Can the recent influx of immigrants successfully enter the mainstream of American life, or will many of them fail to thrive and become part of a permanent underclass? Achieving Anew examines immigrant life in school, at work, and in communities and demonstrates that recent immigrants and their children do make substantial progress over time, both within and between generations. From policymakers to private citizens, our national conversation on immigration has consistently questioned the country's ability to absorb increasing numbers of foreign nationals—now nearly one million legal entrants per year. Using census data, longitudinal education surveys, and other data, Michael White and Jennifer Glick place their study of new immigrant achievement within a context of recent developments in assimilation theory and policies regulating who gets in and what happens to them upon arrival. They find that immigrant status itself is not an important predictor of educational achievement. First-generation immigrants arrive in the United States with less education than native-born Americans, but by the second and third generation, the children of immigrants are just as successful in school as native-born students with equivalent social and economic background. As with prior studies, the effects of socioeconomic background and family structure show through strongly. On education attainment, race and ethnicity have a strong impact on achievement initially, but less over time. Looking at the labor force, White and Glick find no evidence to confirm the often-voiced worry that recent immigrants and their children are falling behind earlier arrivals. On the contrary, immigrants of more recent vintage tend to catch up to the occupational status of natives more quickly than in the past. Family background, educational preparation, and race/ethnicity all play a role in labor market success, just as they do for the native born, but the offspring of immigrants suffer no disadvantage due to their immigrant origins. New immigrants continue to live in segregated neighborhoods, though with less prevalence than native black-white segregation. Immigrants who arrived in the 1960s are now much less segregated than recent arrivals. Indeed, the authors find that residential segregation declines both within and across generations. Yet black and Mexican immigrants are more segregated from whites than other groups, showing that race and economic status still remain powerful influences on where immigrants live. Although the picture is mixed and the continuing significance of racial factors remains a concern, Achieving Anew provides compelling reassurance that the recent wave of immigrants is making impressive progress in joining the American mainstream. The process of assimilation is not broken, the advent of a new underclass is not imminent, and the efforts to argue for the restriction of immigration based on these fears are largely mistaken.
“This book is both powerful and important. Powerful for the testimony it provides from Americans of many different (and even mixed races) about their experiences. And important because there is a racial revolution underway that will upend race as we know it during the twenty-first century.”
—John Kenneth White, Catholic University of America
America Beyond Black and White is a call for a new way of imagining race in America. For the first time in U.S. history, the black-white dichotomy that has historically defined race and ethnicity is being challenged, not by a small minority, but by the fastest-growing and arguably most vocal segment of the increasingly diverse American population—Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Arabs, and many more—who are breaking down and recreating the very definitions of race.
Drawing on interviews with hundreds of Americans who don’t fit conventional black/white categories, the author invites us to empathize with these “doubles” and to understand why they may represent our best chance to throw off the strictures of the black/white dichotomy.
The revolution is already underway, as newcomers and mixed-race “fusions” refuse to engage in the prevailing Anglo- Protestant culture. Americans face two choices: understand why these individuals think as they do, or face a future that continues to define us by what divides us rather than by what unites us.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States was faced with a new and radically mixed population, one that included freed African Americans, former reservation Indians, and a burgeoning immigrant population. In The Autobiography of Citizenship, Tova Cooper looks at how educators tried to impose unity on this divergent population, and how the new citizens in turn often resisted these efforts, reshaping mainstream U.S. culture and embracing their own view of what it means to be an American.
The Autobiography of Citizenship traces how citizenship education programs began popping up all over the country, influenced by the progressive approach to hands-on learning popularized by John Dewey and his followers. Cooper offers an insightful account of these programs, enlivened with compelling readings of archival materials such as photos of students in the process of learning; autobiographical writing by both teachers and new citizens; and memoirs, photos, poems, and novels by authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Jane Addams, Charles Reznikoff, and Emma Goldman. Indeed, Cooper provides the first comparative, inside look at these citizenship programs, revealing that they varied wildly: at one end, assimilationist boarding schools required American Indian children to transform their dress, language, and beliefs, while at the other end the libertarian Modern School encouraged immigrant children to frolic naked in the countryside and learn about the world by walking, hiking, and following their whims.
Here then is an engaging portrait of what it was like to be, and become, a U.S. citizen one hundred years ago, showing that what it means to be “American” is never static.
