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American Arrivals

Anthropology Engages the New Immigration

Edited by Nancy Foner

Publication Year: 2003

Soaring immigration to the United States in the past few decades has reawakened both popular and scholarly interest in this important issue. American Arrivals highlights the important insights of anthropology for the field of migration studies. The authors reflect on anthropological approaches, methods, and theories and seek to develop a research program for the future. Placing contemporary immigration in the perspective of globalization and transnational social fields, their essays demonstrate the importance of gender and urban contexts to understanding immigrants' lives. Addressing issues of health care, education, and cultural values and practices among Mexicans, Haitians, Somalis, Afghans, and other newcomers to the United States, the authors illuminate the complex ways that immigrants adapt to life in a new land and raise serious questions about the meaning and political uses of ideas about cultural difference.

Published by: SAR Press


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pp. 1-5

Title page

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pp. 6-6


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pp. 7-7


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pp. vii-viii

Figures and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-x

The essays presented here were first written for a School of American Research advanced seminar called “Anthropology and Contemporary Immigration,” which was held in October 2001. ...

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1. Introduction Anthropology and Contemporary Immigration to the United States—Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going

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pp. 3-44

Immigration is one of the most pressing contemporary social issues in the United States. In the past four decades, the massive influx of immigrants, mainly from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, has led to dramatic transformations in American society, changing the nation’s cities and a host of social institutions and, of course, altering the lives of the immigrants themselves. ...

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2. Right Moves? Immigration, Globalization, Utopia, and Dystopia

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pp. 45-74

Over the past decade, globalization has intensified worldwide economic, social, and cultural transformations. Globalization is structured by three powerful, interrelated formations: (1) the postnationalization of production and distribution of goods and services, fueled by growing levels of international trade, foreign direct investment, and capital market flows, ...

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3. Anthropology and the Engendering of Migration Studies

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pp. 75-98

Migration studies encourage collaboration across disciplines (for example, Grasmuck and Pessar 1991; Massey, Durand, and González 1987). Such collaboration has challenged migration scholars to develop theories and methods reflective of the conceptual frameworks and explanatory strategies informing research in disciplines such as anthropology, ...

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4. The Centrality of Ethnography in the Study of Transnational Migration Seeing the Wetland Instead of the Swamp

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pp. 99-128

Anthropologists were among the first scholars to propose “a transnational perspective for the study of migration” (Glick Schiller, Basch, and Blanc-Szanton 1992b). Today the study of transnational migration is a shared project that stretches across disciplines, with scholars in anthropology, sociology, geography, and history employing the same terms and, to some extent, citing one another’s work. ...

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5. Becoming American Immigration, Identity, Intergenerational Relations, and Academic Orientation

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pp. 129-162

Henri was born in Haiti and migrated to the United States with his family before he started school. He is a 1.5 generation immigrant; that is, he immigrated at a young enough age to be enculturated primarily in his adopted country. A star student throughout high school, he graduated from Harvard University in 2000 ...

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6. Bringing the City Back In Cities as Contexts for Immigrant Incorporation

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pp. 163-196

Many years ago I published an article titled “Is the Ethnic Community Inevitable?” (Brettell 1981). This article, which compared first-generation Portuguese immigrants in Paris, France, with those in Toronto, Canada (places where I had carried out ethnographic field research), ...

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7. Immigration and Medical Anthropology

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pp. 197-228

Immigrants trying to negotiate the US medical system give testimony to the truth in Virchow’s famous declaration, “All medicine is politics.” Viewing immigrants as outsiders who are simultaneously insiders, the larger society often questions their use of medical and other social services. ...

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8. Anthropologists, Migrants, and Health Research Confronting Cultural Appropriateness

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pp. 229-258

In the autumn of 2000, I received a frantic phone call from an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She was investigating a syphilis outbreak among Mexican migrants in rural Alabama and told me that the CDC team was having trouble getting the infected men to speak with them. ...

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9. The Moral Challenge in Cultural Migration

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pp. 259-294

Coming to terms with diversity in an increasingly multicultural world has become one of the most pressing public policy projects for liberal democracies in the early twenty-first century. One way to come to terms with diversity is to try to understand the scope and limits of toleration for variety at different national sites ...


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pp. 295-357


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pp. 358-368

Other titles in the Series

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pp. 381-383


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pp. 384-384

Back Cover

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pp. 385-385

E-ISBN-13: 9781938645228
E-ISBN-10: 1938645227
Print-ISBN-13: 9781930618343
Print-ISBN-10: 1930618344

Page Count: 384
Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 5 tables
Publication Year: 2003

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 607014703
MUSE Marc Record: Download for American Arrivals

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Immigrants -- United States -- Research -- Congresses.
  • United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Research -- Congresses.
  • Anthropology -- Research -- United States -- Congresses.
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