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Nationalizing Foreigners: The Making of American National Identity

Waldinger, Roger and Thomas, Soehl and Luthra, Renee (2022) 'Nationalizing Foreigners: The Making of American National Identity.' Nations and Nationalism, 28 (1). pp. 47-65. ISSN 1354-5078

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Abstract

Whereas the literature asks whether immigrants and their descendants come to resemble the ‘mainstream’, this paper places the acquisition of a new national identity at the centre of attention, contending that the views of ethnic outsiders provide strategic leverage in identifying any underlying consensus regarding the bounds of the nation and the means by which those bounds should be implemented. We contend that becoming ‘American’ entails adopting American attitudes towards persons beyond the territorial divide, a population that includes nationals of one's country of origin or ancestry. The paper develops a conceptual framework to understand how attachment to the people of the state of emigration gets transformed into attachment to the people of the state of immigration. The paper provides a demonstration of that process, focusing on Mexican immigrants and their descendants and using a variety of data sources to highlight and unpack different dimensions of Americanisation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Americanisation; citizenship; immigration/migration; nationhood/national identity
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2021 09:31
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 11:45
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31103

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