Children and youth are front and center in the context of global mass migration and the social discord around questions of multicultural inclusion that it often ignites. Imprecise portrayals of their inclination to either embrace diversity or to incite racism are used to exemplify both the success and failures of the multicultural project. In the context of young people’s heightened politicization, Belonging and Becoming in a Multicultural World, shifts the focus to a group of Sudanese and Karen refugee youth’s own insights, explanations and practices as they attempt to create a sense of identity and belonging in Australia. These young people engage race, racism and national identity in creative and unexpected ways as they are confronted with the social and moral implications of multiculturalism.
Anti-immigrant sentiment reached a fever pitch after 9/11, but its origins go back much further. Public rhetoric aimed at exposing a so-called invasion of Latino immigrants has been gaining ground for more than three decades—and fueling increasingly restrictive federal immigration policy. Accompanied by a flagging U.S. economy—record-level joblessness, bankruptcy, and income inequality—as well as waning consumer confidence, these conditions signaled one of the most hostile environments for immigrants in recent memory. In Brokered Boundaries, Douglas Massey and Magaly Sánchez untangle the complex political, social, and economic conditions underlying the rise of xenophobia in U.S. society. The book draws on in-depth interviews with Latin American immigrants in metropolitan New York and Philadelphia and—in their own words and images—reveals what life is like for immigrants attempting to integrate in anti-immigrant times. What do the social categories "Latino" and "American" actually mean to today's immigrants? Brokered Boundaries analyzes how first- and second-generation immigrants from Central and South America and the Caribbean navigate these categories and their associated meanings as they make their way through U.S. society. Massey and Sánchez argue that the mythos of immigration, in which newcomers gradually shed their respective languages, beliefs, and cultural practices in favor of a distinctly American way of life, is, in reality, a process of negotiation between new arrivals and native-born citizens. Natives control interactions with outsiders by creating institutional, social, psychological, and spatial mechanisms that delimit immigrants' access to material resources and even social status. Immigrants construct identities based on how they perceive and respond to these social boundaries. The authors make clear that today's Latino immigrants are brokering boundaries in the context of unprecedented economic uncertainty, repressive anti-immigrant legislation, and a heightening fear that upward mobility for immigrants translates into downward mobility for the native-born. Despite an absolute decline in Latino immigration, immigration-related statutes have tripled in recent years, including many that further shred the safety net for legal permanent residents as well as the undocumented. Brokered Boundaries shows that, although Latin American immigrants come from many different countries, their common reception in a hostile social environment produces an emergent Latino identity soon after arrival. During anti-immigrant times, however, the longer immigrants stay in America, the more likely they are to experience discrimination and the less likely they are to identify as Americans.
Davidson, Lawrence Rutgers University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HM1121.D375 2012 | Dewey Decimal 305.8009
Most scholars of genocide focus on mass murder. Lawrence Davidson, by contrast, explores the murder of culture. He suggests that when people have limited knowledge of the culture outside of their own group, they are unable to accurately assess the alleged threat of others around them. Throughout history, dominant populations have often dealt with these fears through mass murder. However, the shock of the Holocaust now deters today’s great powers from the practice of physical genocide. Majority populations, cognizant of outside pressure and knowing that they should not resort to mass murder, have turned instead to cultural genocide as a “second best” politically determined substitute for physical genocide.
In Cultural Genocide, this theory is applied to events in four settings, two events that preceded the Holocaust and two events that followed it: the destruction of American Indians by uninformed settlers who viewed these natives as inferior and were more intent on removing them from the frontier than annihilating them; the attack on the culture of Eastern European Jews living within Russian-controlled areas before the Holocaust; the Israeli attack on Palestinian culture; and the absorption of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China.
In conclusion, Davidson examines the mechanisms that may be used to combat today’s cultural genocide as well as the contemporary social and political forces at work that must be overcome in the process.
