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Local Contexts of Immigrant and Second-Generation Integration in the United States

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Our paper introduces this special issue of JEMS on the role of the local context in immigrant and second-generation integration in the United States. Recent literature has argued that national contexts are important for understanding the integration of immigrants and their descendents. The articles in this issue make the case that local contexts, broadly defined at any sub-national scale, are also important for understanding integration within the US; they suggest that it is incorrect to think of a singular and spatially undifferentiated integration process for US immigrants. In addition to previewing the contents of the articles in this issue, our paper includes a review of the meaning of generations and integration and a general discussion of the roles of local contexts in mediating processes of integration. This discussion raises questions about the appropriate spatial scale for the analysis of integration and for comparisons of the integration experience across contexts. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research on local contexts of integration within the US.
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Keywords: Assimilation; Immigrants; Integration; Local Contexts; Second Generation; United States

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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