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From Outsiders to On-Paper Equals to Cultural Curiosities? The Trajectory of Diversity in the USA


  • John J. Betancur

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)


This paper examines the genesis and trajectory of diversity in the USA. It argues that unfortunately diversity was more a product of market interests and differential processes in the recruitment of workers at different times and for different purposes than a smooth process of incorporation of immigrant groups from different cultures and continents. At the end, diversity assumed a highly hierarchical form with blacks at the bottom and whites at the top within a framework of manifest destiny and inequality. Confronting an unequal status, non-whites engaged in group-based struggles that transformed them into political communities and the process into a social struggle. The paper concludes with a call for European countries to learn from this experience and try to preempt it by moving to incorporate newcomers in such a way that they become fully contributing members of the societies they enter within a mutually transforming process

Suggested Citation

  • John J. Betancur, 2006. "From Outsiders to On-Paper Equals to Cultural Curiosities? The Trajectory of Diversity in the USA," Working Papers 2006.57, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.57

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luca Benedictis & Lucia Tajoli, 2007. "Economic integration and similarity in trade structures," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 117-137, April.
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    Diversity; Race Relations; Racial Politics; Immigrants; Identity Formation;

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