Assimilation and Place in the United States: Testing Incorporation from Within

Christina Diaz, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Although immigrant assimilation theory remains a fiercely debated topic by migration scholars, few would deny that the incorporation process has major implications for the well-being of immigrants and their children. As such, a large literature continues to examine migrant lives for evidence of “assimilation.” Unfortunately, most empirical tests look for evidence of ethnic or cultural change at the individual-level. This stands in stark contrast to Alba and Nee’s (2003) assertion that assimilation is a multidirectional and multilevel process. In order to measure this important aspect of assimilation theory, I compile data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. census, the School and Staffing Survey (SASS), as well as measures of non-English radio/television stations, ethnic restaurants and grocery stores. My research attempts to bridge the scholarship on assimilation, new migrant destinations, and ecological aspects of population change to shed light on aggregate-level indicators of incorporation.

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Presented in Poster Session 8