There are numerous examples of such groups gaining eventual prosperity in their adopted country despite discrimination. Often, they will take on roles between producer and consumer, such as trading and moneylending. Famous examples such as Jews throughout Europe even at times when the discrimination against them was at their peak such as during World War II they still had great success in some parts of Europe, Chinese throughout Southeast Asia, Parsis in India, Igbos in Nigeria, Indians in East Africa, people from the Soviet Blocs in the USA during the Cold War, and many others.
Stereotypically, middleman minorities are thrifty and save a large portion of their incomes, and have limited interaction with the native population in a country. Education is placed at a high premium among all of these groups. These groups usually become the most successful ethnic groups in a society soon after they immigrate, even though they are often poor when they first arrive. Middleman minorities usually provide an economic benefit to communities and nations and often start new industries. However, their economic aptitude, financial success, clannishness, common prejudices and paranoia against businesses and moneylending among other groups, and often disproportionate representation in universities and in politics, high representation in commerce and some high end white collar professional and managerial positions can cause resentment among the native population of a country. Middleman Minorities can be victims of violence, genocide, racialist programs, or other forms of repression. Other ethnic groups often accuse them of plotting conspiracies against their nation or of stealing wealth from the native population.
Examples of Middleman minorities
- Ottoman Greeks in the Ottoman Empire
- Ottoman Armenian in the Ottoman Empire
- Ottoman Jews in the Ottoman Empire
- American Jews in the United States
- European Jews in Europe
- Iranian Armenians in Safavid dynasty
- Armenian American in the United States
- Irish and Italian Americans in the United States during the 19th century (especially early New York City)
- Arab Christians in Middle East
- Marwaris in Burma
- Southern and Eastern Europeans in the Americas in the 19th and early 20th century
- People from the Soviet Blocs in the United States during the Cold War
- Asian Indians in East Africa
- British Africans in Southern Africa
- Chinese in Southeast Asia
- Parsis in India
- Igbos in Nigeria
- Croats in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- Lebanese in West Africa
- Lebanese (Mostly Christians) in Latin America
- Japanese in South America
- World on Fire (Book about Middleman/Market-dominant minorities throughout the World)
- O'Brien, David J.; Stephen S. Fugita (April 1982). "Middleman Minority Concept: Its Explanatory Value in the Case of the Japanese in California Agriculture". The Pacific Sociological Review (University of California Press) 25 (2): 185–204. JSTOR 1388723.
- Sowell, Thomas (2005). "Is Anti-Semitism Generic?". Hoover Digest (Hoover Press) 2005 (3).
- Steven Runciman. The Great Church in Captivity. Cambridge University Press, 1988, page 197.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, "Greek history, The mercantile middle class", 2008 ed.
- Viscount Bryce, James (1916). The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916. T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. ISBN 0-9535191-5-5.
- Blow; p. 213.
- Sisson, Richard (2006). The American Midwest: an interpretive encyclopedia. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Univ. Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-253-34886-9.
- Pope to Arab Christians: Keep the Faith.
- "The historical march of the Arabs: the third moment."
- "The invisible occupation of Lebanon". The Christian Science Monitor. 18 May 2005.
- Silverman, Robert Mark. 2000. Doing Business in Minority Markets: Black and Korean Entrepreneurs in Chicago’s Ethnic Beauty Aids Industry. New York: Garland Publishing.
- Bonacich, Edna (October 1973). "A Theory of Middleman Minorities". American Sociological Review 38 (5): 583–594. doi:10.2307/2094409.