Chapter

Once Again, Strangers on Our Shores

Mary C. Waters

in The Fractious Nation?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520220430
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936911 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220430.003.0007
Once Again, Strangers on Our Shores

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This chapter questions whether the new immigrants are really so different from the lionized immigrants of yore by giving a more sociological twist to the popular query. It explains that the current debate hinges on the question of how today's immigrants differ from earlier ones and restrictionists usually make two distinctions between the post-1965 immigrants and the earlier waves of European immigrants. It argues that differences between them may lie in the social circumstances that shape their absorption into American life. It explains that today's immigrants arriving after the rise of the welfare state are not encouraged to work as hard as previous immigrants, who did not enjoy such government help. It further explains that the immigrants themselves are different because the government admits racially different groups into a society that no longer advocates assimilation.

Keywords: immigrants; restrictionists; European immigrants; American life; welfare state; assimilation

Chapter.  5501 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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