Debora Mantovani Giuseppe Sciortino

Comment on Hartmut Esser/3



In response to several special characteristics of the so-called "new immigration" and to the well-known weaknesses of classical assimilation theory, several theoretical suggestions have recently been made and discussed, including, in particular, the "Theory of Segmented Assimilation" and the "New Assimilation Theory." In addition to the (classical) structural outcome of assimilation, these theories assume two other possible outcomes: ethnic stratification as the enduring social descent of following generations and selective acculturation as the social advancement by using and retaining ethnic resources and identities. This contribution reconstructs these theoretical developments and the presumed structural outcomes as special cases of a comprehensive model, i.e., the model of intergenerational integration, and systematizes sub-processes and single mechanisms outlined by the various theories. Another important result is the identification of conditions and background processes that do not necessarily occur empirically, but that underlie the different theories and structural outcomes as well as the proposed model of intergenerational integration.


  • immigrants
  • integration
  • rationality
  • individual action
  • utility function


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