Social Communication and Black Nationalism: An Application of Karl W. Deutsch's Model of Nationalism

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In Nationalism and Social Communication Karl W. Deutsch has developed a model to aid in the study of nationalism. The purpose of this model is to enable the researcher, investigating a national movement, to make some predictions concerning its outcome. The purpose of this thesis was to test the adequacy of Deutsch's model for a study of black nationalism in the United States, and to see what, if any, predictions might be made concerning the outcome of such a movement. The thesis was developed in accord with Deutsch's basic framework: evidences from psychological and sociological research to indicate the amount of social cohesion in the black community; applications of various demographic data to determine the direction and rate of assimilation; and, discussion of other factors, e.g., educational facilities, which will further influence the direction of assimilation. It was found that while there was some evidence of cohesion within the black community, the community felt that its values and goals could best be obtained in an integrated society. Population groups which will either actively support or oppose a national movement have grown rapidly since 1900, causing the black community to consciously define itself. Language, educational, economic and cultural factors that occur within the black community tend to be weakly differentiated, if at all, from those in the general society. The only strong factor differentiating the black community was that of symbols. It was concluded that Deutsch's framework is adequate for developing some insight into the future of black nationalism, but in order to make prediction possible better criteria for determining the assimilated population were needed. It was found that the integrationist trend in the black community seems to be strong, but that continued frustration in reaching goals might give impetus to a strong black nationalist movement.