A middleman minority is a minority population whose main occupations link producers and consumers: traders, money-lenders, etc. A middleman minority, while possibly suffering discrimination, does not hold an "extreme subordinate" status in society. The "middleman minority" concept was developed by sociologists like Blalock and Bonacich starting in the 1960s but is also used by political scientists and economists.
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 discrimination against them was high, Chinese throughout Southeast Asia, Muslims and Parsis in India, Igbos in Nigeria, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, and many others.
Middleman minorities usually provide an economic benefit to communities and nations and often start new industries. However, their economic aptitude, financial success, clannishness, combined with social prejudices by other groups against businesses and moneylending, can cause resentment among the native population of a country. Middleman minorities can be victims of violence, genocide, racialist policy, 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
- Arab Christians in the Arab World
- 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
- Radhanite Jews
- 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.
- Chinese and Vietnamese in Russia and Eastern Europe since the fall of Communism and collapse of the Soviet Union
- The majority of the 19th and early 20th centuries Middle Eastern immigrants to Brazil (Lebanese, Syrians, etc., collectively called "arabes" or "turcos", the latter term because they came from the Ottoman Empire) were peddlers, merchants and other types of non-"producers".
- Colonialism, particularly exploitation colonialism and plantation colonies
- Dominant minority
- Market-dominant minority
- Model minority
- Yuri Slezkine's book The Jewish Century (2004) discussed the concept of "Mercurian" people "specializ[ing] exclusively in providing services to the surrounding food-producing societies," which are characterized as "Apollonians"
- 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).
- 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. (Registration required (. ))
- Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks & White Liberals; about the book: Black Rednecks and 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.
- Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1985). Russian Azerbaijan, 1905-1920: The Shaping of a National Identity in a Muslim Community. Cambridge University Press.
- Braux, Adeline (3 December 2013). "Azerbaijani Migrants in Russia" (PDF). Caucasus Analytical Digest. 57 (5): 5–7.
- "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
- Boxberger, Linda (2002). On the edge of empire: Hadhramawt, emigration, and the Indian Ocean, 1880s-1930s. SUNY Press. ISBN 9780791452172. ISSN 2472-954X. OCLC 53226033.
- Freitag, Ulrike (1999). "Hadhramaut: A Religious Centre for the Indian Ocean in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries?". Studia Islamica (89): 165–183. doi:10.2307/1596090. JSTOR 1596090.
- Manger, Leif (2010). The Hadrami diaspora: Community-building on the Indian Ocean rim. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781845459789. OCLC 732958389.
- Jeffrey Lesser, "(Re) Creating Ethnicity: Middle Eastern Immigration to Brazil", The Americas Vol. 53, No. 1 (Jul., 1996), pp. 45-65 JSTOR 1007473
- Silverman, Robert Mark. 2000. Doing Business in Minority Markets: Black and Korean Entrepreneurs in Chicago’s Ethnic Beauty Aids Industry. New York: Garland Publishing.
- "Ethnic enclaves and middleman minorities: alternative strategies of immigrant adaptation?". Sociol Perspect. 30 (2): 143–61. Apr 1987. doi:10.2307/1388996. PMID 12315137.
- Pál Nyíri, Chinese in Eastern Europe and Russia: A Middleman Minority in a Transnational Era, 2007, ISBN 0415446864