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Yiddish melodramas about the tribulations of immigration. German plays about alpine tourism. Rubbernecking tours of Chinatown. In the New York City of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these seemingly disparate leisure activities played similar roles: In The Immigrant Scene, Sabine Haenni reveals how theaters in New York created ethnic entertainment that shaped the culture of the United States in the early twentieth century.

Considering the relationship between leisure and mass culture, The Immigrant Scene develops a new picture of the metropolis in which the movement of people, objects, and images on-screen and in the street helped residents negotiate the complexities of modern times. In analyzing how communities engaged with immigrant theaters and the nascent film culture in New York City, Haenni traces the ways in which performance and cinema provided virtual mobility—ways of navigating the socially complex metropolis—and influenced national ideas of immigration, culture, and diversity in surprising and lasting ways.

In a series of captivating scenes, Sabine Haenni documents and theorizes the highly theatrical nature of urban life and leisure. Supplemented by a timeline of key events and extensive suggestions for further reading, Immigration and American Popular Culture offers at once a unique history of twentieth century U. Melnick and Rubin go further to demonstrate how completely and complexly the processes of immigration and cultural production have been intertwined, and how we cannot understand one without the other.

He is author of A Right to Sing the Blues: Immigration and American Popular Culture looks at the relationship between American immigrants and the popular culture industry The most controversial aspects of the new population projections are the impact of immigration on population diversity and the prediction that the U.

PATTERNS OF INTEGRATION

However, a significant share of this change is due to the changes in the measurement of race and ethnicity in recent years. There is little doubt that the massive wave of immigration of recent decades has changed the composition of the American population. In , almost 15 million Americans claimed an Asian American identity and over 50 million reported themselves to be Hispanic Humes et al. These numbers and future projections must be understood in light of a complex system of measurement of race and ethnicity in federal statistics, discussed above. Multiple race reporting was only 2 to 3 percent in the and censuses, but it is projected to increase in the coming decades, perhaps to 6 percent, or 26 million Americans, in Colby and Ortman, , Table 2.

The Census Bureau projects that It is impossible to predict the future ethnoracial population of the United States with numerical precision, but general trends are foreseeable. There will be more persons with diverse heritage, including a very large number of persons with ancestry from Latin America: Among the less predictable consequences. An important but misunderstood component of immigrant integration is native-born attitudes toward immigration and immigrants. Immigration has been hotly debated in American elections and in the media, and based on these debates, one might think that Americans are deeply concerned with the issue and that many, perhaps even the majority, are opposed to immigration.

Immigration and American Popular Culture

Polling data suggest that this is not the case: Yet this is counterbalanced by the significant proportion, 42 percent, who think immigrants cost taxpayers too much Segovia and Defever, , pp. The majority of Americans do not believe that recent immigrants take jobs away from U. When asked specifically about immigration and whether. More recent polling data from show that the dominant view of the public about the desired level of immigration is for a decrease, followed closely by maintaining it at current levels Saad, However, support for increasing immigration levels has been rising over the last 15 years.

There has been a doubling of the percentage who said that the level should be increased, from 10 percent in to 22 percent in Not surprisingly, immigrants are more favorable toward maintaining current levels of immigration than are the native-born. Only 17 percent of the foreign-born, compared to 60 percent of the native-born, told pollsters in that immigrant levels should be decreased.

Urban residents and the highly educated are more supportive of expanding immigration than are those in rural areas and those with less than a college education. Saad, , p. While Americans have generally preferred to decrease the number of immigrants coming to the United States, they have also tended to resist mass deportation as the solution to the problem of unauthorized immigration. CBS News Poll webpages cited in the preceding footnote. Only about 19 percent favored legalization without the possibility of citizenship.

Top 10 Inspiring Immigration Movies

In general, most Americans do not think immigration is as important as many other issues facing the country. From to , immigration is mentioned as the most important issue facing the country today by only about 1 percent to 3 percent of Americans. By contrast, the economy, unemployment, and health care consistently receive higher mentions. Attitudes on immigration have recently become decoupled from strictly economic concerns. While restrictive attitudes on immigration tended to go up significantly during recessions and periods of high unemployment in the s and s Lapinski et al. Furthermore, observational and experimental studies of immigration opinion have found that personal economic circumstances bear little or no relationship to restrictive attitudes on immigration Citrin et al.

There also is not a fixed relationship between local demographic composition and concentration of immigrants and attitudes toward immigrants. Rather, the broader political context whether immigration is nationally salient and being widely debated and reported on interacts with local demographics. Hopkins found that when immigration is nationally salient, a growing population of immigrants is associated with more restrictionist views, but demography does not predict attitudes when immigration is not nationally salient. So even though immigration is rarely mentioned as an important policy issue by the American public, and despite consistent majority support for legalization of the undocumented, immigration remains a contentious topic.

