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Handbook of International Migration, The

The American Experience

Charles Hirschman, Philip Kasinitz, Josh Dewind

Publication Year: 1999

The historic rise in international migration over the past thirty years has brought a tide of new immigrants to the United States from Asia, South America, and other parts of the globe. Their arrival has reverberated throughout American society, prompting an outpouring of scholarship on the causes and consequences of the new migrations. The Handbook of International Migration gathers the best of this scholarship in one volume to present a comprehensive overview of the state of immigration research in this country, bringing coherence and fresh insight to this fast growing field.The contributors to The Handbook of International Migration—a virtual who's who of immigration scholars—draw upon the best social science theory and demographic research to examine the effects and implications of immigration in the United States. The dramatic shift in the national background of today's immigrants away from primarily European roots has led many researchers to rethink traditional theories of assimilation,and has called into question the usefulness of making historical comparisons between today's immigrants and those of previous generations. Part I of the Handbook examines current theories of international migration, including the forces that motivate people to migrate, often at great financial and personal cost. Part II focuses on how immigrants are changed after their arrival, addressing such issues as adaptation, assimilation, pluralism, and socioeconomic mobility. Finally, Part III looks at the social, economic, and political effects of the surge of new immigrants on American society. Here the Handbook explores how the complex politics of immigration have become intertwined with economic perceptions and realities, racial and ethnic divisions,and international relations. A landmark compendium of richly nuanced investigations, The Handbook of International Migration will be the major reference work on recent immigration to this country and will enhance the development of a truly interdisciplinary field of international migration studies.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xii

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ago no political observer or social scientist predicted that the population of the United States would grow rapidly because of increased immigration, nor that the nation's social and economic structure would change due to the arrival of millions of people from countries around the world. Most demographers agreed that the ...

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pp. xiii-14

AT THEIR INITIAL 1994 meeting, the members of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Committee on International Migration decided to organize a major conference on the state of theory and research in the field of international migration. The idea was to invite leading scholars and specialists from across the social sciences to assess ...

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Introduction: International Migration and Immigration Research: The State of the Field

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pp. 1-12

THE LAST DECADES of the twentieth century have witnessed a revival of large-scale immigration to the United States. The rise in the number of immigrants and the dramatic change in their national origins are revealed in a simple comparison between the 1950s and the 1980s. More than two-thirds of ...

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pp. 13-20

IN THE OPENING ESSAY in this section, Alejandro Portes cautions scholars against attempting to formulate a "grand theory" of immigration to the United States. He asserts that a unifying theory, which presumably would seek to explain the origins, processes, and outcomes of international migration, ...

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1. Immigration Theory for a New Century:Some Problems and Opportunities

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pp. 21-33

AT THE TURN OF THE century, many immigrants launched their American careers not only in new cities and new jobs, but with new names. How this happened symbolized the confident and careless way in which the country treated its newcomers then. At Ellis Island, busy immigration ...

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2. Why Does Immigration Occur? A Theoretical Synthesis

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pp. 34-52

THE MODERN HISTORY OF international migration can be divided roughly into four periods. During the mercantile period, from 1500 to 1800, world immigration flows were dominated by Europe and stemmed from processes of colonization and economic growth under mercantile capitalism. Over ...

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3. The Role of Gender, Households, and Social Networks in the Migration Process: A Review and Appraisal

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pp. 53-70

THIS REVIEW FOCUSES ON the role of gender, households, and social networks in the migration process. The decision to assemble these three structures in one review essay may strike some as quite natural, and others as arbitrary. The three share an epistemological affinity of sorts. Their inclusion in ...

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4. Matters of State: Theorizing Immigration Policy

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pp. 71-93

Conjured up two-thirds of a century ago, this metaphoric representation of the outcome of the industrialized world's first immigration crisis is appropriate for our own times as well. Yet considering the pervasiveness of barriers to immigration, mirrored throughout much of the twentieth ...

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5. Transmigrants and Nation-States: Something Old and Something New in the U.S. Immigrant Experience

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pp. 94-119

THE PHONE RlNGS, and the news is as she expected. Sitting alone in her basement bedroom in her cousin's home in New York City, Yvette begins to shake. Her older sister in Haiti, a sister she barely knows, is calling to announce the death of Yvette's nephew. Although she has received the ...

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6. Theories of International Migration and Immigration: A Preliminary Reconnaissance of Ideal Types

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pp. 120-126

NEITHER SCIENTIFIC THEORY nor ideas for empirical research develop out of thin air. Although the image of the solitary researcher working with only her or his imagination persists in the popular imagination, and even in some scholarly circles, research is a profoundly interactive and social ...

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pp. 127-136

WHAT HAPPENS TO immigrants and how do they and their children become part of American life? These are the questions that motivate the chapters in part II of this volume. The fundamental concept in the field is assimilation, but it has hardly been a unifying concept. Indeed, the debates over ...

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7. Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration

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pp. 137-160

ASSIMILATION HAS FALLEN into disrepute. In an essay tellingly entitled "Is Assimilation Dead?" Nathan Glazer (1993,122) summarizes pithily the contemporary view: "Assimilation today is not a popular term." Glazer writes that he asked some Harvard students what they thought of the term ...

