Diversity in America

Book Info

  • Length: 240 pages
  • Trim size: 6" x 9"

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  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-254-0
  • Publish date: September 2012
  • List Price: $37.95
  • Your Price: $32.26


  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-253-3
  • Publish date: September 2012
  • List Price: $146.00
  • Your Price: $124.10


The fourth edition of Diversity in America offers both a sociohistorical viewpoint and a sociological analysis to provide insights into US diversity. The author squarely addresses the topics generating so much invective, passion, and raucous debate in American society today: Do we have too much immigration? Is multiculturalism a threat? Are we no longer sufficiently American? How do terrorist threats and illegal immigration affect Americans’ receptivity to the constant stream of newcomers? What kind of people are we becoming? The book answers these questions by using history and sociology to shed light on socially constructed myths about our past, misunderstandings about our present, and anxieties about our future.

Putting into perspective the fact that diversity is not a recent social phenomenon, the author takes the reader through different American eras, beginning with the indigenous populations and continuing through colonial times, the early national period, the age of expansion, the industrial age, the information age, and today. Intergenerational comparisons, examination of the pros and cons of multiculturalism, and extrapolation of present trends into future probabilities offer the reader a holistic analytic commentary to provide additional helpful insights and understanding.

New to the Fourth Edition

  • Augmented with new graphs, tables, and photographs
  • Covers the most recent and relevant studies not only in sociology but in many other related fields as well
  • Every chapter contains a thorough updating of all statistics and information, including the latest data from the 2010 Census
  • Based on the most current demographic data, new population projections for 2050 provide the reader with insights into the nation’s increased multi-ethnic and multi-racial future
  • Chapter 8 on multiculturalism after 9/11 captures recent trends and concerns in an expanded discussion of how fears about terrorism and concerns about illegal immigration affect perceptions and responses to multiculturalism
  • In all chapters, “The Larger Context” sections feature recent world events that place US multiculturalism in a comparative perspective to other developed countries

Author Info

Vincent N. Parrillo, Professor and Graduate Director at William Patterson University, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of immigration and multiculturalism. He has spoken on these topics on numerous occasions throughout Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States to government officials and to public and university audiences under sponsorship of the Department of State’s US Information Agency (USIA) and International Information Program (IIP). He is the executive producer and writer of two award-winning PBS television documentaries: Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson (1992) and Ellis Island: Gateway to America (1991).


“Anyone can pick up this book and learn from it. It is like reading a good story rather than [reading] an educational text.”
Leigh A. Willis, University of Georgia

"The book provides a useful overview of U.S. racial and ethnic diversity and its development over time, introduces some sociological themes (e.g. assimilation, pluralism), and touches upon several others (e.g. the role of economic factors in immigration)….Indeed, this book is exactly what it claims to be: an accessible account of diversity in the United States, a nice, short primer on American immigration history, assimilation and pluralism, and related concepts.”
Teaching Sociology


List of Art
About the Author

1. Perception and Reality

What This Book Is All About
Seeing Is Believing, But Is It Knowing?
The Cultural Homogeneity Myth
The Rise, Fall, and Rise of Pluralism
Early Advocates
Assimilationists Prevail
The Reassertion of Pluralism
The Multiculturalist Challenge
The Melting Pot
Overstating Ethnic Intermarriages
No Racial Minorities
Emerson’s Vision
Turner’s Frontier
Zangwill’s White Fusion
Recent Studies on Intermarriage
The Dillingham Flaw
The Dillingham Commission
The Concept of the Dillingham Flaw
The Dillingham Flaw Chain Reaction
Believing Is Seeing
The Boundary Flaw
Understanding Today by Knowing About Yesterday

2. Diversity in Aboriginal America

The Larger Context
Diversity in Language
The Interdependence of Language and Culture
Language and Social Reality
Diversity in Gender Roles
Division of Labor
Status and Influence
Diversity in Clothing
Northwestern Native Americans
Southwestern Native Americans
Northern Plains Native Americans
Southeastern Native Americans
Northeastern Native Americans
Diversity in Housing
Large Communal Structures
Single-Family Dwellings
Diversity in Social Organization
Social Status Variations
Northwestern Slavery
Southeastern Caste Systems
Iroquois Consensus-Building
Diversity in Social Organization
Diversity in Values
The Next Horizon

