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date: 27 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The notion of assimilation by immigrant groups remains beset by conceptual confusion. An examination of the way that assimilation developed in the American past, especially in the period after World War II, provides a way of cutting through the conceptual fog. Key features of historical assimilation are captured by the definition of the concept in neo-assimilation theory. However, debate over the present-day role of mainstream assimilation has been renewed by the advent of segmented assimilation. Both theories can point to evidence about the second generations issuing from contemporary immigrant groups to support their claims. A mixed picture is also found in the fundamental economic and demographic trends that are prognostic about assimilation.

Keywords: Assimilation, neo-assimilation, segmented assimilation, social boundary, mainstream, non-zero-sum mobility, downward assimilation

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