Historical Roots of Chicago's Contemporary Violence: An Interpretation of Chicago's Early Sociologists' Texts on Black Assimilation
28 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 21, 2018
Early 20th century Chicago witnessed an in-migration of foreign-born immigrants and black American migrants fleeing slavery. As the black Americans population increased and dispersed across urban neighborhoods, whites’ anti-black aggression and violence intensified. This paper outlines the mechanisms that account for this discord through an examination of sociological texts. We propose that, first, contemporary racial discord has diachronic origins; second, 21st century synchronic analysis of racial discord, absent of historical insight, cannot adequately account for a century of racial violence by attributing it to poverty and employment going overseas; and, third, a century of racism cannot be mitigated by replacing personnel in administrative agencies, retraining law enforcement personnel, and tightening police oversight. Mitigation of systemic law enforcement violence toward black Americans must first recognize the contemporary effects of the history of law enforcement agencies’ institutionalized racism documented by sociologists a century ago. A synchronic account of the origin of that racism lays deeply buried in the intellectual history of early 20th century social science when decades of social researchers misinterpreted the influence of culture and biology on racial behavior.
Keywords: Black Migration, Culture Contact, Racism, Antagonistic Acculturation, Violence
JEL Classification: Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation