Print page

Immigration Policy and the Shaping of US Culture

Becoming America Roger White, Professor of Economics, Whittier College, US
The author examines the relationships between immigration policy, observed immigration patterns, and cultural differences between the United States and immigrants’ source countries. The entirety of US immigration history (1607-present) is reviewed through a recounting of related legislative acts and by examining data on immigrant inflows and cross-societal cultural distances.
Extent: c 200 pp
Hardback Price: $110.00 Web: $99.00
Publication Date: February 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78643 527 9
Availability: Not yet published
$0.00

Buy the E-book

  • eISBN: 978 1 78643 528 6

Join our mailing list

  • Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Migration
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Migration
The author examines the relationships between immigration policy, observed immigration patterns, and cultural differences between the United States and immigrants’ source countries. The entirety of US immigration history (1607-present) is reviewed through a recounting of related legislative acts and by examining data on immigrant inflows and cross-societal cultural distances.

Prior to the Immigration Act of 1965, US policy favored immigration from Europe, particularly Northern and Western Europe. Thus, American culture became similar to the cultures of European societies and of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Changes in US immigration policy during the past half century have resulted in American culture becoming more similar to the cultures of more recent arrivals’ source countries (i.e., societies in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa). Tests for structural breaks in the immigrant inflow series and descriptive analysis of the cultural differences between the US and several cohorts of countries reveal fascinating details about this transformation. Population projections for the years 2015-2065 suggest continued cultural change. Corresponding policy implications are discussed.

This book is a key resource for faculty, researchers and students along with policymakers, non-academics interested in immigration policy and its history, and readers interested in migration studies, global studies, and cultural studies.
Contents: 1. A Legacy of Discrimination PART I A REVIEW OF U.S. IMMIGRATION HISTORY 2. The Colonial Era and the Northern and Western European Wave, 1607-1874 3. The Southern and Eastern European Wave: Qualitative Restrictions, 1875-1920 4. The National Origin Quota System: Quantitative Restrictions, 1921-1967 5. A Pivot in U.S. Immigration Policy, 1968-Present PART II THE DETERMINANTS OF U.S. IMMIGRATION, EFFECTS OF POLICY CHANGES, AND CONSEQUENCES FOR CULTURAL DIFFERENCES 6. Identifying the Determinants of U.S. Immigration 7. The Effects of Policy Changes on Immigration to the United States 8. The Influence of Immigration Policy on Cross-societal Cultural Distances PART III IMPLICATIONS FOR AMERICAN CULTURE AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR POLICY 9. Looking Forward: Anticipated Cultural Evolution and Corresponding Implications, 2015-2065 10. How Immigration Policy Has Shaped American Culture and Opportunities for U.S. Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century References Index