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Irish Immigrants in New York City,
Linda Dowling Almeida
The story of one of the most visible groups of immigrants in the major city of immigrants in the last half of the 20th century.
offers a dynamic portrait of Irish New York, one that keeps reinventing itself under
-- Hasia Diner, New York University
"[Almeida's] close attention to changes in economics, culture, and politics on both sides of the Atlantic makes [this book] one of the more accomplished applications of the 'new social history' to a contemporary American ethnic group." -- Roger Daniels, University of Cincinnati
It is estimated that one in three New York City residents is an immigrant. No other American city has a population composed of so many different nationalities. Of these "foreign born," a relatively small percentage come directly from Ireland, but the Irish presence in the city -- and America -- is ubiquitous. In the 1990 census, Irish ancestry was claimed by over half a million New Yorkers and by 44 million nationwide. The Irish presence in popular American culture has also been highly visible.
Yet for all the attention given to Irish Americans, surprisingly little has been said about post--World War II immigrants. Almeida's research takes important steps toward understanding modern Irish immigration. Comparing 1950s Irish immigrants with the "New Irish" of the 1980s, Almeida provides insights into the evolution of the Irish American identity and addresses the role of the United States and Ireland in shaping it.
She finds, among other things, that social and economic progress in Ireland has heightened expectations for Irish immigrants. But at the same time they face greater challenges in gaining legal residence, a situation that has led the New Irish to reject many organizations that long supported previous generations of Irish immigrants in favor of new ones better-suited to their needs.
Linda Dowling Almeida, Adjunct Professor of History at New York University, has published articles on the "New Irish" in America and is a longtime member of the New York Irish History Roundtable. She also edited Volume 8 of the journal New York Irish History.
232 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4, index, append.
cloth 0-253-33843-3 $35.00 s /
With contributions from scholars on both sides of the Pacific, Issei Buddhism in the Americas upends boundaries and categories that have tied Buddhism to Asia and illuminates the social and spiritual role that the religion has played in the Americas._x000B__x000B_While Buddhists in Japan had long described the migration of the religion as traveling from India, across Asia, and ending in Japan, this collection details the movement of Buddhism across the Pacific to the Americas. Contributors describe the pioneering efforts of first-generation Issei priests and their followers within the context of Japanese diasporic communities and immigration history and the early history of Buddhism in the Americas. The result is a dramatic exploration of the history of Asian immigrant religion that encompasses such topics as Japanese language instruction in Hawaiian schools, the Japanese Canadian community in British Columbia, and Zen Buddhism in Brazil._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Michihiro Ama, Noriko Asato, Masako Iino, Tomoe Moriya, Lori Pierce, Cristina Rocha, Keiko Wells, Duncan RyÃ»ken Williams, and Akihiro Yamakura._x000B_
Immigrant Origins and the Second-Generation Progress, 1890-2000
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.
Explores the search for identity under changing conditions by examining the lives of kibbutz-born young people living in L.A. Under what circumstances would kibbutz-born young people leave a society which symbolizes, more than anything else, the Zionist dream? Naama Sabar explores this question by examining the lives of a group of Israeli emigrants living in Los Angeles in the 1980s and early 1990s. Through extensive interviews in which these “kibbutzniks” share their life stories, she uncovers what pushed them to leave the kibbutz and what pulls them to remain in L.A. The underlying leitmotif is the search for identity under changing conditions.
