepancy in education and employment between native Hawaiians and majorities.
Well-off haoles, Chinese, and Japanese send their children to private school, while the public schools are underfunded. Besides, the rapid growth of the tourism industry in Hawaii accelerates the already-worse situation today. Tourism produces mostly low-paying jobs in sale, and construction. Because the education and jobs that you can possibly acquire is closely connected, there has few opportunities for native Hawaiians to move up in career and improve their quality of lives.
However, Olson says “Minority races are likely to be exposed to prejudice, but barriers between groups become more permeable when a substantial number of mixed individuals demonstrate choices are possible. ” In other words, you can make a “choice” to look down minorities or to respect them. This is also supported by the Matthijis Kalmijin’s report saying that “intermarriage can thus be regarded as an intimate link between social groups” in a sense that marriage is usually an intimate and long-term relationship.
Also, firstly, “intermarriage decreases the salience of cultural distinctions in future generations because the children of mixed marriages are less likely to identify with themselves with a single group”. Secondly, “by intermarrying, individuals may lose the negative attitudes they have toward other groups. ” In other words, intermarriage may eventually weaken prejudice and stereotypes against other races in the way that it makes the very people and the future generations feel more amiable toward their races.
Although it depends on how mixed individuals feel and think about their races, they are definitely the key to eliminate prejudice. As an mixed of Japanese and Chinese, I strongly agree to the Olson’s opinion saying that “the barrier become permeable” if we mixed individuals make choice. Being put in this situation, I sometimes feel ambivalent about my nationality and cannot put myself in either side because I know both societies’ good and bad aspects. The answer I found was to be an international person without fully belonging to one side.
As previously mentioned in Kalmijin’s words, I am exactly “the children of mixed marriages” without identifying themselves with a single social group and I want to be “an intimate link between social groups”. I think cultures will survive as long as each race respects and practices their distinctive cultures. Mixed races including me tend to forget to learn deeply about one culture. Because mixed races will increase over time in general, however, I regard we are the one who need to keep these things in mind and make effort to understand multiple cultures which we are exposed.
Courtney from Study Moose
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