Rubén G. Rumbaut and Alejandro Portes

in Ethnicities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780520230118
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927513 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses the manifold impact of immigration on the cities and states of the United States, especially in major urban centers where large immigrant communities have sprouted. It explains that immigration, enslavement, annexation, and conquest were the originating processes by which American ethnicities were formed and through which, over time, the United States was transformed into one of the world's most ethnically diverse societies. The chapter notes that the present second generation of children of immigrants is better defined as undergoing a process of segmented assimilation in which outcomes vary across immigrant minorities, and in which rapid integration and acceptance into the American mainstream represent just one possible alternative. It examines the patterns and paradoxes of the incorporation of youths of diverse national origins—Mexican, Cuban, Nicaraguan, Filipino, Vietnamese, Haitian, Jamaican, and other West Indian—coming of age in immigrant families on both coasts of the United States.

Keywords: immigration; United States; American ethnicities; enslavement; annexation; conquest; segmented assimilation

Chapter.  7461 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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