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Ethnic Conflict and the Rise and Fall of Ethnic Newspapers

Susan Olzak and Elizabeth West
American Sociological Review
Vol. 56, No. 4 (Aug., 1991), pp. 458-474
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096268
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ethnic Conflict and the Rise and Fall of Ethnic Newspapers
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Abstract

Contemporary research on collective action claims that organizations play a central role in facilitating many kinds of collective actions. We reverse the causal link and ask whether ethnic conflict affects the life chances of social movement organizations. We analyze the effects of ethnic conflict, fluctuations in the economy, and organizational density on the rates of founding and failure of white immigrant and African-American newspaper organizations in a system of American cities, and in New York and Chicago, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Our results indicate that hostility and violence encouraged white immigrants to found ethnic newspapers, whereas racial attacks significantly deterred the founding of African-American newspapers. Existing immigrant newspapers thrived under attack, whereas African-American newspapers did not. Thus, the results suggest that the consequences of repressive attacks on ethnic and racial communities depend on the levels of collective violence in addition to the resources controlled by the victimized group.

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