A study of the migration of Cubans to Puerto Rico beginning with the early 1960s. It examines how they have assumed the minority role of the classical middleman and integrated into the community, the authors arguing that they will eventually disappear as an ethnic group as a result of this.
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"An important contribution that has been a long time in coming."--Walter P. Zenner, State University of New York, Albany
"This volume enhances our capacity to understand . . . [and] our need to develop different theoretical models with which to explain different [ethnic] experiences, as well as the extent to which different experiences are shaped by historically contingent factors. . . . A very solid contribution."--Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan
In the first detailed portrait of the Cubans of Puerto Rico, José Cobas and Jorge Duany study the Cubans’ reception and social mobility beginning with the first wave of migration to Puerto Rico in the early 1960s. Exploring the ways in which Cuban immigrants have assumed the minority role of the "classical middleman," the authors describe the combination of characteristics typical of such a group. They then delineate characteristics that distinguish the Cubans of Puerto Rico from the model.
Predominant among the distinguishing characteristics is the rapid rate of Cuban integration into the larger Puerto Rican community. The authors attribute this difference to a number of societal factors, including similarities of culture, language, and religion and a greater willingness on the part of Cubans to out-marry. Moreover, most immigrating Cubans have higher levels of schooling and income than the island’s population and so tend to gravitate to the upper strata of society.
As a result, the authors argue, Cubans in Puerto Rico will remain in the middleman position for a shorter period of time than is typical, ultimately merging into the larger society and disappearing as a distinct ethnic group, much as the immigrant German population did in Czarist Russia. This volume constitutes an important addition to the growing body of literature on Cuban immigration and will appeal, more broadly, to students and scholars of race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, economics, and immigration policy.
José Cobas is professor of sociology at Arizona State University, Tempe. Jorge Duany is associate professor of anthropology and director of the Revista de Ciencias Sociales at the University of Puerto Rico in RRo Piedras. He is coauthor of El Barrio Gandul: EconomRa subterr (1995).Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish
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