Low-air-loss mattress system. (Skin and Wound Care).
In her interesting chapter, "Transnationalism Then and Now," Nancy Foner argues that such cross-national ties are not new. She points to the strong links that many Italian immigrants had to Italy in the early part of the 20th century. But she also acknowledges that technology-- both communications and travel--has facilitated more frequent and intimate contacts.
The chapters in the second part of the book focus on the incorporation of immigrants into the social and economic fabric of New York, and specifically on the ways in which race matters in this process. Atone extreme, Johanna Lessinger's chapter on Indian Americans describes a group of successful immigrants who place themselves emphatically on the "White" side of the color spectrum, distance themselves from other non-White minorities, and largely deny poverty within their ranks. At the other extreme, the two chapters on Caribbean immigrants portray a group that has been unable to identify and integrate with other racial goups. In chapter 10, Vilna Bashi Bobb paints a sobering picture of West Indians who grow increasingly disheartened about the extent of racism in the U.S. Meanwhile, in chapter 9, Philip Kasinitz and Milton Vickerman persuasively argue that race has directed the development of ethnic employment niches for Jamaicans and limited the effectiveness of their social networks. While Jamaicans enjoy re latively high levels of employment, they are heavily concentrated--like African Americans--in sectors (e.g., the public sector) that provide few opportunities for upward mobility and accumulation of wealth.
Because the book was published in August 2001, before the attack on the World Trade Center, there is no description of the effect of this tragedy on the different ethnic minorities. It is difficult to read a book about the "meaning and experience of contemporary immigration to the United States" (p. 1), particularly one set in New York City, without wondering about how the events of September 11, 2001, might have affected this book.
A conspicuous absence that the editors could have addressed is the book's lack of any discussion of immigrants and public education. Public schools have traditionally been the avenue through which we "Americanize" immigrants and teach them the country's language, values, and customs. A chapter or two exploring how our schools are helping immigrant children adjust to life in the U.S. would have enriched this volume considerably. Are our schools encouraging transnational identities or are they contributing to a full assimilation? One final quibble is that the book's audience would have been broader had the use of academic jargon been more limited. Still, planning practitioners will find some useful lessons here as they face growing immigrant populations in their cities.
This collection ultimately delivers a nuanced portrait of the contemporary immigrants to the United States. Each chapter typically focuses on immigrants from a particular country and as such offers unusual derail. At the same time, the tone and themes of the various chapters are consistent. The clearest theme is the complex and multifaceted nature of relationships and identities. In today's global world, the authors suggest, it is quite possible (and even perhaps inevitable) to hold multiple allegiances.
Ellen is an assistant professor of urban planning and public policy at the Wagner School at New York University. Her research focuses on neighborhoods, housing, and residential segregation. She is the author of Sharing America's Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration (Harvard University Press, 2000).
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|Title Annotation:||from Span-America Medical Systems Inc.|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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