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The Myth of Americanization or the Divided Heart: U.S. Immigration in Literature and Historical Data, 1890-2008

DOI: 10.4000/ejas.8935

Keywords: American literature , Americanization , American identity , Assimilation , Double consciousness , Immigration , Multicultural society , Social change , U.S. New Immigrant Survey , U.S. Census

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Abstract:

The concept of “Americanization” is imbued with, and inextricably bound to, the American imaginary. This article examines the results of the United States Census data and, at the same time, reflects on literary and folkloric references to the idea of “Americanization.” Together, the data and the narrative sources illustrate the extent of the impact of immigration, over time, on the American imaginary. Beginning with the myth of “Christobal Colon” [Christopher Columbus], the phenomenon of imm...

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