Gwen Sasse and Félix Krawatzek write on the lessons we can learn from the experiences of German migrants to the US

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    Harper’s Weekly cartoon of German emigrants boarding a steamer in Hamburg, Germany, 1874: Wikipedia

Gwen Sasse and Félix Krawatzek have published an article on The Conversation, in which they discuss their research into the experiences of German migrants to the US.

They write "[German migrants'] distinctive experience among the groups who came to the US in this period speaks to today’s debates about immigration – and especially to the ways immigrants integrate into new societies."

"The experience of the Germans demonstrates how immigrant integration is not a linear process, but a negotiated and multi-directional process that is measured in degrees. Migrants of all backgrounds living in any host society endorse and integrate into some aspects of life, but not others. This changes the host society as a result. The inherent diversity of any large immigrant population makes some degree of integration almost inevitable, as large and diverse groups can’t maintain overall ethnic unity outside the mainstream of the host country’s society. By contrast, restrictive policies and anti-immigrant rhetoric are likely to reinvigorate immigrants' emotional ties to their country of origin."

 

The full article can be read at on The Conversation's website: https://theconversation.com/writing-home-how-german-immigrants-found-their-place-in-the-us-53342

An updated version, which also includes an interactive map showing the flow of letters, can be found on the OxPol blog: http://blog.politics.ox.ac.uk/writing-home-how-german-immigrants-found-their-place-in-the-us/

Prof. Gwendolyn Sasse is Professor in Comparative Politics, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College, Harassment OfficerDr Felix Krawatzek is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow