Second Generation Immigrants Attitudes and Behavior under Multiculturalist Policies

48 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2014 Last revised: 25 Oct 2014

See all articles by Irene Bloemraad

Irene Bloemraad

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Sociology

Matthew Wright

American University; American University - School of Public Affairs

Date Written: August 29, 2014

Abstract

Across immigrant-receiving democracies, “multiculturalism” has come under assault by political decision-makers and pundits. The academic debate, while less fiery, is also heated. We start by outlining the multiple meanings of “multiculturalism:” a term for demographic diversity; a political philosophy of equality or justice; a set of policies to recognize and accommodate ethno-racial and religious diversity; or a public discourse recognizing and valorizing pluralism. We then review the existing empirical literature and offer some new statistical analyses to assess what we know about the harm or benefits of multicultural policies, focusing in particular on socio-political outcomes. We conclude that multicultural policies appear to have some modest positive effects on socio-political integration for first generation immigrants, and likely little direct effect, positive or negative, on those in the second generation. On the question of majority backlash, the limited scholarship is mixed; we speculate that multiculturalism work best in places where both minorities and majority residents see it as part of a common national project. We end by considering the conditions under which this happens and whether there are distinctions between “Anglo-settler” and other countries.

Keywords: multiculturalism, immigration, immigrants, incorporation, assimilation, attitudes

Suggested Citation

Bloemraad, Irene and Wright, Matthew, Second Generation Immigrants Attitudes and Behavior under Multiculturalist Policies (August 29, 2014). American University School of Public Affairs Research Paper No. 2014-0005; APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2451370 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2451370

Irene Bloemraad

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Sociology ( email )

410 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Matthew Wright (Contact Author)

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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