Beyond the Immigrant Enclave: Network Change and by Susan K. Wierzbicki

By Susan K. Wierzbicki

Immigrant groups – even terrible ones – are usually portrayed as solidary and supportive. Wierzbicki examines the presence and homogeneity of ties one of the international- and native-born of other ethnic teams. She unearths that the foreign-born regularly document fewer ties than the native-born, partly due to much less schooling or shorter period of place of dwelling. The foreign-born even have extra ethnically homogeneous ties, even if they dwell outdoors enclaves and in wealthier parts. This discovering has implications for theories of assimilation or incorporation. For loss of community facts, prior exam of assimilation has frequently trusted styles of residential cost instead of genuine social ties. This learn exhibits that the foreign-born may perhaps assimilate spatially yet no longer socially.

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Massey et al. 1987), several recent studies suggest that the type the community “lost” was perhaps jettisoned too quickly. Not all immigrants necessarily belong to well-connected networks. Since network research by design locates people within networks, it would be easy for network researchers to conclude that all people are in networks, even if some are only marginally connected. If immigrants have to re-create social ties at the destination, as Tilly (1990) suggests, some may be unable to do so.

Marriage promotes kin relations for both women and men, but especially men. Marriage isolates women from non-kin, while age tends to isolate men. Ultimately, isolation seems to be a function of lack of access to different types of social contexts. Community as Network and Place 27 As Wilson (1987) has argued, another correlate of isolation is neighborhood. He finds that ghettos are more isolated than they used to be because of greater inequality between ghettos and other neighborhoods. When middleclass blacks had no choice but to live in a ghetto, social inequality was greater within ghettos, but the middle class maintained social and economic ties to more mainstream institutions.

Thinking of the community “saved” or “liberated” as the type of community among immigrants can perpetuate a myth that the enclave sheltered all immigrants and that everyone within an enclave belonged to the same ethnic group. Spatially, only blacks and Chinese have ever been highly segregated (Lieberson 1980). More often, the enclave housed a minority of the immigrant group, and often those immigrants were only a plurality, not a majority, in the enclave itself (Philpott 1978). Thus, immigrant communities exist across a spectrum of spatial concentration from highly segregated to highly dispersed.

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