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U.S. Americanization


At the juncture of the early twenty-first century, those made uneasy by America's increasing ethnic and linguistic diversity called, through such efforts as attempting to legislate an "official" status for English, for a kind of revived Americanization movement. While a majority supported proposals to make English the "official" language, acceptance of diversity nevertheless appeared embedded in expressed attitudes, and public-opinion studies strongly supported the conclusion that Americans' "… preference for an inclusive nationalism coexists with the widespread acceptance of pluralism in cultural practices" (Citrin et al., p. 266). A "cosmopolitan liberal" view of American identity and polity appeared to predominate over either a multiculturalist or nativist view, and so we would expect coercive Americanization crusades to remain a thing of the past.


Carlson, Robert A. The Americanization Syndrome: A Quest for Conformity. New York: St. Martin's, 1987.

Citrin, Jack, et al. "Multiculturalism in American Public Opinion." British Journal of Political Science 31 (2001): 247–274.

Gleason, Philip. Speaking of Diversity: Language and Ethnicity in Twentieth-Century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.

Higham, John. Send These to Me: Jews and Other Immigrants in Urban America. New York: Atheneum, 1975.

——. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925. 1955. Reprint, New York: Atheneum, 1970.

Hollinger, David A. Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

McClymer, John F. "The Americanization Movement and the Education of the Foreign-born Adult, 1914–1925." In American Education and the European Immigrant, 1840–1940, edited by Bernard J. Weis, 96–116. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982.

Miller, John J. The Unmaking of Americans: How Multiculturalism Has Undermined the Assimilation Ethic. New York: Free Press, 1998.

Olneck, Michael R. "Americanization and the Education of Immigrants, 1900–1925: An Analysis of Symbolic Action." American Journal of Education 97 (1989): 398–423.

Salins, Peter D. Assimilation, American Style. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

Schultz, Stanley K. The Culture Factory: Boston Public Schools, 1789–1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.

United States Commission on Immigration Reform. Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy: 1997 Report to Congress. Washington, D.C.: United States Commission on Immigrant Reform, 1997.

Michael R. Olneck

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Ambiguity - Ambiguity to Anticolonialism in Middle East - Ottoman Empire And The Mandate SystemU.S. Americanization - American National Identity And Ideologies Of Americanization, Conclusion, Bibliography