Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration

Immigration, Policies

Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration

In this age of multicultural democracy, the idea of assimilation–that the social distance separating immigrants and their children from the mainstream of American society closes over time–seems outdated and, in some forms, even offensive. But as Richard Alba and Victor Nee show in the first systematic treatment of assimilation since the mid-1960s, it continues to shape the immigrant experience, even though the geography of immigration has shifted from Europe to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Institutional changes, from civil rights legislation to immigration law, have provided a more favorable environment for nonwhite immigrants and their children than in the past.

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