Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration

Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration

by Richard Alba
     
 

ISBN-10: 067401040X

ISBN-13: 9780674010406

Pub. Date: 03/05/2003

Publisher: Harvard University Press

In this age of multicultural democracy, the idea of assimilation—that the social distance separating immigrants and their children from the mainstream of American society closes over time—seems outdated and, in some forms, even offensive. But as Richard Alba and Victor Nee show in the first systematic treatment of assimilation since the mid-1960s, it

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Overview

In this age of multicultural democracy, the idea of assimilation—that the social distance separating immigrants and their children from the mainstream of American society closes over time—seems outdated and, in some forms, even offensive. But as Richard Alba and Victor Nee show in the first systematic treatment of assimilation since the mid-1960s, it continues to shape the immigrant experience, even though the geography of immigration has shifted from Europe to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Institutional changes, from civil rights legislation to immigration law, have provided a more favorable environment for nonwhite immigrants and their children than in the past.

Assimilation is still driven, in claim, by the decisions of immigrants and the second generation to improve their social and material circumstances in America. But they also show that immigrants, historically and today, have profoundly changed our mainstream society and culture in the process of becoming Americans.

Surveying a variety of domains—language, socioeconomic attachments, residential patterns, and intermarriage—they demonstrate the continuing importance of assimilation in American life. And they predict that it will blur the boundaries among the major, racially defined populations, as nonwhites and Hispanics are increasingly incorporated into the mainstream.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674010406
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/05/2003
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.23(d)

Table of Contents

1Rethinking assimilation1
2Assimilation theory, old and new17
3Assimilation in practice : the Europeans and East Asians67
4Was assimilation contingent on specific historical conditions?124
5The background to contemporary immigration167
6Evidence of contemporary assimilation215
7Conclusion : remaking the mainstream271

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