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8. Toward a Reconciliation of "Assimilation"and "Pluralism": The Interplay of Acculturation and Ethnic Retention

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pp. 161-171

FOR MUCH OF THE LAST HALF of the twentieth century' sociologists of ethnicity have been classified into two positions that are usually described as assimilationist or pluralist. I The positions have long been widely used, but even so, they suffer from at ...

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9. Assimilation and Its Discontents: Ironies and Paradoxes

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pp. 172-195

FEW CONCEPTS IN THE history of American sociology have been as all-encompassing and consequential as "assimilation," or as fraught with irony and paradox. Few have so tapped and touched the pulse of the American experience. That master ...

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10. Segmented Assimilation: Issues, Controversies, and Recent Research on the New Second Generation

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pp. 196-211

THE SEGMENTED ASSIMILATION theory offers a theoretical framework for understanding the process by which the new second generation—the children of contemporary immigrants—becomes incorporated into the system of stratification in the host society and the different outcomes of this ...

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11. Social and Linguistic Aspects of Assimilation Today

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pp. 212-222

THE MOST FREQUENTLY posed question surrounding the "new immigration" is economic: Will immigrant groups entering near the bottom of American society, as nearly all did in the past, make the same intergenerational climb up the ladder of success, or will they be stuck in the cellar? ...

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12. Immigrants, Past and Present:A Reconsideration

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pp. 223-238

THIRTY YEARS AFTER the 1965 Hart-Celler Act brought renewed immigration to the United States, the immigration research agenda is slowly shifting from the newcomers to their children. While the timing is hardly fortuitous ...

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13. Immigrants' Socioeconomic Progress Post—1965: Forging Mobility or Survival?

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pp. 239-256

THREE SETS OF circumstances have changed the economic prospects of recent immigrants. First, the composition of immigrants has shifted toward Asia and Latin America, away from their historically (white) European-origin countries, and the education (skill) composition of new arrivals has ...

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14. The Immigrant Family: Cultural Legacies and Cultural Changes

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pp. 257-264

IMMIGRANTS LIVE OUT much of their lives in the context of families. A lot has been written about the way family networks stimulate and facilitate the migration process itself; the role of family ties and networks in helping immigrants get jobs when ...

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pp. 265-274

As AMERICA HAS remade the immigrants, immigration has, in every generation, remade America. This is not only because of the large number of immigrants the United States has incorporated, although those numbers are indeed impressive.1 Nor is it only ...

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15. Liberty, Coercion, and the Making of Americans

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pp. 275-293

IN 1782 A FRENCH IMMIGRANT, Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, published Letters from an American Farmer, one of the most influential meditations on what it means to become an American. In his letters, Crèvecoeur portrayed America as a magical place free of the encrusted beliefs ...

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16. Immigration and Political Incorporation in the Contemporary United States

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pp. 294-318

THE POLITICAL MEANING of the large immigration to the United States in the last two decades has been vigorously debated. In this chapter, I make two main claims about its effects and significance. First, immigration at recent levels does not endanger democratic practices. ...

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17. Historical Perspectives on the Economic Consequences of Immigration into the United States

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pp. 319-341

TODAY IS NOT the first time that high and rising levels of immigration into the United States have brought the economic consequences of immigration to the forefront of both policy and scholarly debate. Figure 17.1 displays the official figures on the number of immigrants admitted into the ...

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18. Immigration and the Receiving Economy

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pp. 342-359

THE PUBLIC DEBATE OVER immigration policy in the United States has become quite heated in recent years. The passage of Proposition 187 in California in 1994, making illegal aliens ineligible for public health and education services, and the ...

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19. Fiscal Impacts of Immigrants and the Shrinking Welfare State

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pp. 360-370

ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES of immigration are usually sorted into two categories. The one that has received the most attention from economists concerns the labor market impacts of immigrants. How do increased supplies of foreign workers in ...

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20. Face the Nation: Race, Immigration, and the Rise of Nativism in Late-Twentieth-Century America

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pp. 371-382

ON APRIL 30, 1992, Americans across the nation sat transfixed by a television event that grew to symbolize the sorry state of race relations in late-twentieth- century urban America. The image of Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, being pulled ...

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21. Instead of a Sequel, or, How I Lost My Subject

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pp. 383-389

PUBLISHED IN 1955, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism 1865-1925 was my first book. Memories of Senator Joseph McCarthy's infamous career of anti-Communist fear-mongering were still vivid. Southern defiance of a Supreme Court order to integrate the public ...

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22. Immigration Reform and the Browning of America: Tensions, Conflicts, and Community Instability in Metropolitan Los Angeles

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pp. 390-411

OUR NATION IS IN THE midst of a rather dramatic demographic transformation that is radically changing all aspects of American society, including the racial and ethnic composition of our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and social and political institutions. As a consequence of heightened ...

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23. Urban Political Conflicts and Alliances: New York and Los Angeles Compared

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pp. 412-422

ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING and demographic change have transformed the social geography of New York, just as they have that of Los Angeles, creating new fault lines of intergroup competition and conflict and posing significant new challenges to the local political system. Despite differences ...

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24. U.S. Immigration and Changing Relations Between African Americans and Latinos

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pp. 423-432

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION is dramatically altering social-demographic landscapes in U.S. urban areas. Since the 1970s large influxes of new immigrants have substantially altered the ethnic and racial populations of large urban center ...


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pp. 433-486


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pp. 487-502

E-ISBN-13: 9781610442893
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871542441
Print-ISBN-10: 0871542447

Page Count: 508
Publication Year: 1999