As past research has shown, this level of heightened attention and polarization on immigration is evident more among party activists than among the general electorate Skocpol and Williamson, ; Parker and Barreto, and is often the result of agenda-setting and mobilization by key media personalities and political actors, rather than emerging from widespread popular sentiment Hopkins, ; Gulasekaram and Ramakrishnan, Americans have been found to overestimate the size of the nonwhite population Wong, , to erroneously believe that immigrants commit more crime than natives Simes and Waters, , and to worry that immigrants and their children are not learning English Hopkins et al.

The United States has witnessed major changes in the demographic make-up of immigrants since Prior to the passage of the amendments to the INA, the majority of immigration to the United States originated from Europe. After , the United States witnessed a surge of immigration from Latin America and Asia, creating a much more racially and ethnically diverse society. This new wave of immigration is more balanced in terms of gender ratios but varies in terms of skills and education, both from earlier immigration patterns and by region of origin.

Immigrants are more geographically dispersed throughout the country than ever before. And since in particular, the United States has witnessed an enormous influx of undocumented immigrants, a legal category that was barely recognized years ago. The demographic trends described above have broad implications for immigrant integration that cut across the various social dimensions discussed in this report.

Just as in the past, American society is adjusting to the fact that a high proportion of the population is composed of immigrants and their descendants. But the differences between earlier waves of immigrants and more recent arrivals present new challenges to integration. One key issue is the role of racial discrimination in the integration of immigrants and their descendants. Scholars debate how much racial and ethnic discrimination is directed toward immigrants and their children, whether immigration and the complexity it brings to our racial and ethnic classification system will ultimately lead to a blurring or hardening of the boundaries separating groups, what kinds of racial and ethnic distinctions that we see now will persist into the future, and what kinds will become less socially meaningful for recent reviews, see Lee and Bean, ; Alba and Nee, Sometimes these questions are framed as a debate about.

Will immigrants and their children who are Asian and Latino remain distinct, or will their relatively high intermarriage rates with whites lead to a blurring of the line separating the groups, similar in many ways to what happened to groups of European origin, who developed optional or voluntary ethnicities that no longer affect their life chances Alba and Nee, ; Waters, ? This debate also focuses on African Americans and the historically durable line separating them from whites, one enforced until recently by the legal prohibition on intermarriage between blacks and whites and the norm of the one-drop rule, which defined any racially mixed person as black Lee and Bean, There is evidence on both sides of this debate.

High intermarriage rates of both Asians and Latinos with whites, as well as patterns of racial integration in some neighborhoods, point to possible future blurring of the boundaries separating these groups see Chapter 8. The association between Latinos and undocumented immigration, however, may be leading to a pattern of heightened discrimination against Latinos. The negative framing of undocumented immigrants as illegal criminals, alien invaders, and terrorists, along with the conflation of undocumented and documented migrants in public discourse, contributes to the racialization of Latinos as a despised out-group.

To the extent that immigrants today are racialized, they can be expected to be subject to systematic discrimination and exclusion, thus compromising their integration into U. Immigrants with darker skin earn significantly less than those with lighter skin in U. And stereotypical markers of Hispanic origin such as indigenous features and brown skin, have come to trigger discrimination and exclusion within American society Chavez, ; Lee and Fiske, ; Massey, , ; Massey and Denton, ; Massey and Sanchez, ; Turner et al.

Discrimination, skin color, and socioeconomic status may interact to particularly affect ethnoracial self-identification among Latin American immigrants, who come from a region where race is more often seen as a continuum than a dichotomy. However, with rising socioeconomic status, they. Investigators studying immigrant integration must therefore remember that self-identifications are both causes and consequences of integration and socioeconomic mobility, sometimes making it difficult to measure such mobility over time discussed further in Chapter 6.

Chapter 10 describes the kinds of longitudinal data on immigrants and their children that would enable much more accurate measurement of this change.


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  • Summary | The Integration of Immigrants into American Society | The National Academies Press.
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The ubiquity and the vagaries of racial and ethnic categorization in American society, along with the scarcity of data on immigration and especially on the second generation, means that there is often conceptual confusion in interpreting trends and statistics not only on racial and ethnic inequality but also on immigrant integration. For example, the gap between Hispanic and white graduation rates in the United States is sometimes interpreted to mean a deep crisis exists in our education system.

But Latino graduation rates include about one-third of people who are foreign-born, many of whom completed their schooling in countries such as Mexico, with a much lower overall educational distribution. Throughout the report, the panel tries to specify the intersection between national origin and generation to analyze change over time among immigrants and their descendants.

