A Comparison of Contemporary Immigration and the New Immigration of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

  • David A. Gerber
  • Alan M. Kraut


The first selection, appropriately, is an essay that lays out a comparison between turn-of-the-century European immigrants and contemporary immigrants. Pyong Gap Min, a sociologist, outlines a very comprehensive argument for the contention that today’s immigrants will follow a different trajectory in making lives for themselves within American society than did European immigrants a century ago. Min’s argument is based on a number of economic, cultural, political, and social factors that are said to separate the experience of the two groups. The familiar arguments, based on segmented assimilation theory and transnationalization, are complemented here by discussions of both governmental policies and the internal social characteristics and settlement patterns of the contemporary immigration that serve to reinforce the view that the assimilation model is not a useful way to understand immigration today. Thus, past experience, which helped to create the theory that analysts took to understanding European immigration, is presumed not to be an adequate guide to present immigration experience.


Home Country Immigrant Group Immigrant Parent Asian Immigrant Latino Immigrant 
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Suggestions for Further Reading

  1. Alejandro Portes and Robert Bach, Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigration in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  2. John Bodnar, The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  3. Nancy Foner, From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration (New Haven and NewYork: Yale University Press and the Russell Sage Foundation, 2000).Google Scholar
  4. Oscar Handlin, The Uprooted:The Epic Story of the Great Migrations That Made the American People (Boston: Little Brown, 1951).Google Scholar
  5. Rudolfo Acuña, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos (NewYork: Pearson, Longman, 1988, third edition).Google Scholar
  6. Sucheng Chan, Asian Americans:An Interpretive History (Boston: Gale Group, 1991).Google Scholar
  7. Thomas Archdeacon, Becoming American: An Ethnic History (New York: Free Press, 1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David A. Gerber and Alan M. Kraut 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Gerber
  • Alan M. Kraut

There are no affiliations available

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