Immigration studies have increasingly focused on how immigrant adaptation to their new homelands is influenced by the social structures in the sending society, particularly its economy. Less scholarly research has focused on the ways that the cultural make-up of immigrant homelands influences their adaptation to life in a new country. In Ethnic Origins, Jeremy Hein investigates the role of religion, family, and other cultural factors on immigrant incorporation into American society by comparing the experiences of two little-known immigrant groups living in four different American cities not commonly regarded as immigrant gateways. Ethnic Origins provides an in-depth look at Hmong and Khmer refugees—people who left Asia as a result of failed U.S. foreign policy in their countries. These groups share low socio-economic status, but are vastly different in their norms, values, and histories. Hein compares their experience in two small towns—Rochester, Minnesota and Eau Claire, Wisconsin—and in two big cities—Chicago and Milwaukee—and examines how each group adjusted to these different settings. The two groups encountered both community hospitality and narrow-minded hatred in the small towns, contrasting sharply with the cold anonymity of the urban pecking order in the larger cities. Hein finds that for each group, their ethnic background was more important in shaping adaptation patterns than the place in which they settled. Hein shows how, in both the cities and towns, the Hmong's sharply drawn ethnic boundaries and minority status in their native land left them with less affinity for U.S. citizenship or "Asian American" panethnicity than the Khmer, whose ethnic boundary is more porous. Their differing ethnic backgrounds also influenced their reactions to prejudice and discrimination. The Hmong, with a strong group identity, perceived greater social inequality and supported collective political action to redress wrongs more than the individualistic Khmer, who tended to view personal hardship as a solitary misfortune, rather than part of a larger-scale injustice. Examining two unique immigrant groups in communities where immigrants have not traditionally settled, Ethnic Origins vividly illustrates the factors that shape immigrants' response to American society and suggests a need to refine prevailing theories of immigration. Hein's book is at once a novel look at a little-known segment of America's melting pot and a significant contribution to research on Asian immigration to the United States. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology
"Zomia" is a term coined in 2002 to describe the broad swath of mountainous land in Southeast Asia that has always been beyond the reach of lowland governments despite their technical claims to control. This book expands the anthropological reach of that term, applying it to any deterritorialised people, from cast-out migrants to modern resisters-in the process finding new ways to understand the realities of peoples and ethnicities that refuse to become part of the modern state.
From Agate Nesaule, acclaimed by writers across the globe from Doris Lessing to Tim O’Brien, comes a long-awaited novel. In Love with Jerzy Kosinski is a story of courage and persistence, exploring in fiction the themes that gripped readers of Nesaule’s award-winning memoir, A Woman in Amber.
After fleeing Latvia as a child, Anna Duja escapes Russian confinement in displaced persons camps and eventually arrives in America. Years later, she finds herself in a different kind of captivity on isolated Cloudy Lake, Wisconsin, living with her disarming but manipulative husband, Stanley.
Inspired by the transformation of Polish-Jewish émigré Jerzy Kosinski from persecuted wartime escapee to celebrity author in America, Anna slips away from Stanley and Cloudy Lake in small steps: learning to drive, making friends, moving to Madison, falling in love, and learning to forgive. Readers will applaud the book’s power, the beauty of its prose, and its strong evocation of a woman gradually finding her way in the wake of trauma.
Winner, the Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
This timely book, which is based on the results of the Integration of the Second Generation in Europe survey, presents the disturbing results of a recent study in Stockholm that examines the experiences of residents descended from Turkish migrants. Focusing onthree different ethnonational groups“ Turks, Kurds, and Syriacs“the contributors explore issues such as identity, family situation, language use, education, labor market experiences, and employment. The essays highlight the varying degrees of success each group has achieved in the process of trying to integrate into Stockholm society. The book also examines the widespread discrimination and exclusion the descendants of migrants experience. As a whole, this volume shows a troubling picture of the obstacles faced by immigrants in new societies.
Over the past twenty years, international migration issues become inescapably prominent in European public debate. Issues about the arrival of new immigrants and the problems of integration processes are rooted in the deep and vast changes that have characterized the recent history of European international migration. This volume addresses aspects of this migration through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, devoting particular attention to new forms of migration, the evolution of regional patterns, and the intergenerational process of migrant integration.