This careful attention to specifying the groups we are analyzing is made difficult by the scarcity of data sources containing the relevant variables. The most glaring problem is that the Decennial Census and American Community Survey do not contain a question on parental birthplace. We return to this issue in Chapter 10 when we discuss data recommendations. The implications of this debate about the role of racial discrimination in limiting opportunities for immigrants and their children are profound.

One out of four children today are the children of immigrants, and the question of whether their ethnoracial identity will hold them back from full and equal participation in our society is an open one.


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Throughout the report, the panel presents reasons for optimism about the ability of U. While the panel cannot provide a definitive answer at this time, we do include the best evidence on both sides of this question. In the following chapters, the panel surveys the empirical evidence on how immigrant and generational status has been and continues to be predictive of integration into American society. In Chapter 2 , we review the legal and institutional context for immigrant integration, including the. Chapter 4 details the political and civic dimensions of integration with a focus on naturalization.

Chapter 5 focuses on the spatial dimensions of integration at each level of geography, emphasizing the importance of place and contexts of reception. Chapter 6 examines the socioeconomic dimensions of immigrant integration, including education, income, and occupation. Chapter 7 discusses sociocultural aspects of integration, including language, religion, attitudes of both immigrants and the native-born, and crime.

Family dimensions, including intermarriage, fertility, and family form, are the focus of Chapter 8. Chapter 9 outlines the health dimensions of integration, including the apparent immigrant health paradox. Finally, in Chapter 10 the panel assesses the available data for studying immigrant integration and makes recommendations for improving available data sources. Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration. National conceptions of assimilation, integration, and cohesion.

Assimilation models, old and new: Explaining a long-term process. Migration Information Source , Conceptualizing from the inside: Advantages, complications, and demands on insider positionality. The Qualitative Report , 13 3 , The contribution of international graduate students to U.

Review of International Economics, 16 , Demography , 23 3 , Public opinion toward immigration reform: The role of economic motivations. The Journal of Politics , 59 03 , The effects of employer sanctions and legalization on wages. Journal of Labor Economics , Projections of the Size and Composition of the U. Current Population Reports, P Gender and International Migration. Variations in the gender composition of immigrant populations: International Migration Review , 45 3 , Tracking intergenerational progress for immigrant groups: The problem of ethnic attrition.

Papers and Proceedings, 3 , Latino immigrants and the U. American Sociological Review, 75 3 , The impact of employer sanctions on metropolitan wage rates. A Journal of Economy and Society , 34 3 , Population Division Working Paper No. University of California Press. Reduced earnings for men in America. The New Immigration Federalism. Attitudes toward highly skilled and low-skilled immigration: Evidence from a survey experiment.

American Political Science Review , 01 , The Geography of Immigrant Skills: Educational Profiles of Metropolitan Areas. Public attitudes toward immigration. Annual Review of Political Science, 17 , Profiling the new immigrant worker: The effects of skin color and height. Journal of Labor Economics, 26 , The persistence of skin color discrimination for immigrants. Social Science Research, 40 , Demographic Trends in the 20th Century.

Explaining where and when immigrants provoke local opposition. American Political Science Review, 01 , Language, local context, and attitudes toward immigration. Politics, Groups, and Identities, 2 1 , Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: How much does immigration boost innovation? Macroeconomics, 2 April , Population Bulletin, 62 4.

Ethnic scientific communities and international technology diffusion. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 90 3 , Public Opinion Quarterly , A postracial society or a diversity paradox? Social Science Research on Race , 9 02 , Not an outgroup, not yet an ingroup: Immigrants in the stereotype content model.

International Journal of Intercultural Relations , 30 6 , Ethnic Patterns in American Cities. Free Press of Glencoe. Unauthorized workers and immigration reform: What can we ascertain from employers? International Migration Review , Unintended consequences of immigration reform: Discrimination and Hispanic employment.

Demography , 32 4 , Why does immigration occur?: The American Stratification System. The racialization of Latinos in the United States. Racial identity and the spatial assimilation of Mexicans in the United States. Social Science Research , 21 3 , Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times. The Impact of Immigration Enforcement. Fertility of Women in the United States: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.

1 Introduction | The Integration of Immigrants into American Society | The National Academies Press

Office of Management and Budget. Recommendations from the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Race and Ethnic Standards to the Office of Management and Budget concerning changes to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. Federal Register, 62 , Revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. The Rise of Asian Americans. National and State Trends, The changing racial and ethnic composition of the U. Population and Development Review , 35, Italians Then, Mexicans Now: Immigrant Origins and the Second-Generation Progress, A Feminist International Politics.

The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation. What is Your Race?: