When you think of American immigration, what images come to mind? Ellis Island. East Side tenements. Pushcarts on Eighth Avenue. Little Italy. Chinatown. El Barrio. New York City has always been central to the immigrant experience in the United States. In the last three decades, the volume of immigration has increased as has the diversity of immigrant origins and experiences. Contemporary immigration conjures up old images but also some new ones: the sweatshops and ethnic neighborhoods are still there, but so are cell phones, faxes, e-mails, and the more intense and multilayered involvement of immigrants in the social, economic, and political life of both home and host societies.
In this ambitious book, nineteen scholars from a broad range of disciplines bring our understanding of New York's immigrant communities up to date by exploring the interaction between economic globalization and transnationalization, demographic change, and the evolving racial, ethnic, gender dynamics in the City. Urban and suburban, Asian, European, Latin American, and Caribbean, men and women and childrenthe essays here analyze the complex forces that shape the contemporary immigrant experience in New York City and the links between immigrant communities in New York and their countries of origin.
"Innovative and illuminating, this book is exactly what we need at this time: an examination of specific instances which capture the features, the meaning and the implications of transnationalism. This volume is exciting because it includes a younger generation of researchers. One of the book's strengths is that it combines a focus on migration with a focus on the city. Through this detailed lens, (the editors) make a contribution to our understanding of larger cross-boarder dynamics." —Saskia Sassen, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago, and author of The Global City 2001
"One hears a lot about transnationalism these days. But the word is used so loosely that it often loses any real meaning. This book puts some meat on the bones of transnationalism by showing how it unfolds among various immigrant groups in one particular city—New York—not only now, but in the past. It reveals both the fascinating diversity and remarkable similarity of transnationalism as it plays out across different groups and times." —Douglas S. Massey, Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
"These sure-handed editors have produced a rich, varied, and sophisticated picture of how immigration is changing the face of America's gateway city, New York. Exploring a dozen immigrant groups, the leading scholars reveal how class, gender, transnational ties, discrimination, and political action are shaping the formation of new Americans in a renewed city." —John Mollenkopf, Director, Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center, and co-author of Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century
"This book provides a strong introduction to the transnational literature by presenting an interesting array of case studies of immigrant groups in New York City." —The International Migration Review