Pakistani Migrants in the United States: The Interplay of Ethnic Identity and Ethnic Retention
Dr. Navid Ghani
This study is designed to explore the process of integration of first-generation Pakistani immigrants in the United States. There are two analytical themes that are the focus of this study. The first is the question of their integration into American society. What are the factors that have led to their maintenance of strong ethnic attachment, and their role in the shifting interplay of integration versus ethnic retention? The second issue is the factors that hinder their integration into American society, and how they perceive their cultural heritage versus mainstream norms and values. I rely on five benchmarks to assess first-generation immigrant integration: socioeconomic status, cultural heritage such as religious and social activities, perceptions, and experiences of discrimination, and gender relations. Based on ethnographic methods such as interviews and participant observations, one level of integration is explained. This level of integration is related to high ethnic identity and low integration, and is explained in terms of identity formation with strong ethnic characteristics but only a functional level of integration.
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