3. Diversity in Colonial Times

The Larger Context
Cultural Pluralism
Colonial Beginnings
A Patchwork Quilt of Ethnic Settlements
Diversity in the Early Settlements
Geographic Variances in Diversity
The New England Colonies
The Middle Colonies
The Southern Colonies
African Diversity on the Plantations
Three Regional Cultures
Religious Diversity
Religious Intolerance
The Great Awakening
The Legacy of Religious Pluralism
A Kaleidoscope Society
Minority Separatism
The Multicultural Revolutionary Army
The Next Horizon

4. Diversity in the Early National Period

The Larger Context
Building a National Identity
Arts and Letters
Linguistic Independence
Religious Independence
Social Structure and Social Class
Religion, Power, and Group Consciousness
Religion and Politics
Parallel Religious Institutions
The Nation’s First Census
The Other Side of the Coin
Eurocentric Use of Census Data
Expanding Territory and Diversity
The Drop in Immigration
The Significance of Natural Population Growth
Emergence of a Common Culture
Decline of Foreign Languages
Antiforeign Responses
The False Horizon

5. Diversity in the Age of Expansion

The Larger Context
Travelers Discover the Ethnic Mosaic
Tocqueville’s Dismay at Racial Suffering
Martineau’s Defense of Immigrants
Olmsted’s Reaction to Isolated Ethnic Communities
The French
America’s “Flanders”
America’s “Little Paris”
French Immigration
The Irish
America’s First Ghetto People
Labor, Religion, and Politics
The Germans
The “German Athens”
German Diversity
Native Americans
Assimilation Efforts
“As Long as Grass Grows and Water Runs”
The End of Forever
The Africans
Southern Blacks
Northern Blacks
The Chinese
The Mexicans
Intergroup Conflicts
The Next Horizon

6. Diversity in the Industrial Age

The Larger Context
Minority Family Economies
Population Diversity
African Americans
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Hispanic Americans
Native Americans
Middle Eastern Americans
Northern and Western European Americans
Southern, Central, and Eastern European Americans
Intergroup Conflicts
The Next Horizon

7. Diversity in the Information Age

The Larger Context
The Human Element
Unexpected Consequences
A Different America
Institutionalizing Minority Rights
The Europeans
Asians and Pacific Islanders
Black Americans
Hispanic Americans
North Africans and Middle Easterners
Native Americans
Religious Diversity
The Next Horizon

8. Diversity in Today’s World

The Larger Context
U.S. Government Responses
American Public Responses
Measuring Social Distance
Illegal Immigration
The Larger Context
Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States
Public Attitudes
What About Tomorrow?

9. Intergenerational Comparisons

Why Are Voices Raised Against Immigration?
Religious, Racial, and Cultural Biases
Economic Competition
The “Tipping Point”
Today Isn’t Yesterday, or Is It?
Immigration Rate
Immigration Rate Caveats
Foreign-Born Population
Race in America
Mainstream Americans
Mainstream American Caveats
The “Wall”
Perception and Reality
The Larger Context
Today’s Patterns in Perspective

9. Is Multiculturalism a Threat?

The Umbrellas of Multiculturalism
The Inclusionists
The Separatists
The Integrative Pluralists
The Larger Context
Roses and Thorns
The “Thorns” of Multiculturalism
The “Immigrant Thorns”
The “Language Thorns”
The “Cultural Thorns”
The “Racial Thorns”
The “Roses” of Multiculturalism
The “Immigrant Roses”
The “Language Roses”
The “Cultural Roses”
The “Racial Roses”
Is Multiculturalism the Enemy?

11. The Next Horizon
The Twenty-First Century
The Larger Context
U.S. Population Predictions
The Alarm Bells Ring
Resetting the Alarm
The Dillingham Flaw in Reverse
Factors Influencing Change
Interethnic Marriages and Children of Mixed Ancestry
Interracial Marriages and Biracial Children
The Challenge of Racial Diversity
Increased Religious Diversity
The Mainstreaming of Women
The Ever-Changing Mosaic

Author Bio

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