Chapter

The Sociology and Historiography of Immigration

Ewa Morawska

in Immigration Reconsidered

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780195055108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854219 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195055108.003.0008
The Sociology and Historiography of Immigration

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This chapter offers a detailed analysis of work by historians and sociologists over the past fifteen years that has revised the older, two-part paradigm of American immigration. One half of that paradigm emerged in the 1920s from Chicago school sociologists such as Robert Park. The Chicago school proposed the classical assimilation model, which essentially assumed a linear progression from Old World traits toward Americanization. A related part of the old paradigm, “human-capital theory,” posited that individual actions or assets such as educational level, language skills, or family cohesion, contributed to economic achievement, assimilation, or inability to adapt. The sociology and historiography of immigration may now be on their way toward formulating a more encompassing conceptual framework for the interpretation of the adaptation to American society of the immigrants and their offspring that would integrate both the assimilation and ethnicization processes.

Keywords: American immigration; World War II; East Europeans; South Europeans; sociocultural adaptation; Robert Park; assimilation paradigm; Chicago school

Chapter.  27335 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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