Immigrant Workers and the Future of the U.S. Labor Movement
Sharp decreases in union membership over the last fifty years have caused many to dismiss organized labor as irrelevant in today’s labor market. In the private sector, only 8 percent of workers today are union members, down from 24 percent as recently as 1973. Yet developments in Southern California—including the successful Justice for Janitors campaign—suggest that reports of organized labor’s demise may have been exaggerated. In L.A. Story, sociologist and labor expert Ruth Milkman explains how Los Angeles, once known as a company town hostile to labor, became a hotbed for unionism, and how immigrant service workers emerged as the unlikely leaders in the battle for workers’ rights. L.A. Story shatters many of the myths of modern labor with a close look at workers in four industries in Los Angeles: building maintenance, trucking, construction, and garment production. Though many blame deunionization and deteriorating working conditions on immigrants, Milkman shows that this conventional wisdom is wrong. Her analysis reveals that worsening work environments preceded the influx of foreign-born workers, who filled the positions only after native-born workers fled these suddenly undesirable jobs. Ironically, L.A. Story shows that immigrant workers, who many union leaders feared were incapable of being organized because of language constraints and fear of deportation, instead proved highly responsive to organizing efforts. As Milkman demonstrates, these mostly Latino workers came to their service jobs in the United States with a more group-oriented mentality than the American workers they replaced. Some also drew on experience in their native countries with labor and political struggles. This stock of fresh minds and new ideas, along with a physical distance from the east-coast centers of labor’s old guard, made Los Angeles the center of a burgeoning workers’ rights movement. Los Angeles’ recent labor history highlights some of the key ingredients of the labor movement’s resurgence—new leadership, latitude to experiment with organizing techniques, and a willingness to embrace both top-down and bottom-up strategies. L.A. Story’s clear and thorough assessment of these developments points to an alternative, high-road national economic agenda that could provide workers with a way out of poverty and into the middle class.
Undocumented Lives in Israel
In the 1990s, thousands of non-Jewish Latinos arrived in Israel as undocumented immigrants. Based on his fieldwork in South America and Israel, Barak Kalir follows these workers from their decision to migrate to their experiences finding work, establishing social clubs and evangelical Christian churches, and putting down roots in Israeli society. While the State of Israel rejected the presence of non-Jewish migrants, many citizens accepted them. Latinos grew to favor cultural assimilation to Israeli society. In 2005, after a large-scale deportation campaign that drew criticism from many quarters, Israel made the historic decision to legalize the status of some undocumented migrant families on the basis of their cultural assimilation and identification with the State. By doing so, the author maintains, Israel recognized the importance of practical belonging for understanding citizenship and national identity.
New Roots in the Old North State
North Carolina is now one of the major Southeastern--and national--hubs for new and expanding Latin American immigrant communities. The state's Spanish-speaking population is currently close to half a million people, about two-thirds of whom hail from Mexico, bringing it near the very top of the nation in growth. This book is a concise introduction to Latino immigration in the state today. Drawing on first-hand oral histories, census data, and scholarly, documentary, and journalistic accounts, Gill explains why and how Latin American immigrants have come to North Carolina and what impact this changing demography has had on the social, economic, and political realities of the state since the 1990s. Always making the reader aware of the underlying national and global catalysts and conditions affecting immigration, Gill expresses the perspectives of both immigrants and long-time North Carolinians. The volume, intended for general readers, policymakers, law enforcement officials, and teachers and students, encourages readers to make connections between their hometowns and the increasing globalization of people, money, technology and cultural products. In doing so, it sheds light on the many diverse North Carolina residents who are, on the one hand, highly visible but, as Gill says, invisible at the same time.
Maltese in Michigan is an enlivening volume depicting the struggles and accomplishments of a singular culture, an immigrant narrative at once recognizable and enigmatic. Without realizing it, most Americans are probably familiar with the Maltese people through the cross displayed by firefighters, which bears a strong similarity in design and meaning to the one used by the Knights of Malta. The noble qualities embodied by the Maltese Cross are reflected in the pride and accomplishments of Maltese immigrants in Michigan, a small but vibrant ethnic group. Rooted in the post–World War II experiences of the 20th century, the Maltese established themselves in the city of Detroit, and thrived due to a strong work ethic and Catholic faith, while maintaining a strong central identity. This volume is a tribute to the Maltese of Michigan and all who have begun anew in an unfamiliar land and culture.