Immigrants and the Cultural Politics of Place: A Comparative Study of New York and Los Angeles

Immigrants and the Cultural Politics of Place: A Comparative Study of New York and Los Angeles
Kevin Keogan
January 2010

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-232-8 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xii, 192 pages

Price   $62.00

"a novel approach to an established topic....of particular interest to those teaching topical undergraduate or graduate courses in immigration, cultural sociology as well as methodological courses in discourse analysis." -- Contemporary Sociology


Keogan looks at the development of social boundaries in relation to American immigration since 1965. Since 1965 racial and ethnic distinctions have lost legitimacy and new cultural categories emerged. Illegal immigrants have become the most excludable segment of the foreign-born population. By the mid-1990s, the two principal urban destinations for immigrants to the U.S.—New York City and Los Angeles—had developed divergent cultural orientations toward illegal immigrants. An analysis of mass media and scholarly texts demonstrates how symbolic boundaries were negotiated differently in these two settings. Keogan offers a comparative-historical analysis of the demographic and cultural factors involved in the development of these divergent political contexts.

About the Author

Kevin Keogan earned his PhD in Sociology at Rutgers University. He has contributed essays to the journal Sociological Forum, the edited volume Varieties of Urban Experience, and The Encyclopedia of American Immigration. His previous research and writing have centered on the symbolic politics of immigration. He is currently teaching at Montclair State University in New Jersey and is developing a research project for the study of variation in the social adaptation of contemporary immigrant groups within the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.