The construction of minorities: cases for comparison across time and around the world

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André Burguière, Raymond Grew
University of Michigan Press, 2001 - Social Science - 345 pages
How does a minority come to be? In an unusual project, a notable group of French and American scholars take the view that minorities are socially constructed. Their original studies of specific historical examples produce a series of stimulating and provocative essays useful and enjoyable for specialists and the general reader alike.
Spawned from a conference organized by the journals Annales and Comparative Studies in Society and History in concert with the Center for Historical Research at l'EHESS in Paris and the Department of History at the University of Michigan, this collection contrasts studies of Afro-Americans in the United States, French Protestants, notables in Renaissance Florence, religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire, Muslim and Chinese traders in Southeast Asia, the native peoples of Spanish America, lower-caste Indians, ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union, Australian aborigines, and American and French responses to AIDS to reveal valuable information about how minorities come to be constructed within societies. Some of the minorities considered are identified primarily in terms of their ethnicity, some by social class, and some by religion (Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim); a final essay asks whether the victims of AIDS constitute a minority at all.
With its cross-cultural emphasis, this book will be a valuable addition to courses on diversity, ethnicity, and cultural comparison. It is destined to be a useful reference for undergraduate and research libraries and a much-consulted work for specialists on each of the societies considered.
André Burguière is Research Director, l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (l'EHESS) in Paris. Raymond Grew is Professor of History Emeritus, University of Michigan.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Constructing African Americans as Minorities
15
Nobles or Pariahs? The Exclusion of Florentine
45
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Burguiere is Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.

Raymond Grew is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He earned both his M.A. (1952) and Ph.D. (1957) from Harvard University in the field of modern European history. He was a Fulbright Fellow to Italy (1954-1955), and Fulbright Traveling Fellow to France (1976, 1990), Guggenheim Fellow (1968-1969), Director of Studies at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1976, 1987, 1990), and a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1979). In 1962 he received the Chester Highby Prize from the American Historical Association, and in 1963 the Italian government awarded him the Unita d'Italia Prize; in 1992 he received the David Pinkney Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies. He is an active member of the A.H.A.; the Society for French Historical Studies; the Society for Italian Historical Studies, of which he has been president; and the Council for European Studies, of which he has twice served as national chair. His books included A Sterner Plan for Italian Unity (1963), edited Crises of Development in Europe and the United States (1978), and with Patrick J. Harrigan, School, State, and Society: The Growth of Elementary Schooling in Nineteenth-Century France (1991); he is also the editor of Comparative Studies in Society and History and its book series. He has also written on global history and is one of the directors of the Global History Group. His articles and reviews have appeared in a number of European and American journals.

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