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Int Migr Rev. 1997 Winter;31(4):826-74.

Rethinking assimilation theory for a new era of immigration.


"We argue that assimilation theory has not lost its utility for the study of contemporary immigration to the United States. In making our case, we review critically the canonical account of assimilation provided by Milton Gordon and others; we refer to Shibutani and Kwan's theory of ethnic stratification to suggest some directions to take in reformulating assimilation theory. We also examine some of the arguments frequently made to distinguish between the earlier mass immigration of Europeans and the immigration of the contemporary era and find them to be inconclusive. Finally, we sift through some of the evidence about the socioeconomic and residential assimilation of recent immigrant groups. Though the record is clearly mixed, we find evidence consistent with the view that assimilation is taking place, albeit unevenly."


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