According to the American dream, hard work and a good education can lift people from poverty to success in the "land of opportunity." The unskilled immigrants who came to the United States from southern, central, and eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries largely realized that vision. Within a few generations, their descendants rose to the middle class and beyond. But can today's unskilled immigrant arrivals—especially Mexicans, the nation's most numerous immigrant group—expect to achieve the same for their descendants? Social scientists disagree on this question, basing their arguments primarily on how well contemporary arrivals are faring. In Italians Then, Mexicans Now, Joel Perlmann uses the latest immigration data as well as 100 years of historical census data to compare the progress of unskilled immigrants and their American-born children both then and now. The crucial difference between the immigrant experience a hundred years ago and today is that relatively well-paid jobs were plentiful for workers with little education a hundred years ago, while today's immigrants arrive in an increasingly unequal America. Perlmann finds that while this change over time is real, its impact has not been as strong as many scholars have argued. In particular, these changes have not been great enough to force today's Mexican second generation into an inner-city "underclass." Perlmann emphasizes that high school dropout rates among second-generation Mexicans are alarmingly high, and are likely to have a strong impact on the group's well-being. Yet despite their high dropout rates, Mexican Americans earn at least as much as African Americans, and they fare better on social measures such as unwed childbearing and incarceration, which often lead to economic hardship. Perlmann concludes that inter-generational progress, though likely to be slower than it was for the European immigrants a century ago, is a reality, and could be enhanced if policy interventions are taken to boost high school graduation rates for Mexican children. Rich with historical data, Italians Then, Mexicans Now persuasively argues that today's Mexican immigrants are making slow but steady socio-economic progress and may one day reach parity with earlier immigrant groups who moved up into the heart of the American middle class. Copublished with the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
Most nineteenth and early-twentieth-century European immigrants arrived in the United States with barely more than the clothes on their backs. They performed menial jobs, spoke little English, and often faced a hostile reception. But two or more generations later, the overwhelming majority of their descendants had successfully integrated into American society. Today's immigrants face many of the same challenges, but some experts worry that their integration, especially among Latinos, will not be as successful as their European counterparts. Keeping the Immigrant Bargain examines the journey of Dominican and Colombian newcomers whose children have achieved academic success one generation after the arrival of their parents. Sociologist Vivian Louie provides a much-needed comparison of how both parents and children understand the immigrant journey toward education, mobility, and assimilation. Based on Louie's own survey and interview study, Keeping the Immigrant Bargain examines the lives of thirty-seven foreign-born Dominican and Colombian parents and their seventy-six young adult offspring—the majority of whom were enrolled in or had graduated from college. The book shows how they are adapting to American schools, jobs, neighborhoods, and culture. Louie discovers that before coming to the United States, some of these parents had already achieved higher levels of education than the average foreign-born Dominican or Colombian, and after arrival many owned their own homes. Significantly, most parents in each group expressed optimism about their potential to succeed in the United States, while also expressing pessimism about whether they would ever be accepted as Americans. In contrast to the social exclusion experienced by their parents, most of the young adults had assimilated linguistically and believed themselves to be full participants in American society. Keeping the Immigrant Bargain shows that the offspring of these largely working-class immigrants had several factors in common that aided their mobility. Their parents were highly engaged in their lives and educational progress, although not always in ways expected by schools or their children, and the children possessed a strong degree of self-motivation. Equally important was the availability of key institutional networks of support, including teachers, peers, afterschool and other enrichment programs, and informal mentors outside of the classroom. These institutional networks gave the children the guidance they needed to succeed in school, offering information the parents often did not know themselves. While not all immigrants achieve such rapid success, this engrossing study shows how powerful the combination of self-motivation, engaged families, and strong institutional support can be. Keeping the Immigrant Bargain makes the case that institutional relationships—such as teachers and principals who are trained to accommodate cultural difference and community organizations that help parents and children learn how to navigate the system—can bear significantly on immigrant educational success.
Beginning in the 1990s, the geography of Latino migration to and within the United States started to shift. Immigrants from Central and South America increasingly bypassed the traditional gateway cities to settle in small cities, towns, and rural areas throughout the nation, particularly in the South. One popular new destination—Nashville, Tennessee—saw its Hispanic population increase by over 400 percent between 1990 and 2000. Nashville, like many other such new immigrant destinations, had little to no history of incorporating immigrants into local life. How did Nashville, as a city and society, respond to immigrant settlement? How did Latino immigrants come to understand their place in Nashville in the midst of this remarkable demographic change? In Nashville in the New Millennium, geographer Jamie Winders offers one of the first extended studies of the cultural, racial, and institutional politics of immigrant incorporation in a new urban destination. Moving from schools to neighborhoods to Nashville’s wider civic institutions, Nashville in the New Millennium details how Nashville’s long-term residents and its new immigrants experienced daily life as it transformed into a multicultural city with a new cosmopolitanism. Using an impressive array of methods, including archival work, interviews, and participant observation, Winders offers a fine-grained analysis of the importance of historical context, collective memories and shared social spaces in the process of immigrant incorporation. Lacking a shared memory of immigrant settlement, Nashville’s long-term residents turned to local history to explain and interpret a new Latino presence. A site where Latino day laborers gathered, for example, became a flashpoint in Nashville’s politics of immigration in part because the area had once been a popular gathering place for area teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s. Teachers also drew from local historical memories, particularly the busing era, to make sense of their newly multicultural student body. They struggled, however, to help immigrant students relate to the region’s complicated racial past, especially during history lessons on the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement. When Winders turns to life in Nashville’s neighborhoods, she finds that many Latino immigrants opted to be quiet in public, partly in response to negative stereotypes of Hispanics across Nashville. Long-term residents, however, viewed this silence as evidence of a failure to adapt to local norms of being neighborly. Filled with voices from both long-term residents and Latino immigrants, Nashville in the New Millennium offers an intimate portrait of the changing geography of immigrant settlement in America. It provides a comprehensive picture of Latino migration’s impact on race relations in the country and is an especially valuable contribution to the study of race and ethnicity in the South.
