Micro- and macro-explanations of naturalization

Authored by: Thomas Janoski

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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The study of naturalization—immigrants becoming a citizens of their new country—has gone through significant change in the past 20 years. The first major change moved from focusing almost exclusively on the USA and other settler countries to a broader array of receiving countries in Europe and Asia. Most early studies were dominated by assimilation and naturalization in the American experience. Since the 1990s, this American focus has given way to the micro-analysis of naturalization processes in advanced industrialized countries, the naturalization of different sending country immigrants in the same receiving country, and the movement from overall assimilation to segmented assimilation. The second major change was toward the more macro-political and cultural facets of immigration laws in individual sending countries, followed by an emerging literature on the comparison of naturalization regimes in different countries. Along with these two changes are some knotty questions about how to theorize and measure naturalization.

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