Global Philadelphia

Immigrant Communities Old and New

Edited by Ayumi Takenaka and Mary Osirim
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0013-0
Publication: Mar 10

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0012-3
Publication: Mar 10

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0014-7
Publication: Mar 10

320 pages
6 x 9
5 tables, 10 figs., 4 halftones, 3 maps

A comprehensive analysis of the processes and consequences of immigration to Philadelphia over time

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


The racial and ethnic composition of Philadelphia continues to diversify as a new wave of immigrants—largely from Asia and Latin America—reshape the city’s demographic landscape. Moreover, in a globalized economy, immigration is the key to a city’s survival and competitiveness. The contributors to Global Philadelphia examine how Philadelphia has affected its immigrants’ lives, and how these immigrants, in turn, have shaped Philadelphia.

Providing a detailed historical, ethnographic, and sociological look at Philadelphia’s immigrant communities, this volume examines the social and economic dynamics of various ethnic populations. Significantly, the contributors make comparisons to and connections between the traditional immigrant groups—Germans, Italians, the Irish, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Chinese—and newer arrivals, such as Cambodians, Haitians, Indians, Mexicans, and African immigrants of various nationalities.

While their experiences vary, Global Philadelphia focuses on some of the critical features that face all immigrant groups—intra-group diversity, the role of institutions, and ties to the homeland. Taken together, these essays provide a richer understanding of the processes and implications of contemporary immigration to the area.

Contributors include: Jennifer Atlas, Rasika Chakravarthy, Keo Chea-Young, Noel J.J. Farley, Philip L. Kilbride, Garvey F. Lundy, Ajay Nair, Rakhmiel Peltz, Birte Pfleger, Joan Saverino, Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, Lena Sze, Victor Vasquez-Hernandez, and the editors.

Table of Contents


1. Philadelphia’s Immigrant Communities in Historical Perspective – Ayumi Takenaka and Mary Johnson Osirim

Part I. Community Formation and Intra- (and Inter-) Ethnic Relations

2. 125 Years of Building Jewish Immigrant Communities in Philadelphia – Rakhmiel Peltz

3. Mapping Memories in Stone: Italians and the Transformation of a Philadelphia Landscape – Joan Saverino

4. Pan-Latino Enclaves in Philadelphia and the Formation of the Puerto Rican Community – Victor Vazquez-Hernandez

5. Opportunity, Conflict, and Communities in Transition: Historical and Contemporary Chinese Immigration to Philadelphia – Lena Sze

Part II. The Role of Institutions

6. German Immigration to Philadelphia from the Colonial Period through the Twentieth Century – Birte Pfleger

7. Changes in the Behavior of Immigrants: The Irish in Philadelphia – Noel J. J. Farley and Philip L. Kilbride

8. Healthcare Access for Mexican Immigrants in South Philadelphia – Jennifer Atlas

Part III. Identity Formation in a Transnational Context

9. Philadelphia’s Haitian Community: Transnationalism and Unity in the Formation of Identity – Garvey F. Lundy

10. The New African Diaspora: Transnationalism and Transformation in Philadelphia – Mary Johnson Osirim

11. From Kerala to Philadelphia: The Experiences of Malayalee, Hindu Nurses in Philadelphia – Rasika Chakravarthy and Ajay Nair

12. The Other Asians in the Other Philadelphia: Understanding Cambodian Experiences in Neighborhoods, Classrooms, and Workplaces – Ellen Skilton-Sylvester and Keo Chea-Young



About the Author(s)

Ayumi Takenaka is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College.

Mary Johnson Osirim is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Faculty Diversity Liaison at Bryn Mawr College.


In the Series

  • Philadelphia Voices, Philadelphia Visions edited by David W. Bartelt

    Philadelphia has always been a city that has embraced a richness of voice and vision, defying attempts to define it in a one-dimensional frame. Books in this series, Philadelphia Voices, Philadelphia Visions, edited by David W. Bartelt, will give voice to the diverse communities and perspectives that help define the city, and to address public issues that the city's community, civic and academic leadership raise in the public arena. The series is interdisciplinary, encompassing discussions of social divisions, cultural heterogeneity, and the importance of popular culture as expressions of communities that critique, celebrate, and continually reconstitute the Philadelphia region.