In the 1990s, as concern grew in the United States about the integration of large numbers of immigrants, scholars searching for historical parallels looked to the last great period of immigration, ffrom 1880 to 1914. That example, however, is generally viewed as inapplicable to the current immigration debates in Europe.
Paths of Integration turns this conventional wisdom on its head, arguing that the history of European migration more closely parallels the U.S. experience than most realize, due to the largely ignored, but extensive, intra-European migration of the same period. By placing the European and U.S. examples side by side, the contributors to this volume offer long-term insights on a question that will be of great importance in the coming decades.
On February 13, 1982, the Guatemalan army stormed into the remote northern Guatemalan village of Santa Maria Tzeja. The villagers had already fled in terror, but over the next six days seventeen of them, mostly women and children, were caught and massacred, animals were slaughtered, and the entire village was burned to the ground.
Twelve years later, utilizing terms of refugee agreements reached in 1982, villagers from Santa Maria who had fled to Mexico returned to their homes and lands to re-create their community with those who had stayed in Guatemala. Return of Guatemala's Refugees tells the story of that process. In this moving and provocative book, Clark Taylor describes the experiences of the survivors -- both those who stayed behind in conditions of savage repression and those who fled to Mexico where they learned to organize and defend their rights. Their struggle to rebuild is set in the wider drama of efforts by grassroots groups to pressure the government, economic elites, and army to fulfill peace accords signed in December of 1996.
Focusing on the village of Santa Maria Tzeja, Taylor defines the challenges that faced returning refugees and their community. How did the opposing subcultures of fear (generated among those who stayed in Guatemala) and of education and human rights (experienced by those who took refuge in Mexico) coexist? Would the flood of international money sent to settle the refugees and fulfill the peace accords serve to promote participatory development or new forms of social control? How did survivors expand the space for democracy firmly grounded in human rights? How did they get beyond the grief and trauma that remained from the terror of the early eighties? Finally, the ultimate challenge, how did they work within conditions of extreme poverty to create a grassroots democracy in a militarized society?
Across the Western world, the air is filled with talk of immigration. The changes brought by immigration have triggered a renewed fervor for isolationism able to shutter political traditions and party systems. So often absent from these conversations on migration are however the actual stories and experiences of the migrants themselves. In fact, migration does not simply transport people. It also changes them deeply. Enter Martina Cvajner’s Soviet Signoras, a far-reaching ethnographic study of two decades in the lives of women who migrated to northern Italy from several former Soviet republics.
Cvajner details the personal and collective changes brought about by the experience of migration for these women: from the first hours arriving in a new country with no friends, relatives, or existing support networks, to later remaking themselves for their new environment. In response to their traumatic displacement, the women of Soviet Signoras—nearly all of whom found work in their new Western homes as elder care givers—refashioned themselves in highly sexualized, materialistic, and intentionally conspicuous ways. Cvajner’s focus on overt sexuality and materialism is far from sensationalist, though. By zeroing in on these elements of personal identity, she reveals previously unexplored sides of the social psychology of migration, coloring our contemporary discussion with complex shades of humanity.
The third volume in a series on Point Hope, Alaska, Ultimate Americans examines the first encounters between the native Tikigaq people and Anglo-Americans during the nineteenth century. Tom Lowenstein investigates the interactions between Native Alaskans, commercial whalemen, and missionaries in Point Hope, charting the destabilizing elements of alcohol and disease among Native populations, as well as cultural collisions and the eventual mutual assimilation of the groups. An in-depth historical chronicle, Ultimate Americans will be invaluable reading for historians, ethnographers, and anthropologists alike.