A middleman minority is a minority population whose considerable occupations are somewhere in between the producers and consumers: traders, money-lenders, etc., hence the word "middleman" in the term. A middleman minority, while possibly being a subject to discrimination, does not hold an "extreme subordinate" status in society.
The book World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability introduces a similar concept of market-dominant minorities.
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, Lebanese in West 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.
- American Jews
- European Jews
- Ottoman Jews
- Ottoman Greeks
- Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
- Armenians in Baku during the Russian Empire
- Persian Armenians in Safavid dynasty
- Azerbaijanis during the Imperial era of Iran (16th–20th centuries)
- Azerbaijanis in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire
- Azerbaijanis in contemporary Iran
- Azerbaijanis in contemporary Russia
- Chinese Americans
- Japanese Americans
- Korean Americans
- Greek Americans
- Armenian Americans
- Lebanese Americans
- Asian Indians in East Africa
- Chinese in Southeast Asia
- Parsis in India, although having prospered, have done so under active patronisation of Indian rulers and have not been discriminated against because of their race.
- Japanese in South America
- Syrians in West Africa
- Marwaris in Nepal & India.
- Lebanese in South America.
- Sowell, Thomas (2005). "Is Anti-Semitism Generic?". Hoover Digest. Hoover Press. 2005 (3).
- 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.
- Bonacich, Edna (October 1973). "A Theory of Middleman Minorities". American Sociological Review. American Sociological Association. 38 (5): 583–594. doi:10.2307/2094409. JSTOR 2094409 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (. ))
- Black Rednecks & White Liberals
- Suny, Ronald Grigor. "Eastern Armenians Under Tsarist Rule" in The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume II: Foreign Dominion to Statehood: The Fifteenth Century to the Twentieth Century, ed. Richard G. Hovannisian, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997, p. 125.
- Blow; p. 213.
- Black Rednecks & White Liberals
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- "The Chinese in America: A Narrative History"
- "Japanese Americans: The Development of a Middleman Minority"
- "The Middleman Minority Characteristics Of Korean Immigrants In The United States"
- Essays on Twentieth-Century History p.44
- Silverman, Robert Mark. 2000. Doing Business in Minority Markets: Black and Korean Entrepreneurs in Chicago’s Ethnic Beauty Aids Industry. New York: Garland Publishing.
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