A Sociology of Immigration: (Re)Making Multifaceted America by E. Morawska

By E. Morawska

This book proposes a brand new theoretical framework for the research of immigration. It examines 4 significant matters informing present sociological experiences of immigration: mechanisms and results of foreign migration, approaches of immigrants' assimilation and transnational engagements, and the variation styles of the second one new release.

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Extra resources for A Sociology of Immigration: (Re)Making Multifaceted America

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1998) conclude in their assessment of the existing models, must recognize the multiplicity of mechanisms that simultaneously initiate and sustain transnational population flows. In their own widely recognized explanatory account of international migration they include, therefore, macro-level societal structures, local conditions, and migrants’ personal motivations and purposes. The premise of the multiplicity of contributing factors informs also the here-proposed conceptualization of international migration as a 42 Mechanisms and Effects of International Migration 43 structuration process.

Reflecting the prevailing sentiments at the time, when asked why he did not become an American citizen, a Lithuanian-born resident of Detroit explained in 1921 that he did not want to “forswear himself” (quote from Morawska 1996: 239). Except for Russian Jews who came to settle in America for good, the minds of most South and East European immigrants were for a prolonged time focused on when they would return to their home villages. Combined with their sojourner mentality, the exclusive obligations embedded in the emerging sense of national identities among turn-of-the-twentieth-century immigrants made them so intensely preoccupied with the affairs in their countries of origin that for an extended period the ethnic “mix” in their assimilation contained predominantly home-country elements and only a small admixture of host-country acquisitions.

As historical records indicate, old immigrants managed to save and transfer home to help their families and support charitable initiatives in their villages up to 75 percent of the average laborer’s pay. As their (home-)national identities took firmer root immigrant men 34 A Sociology of Immigration also became involved when an important event or issue in the political affairs of their home countries meant support was needed. ) For the majority of old immigrants and for a considerable segment of the new ones it has also been the projective vision of returning home— an agency-mobilizing representation combining individual motivations to enjoy a good life and an image of increased social status derived from interactions with local residents—which, even when it was never realized, for a prolonged time upheld their engagement in home-country affairs.

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