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I even think today you integrate not that slower than eighty or hundred years ago. Even if people in the old days also went back to their home country, it was much more difficult for poor people to go back then as it is today, where you can hop in the air plane anytime.

What is more difficult today is that you have more exposure mentally to the new country's culture and the old one due to the internet and communication possibilities compared to hundred years ago.

In the old day you had to accept that your are "stuck" in the new world and tried to make the best out of it. The average immigrant in the old days was most likely so poor arriving in the new country that he couldn't afford to "make a trip back home" that easily.

Today's immigrants stay culturally at home and just come physically to the new country to make some money. If they don't achieve that (and remain unemployed), but on the other hand are that well secured through a functioning social security net (like in France - at least to the point that they don't become homeless or hungry), immigrants get paralysed.

They can't go home (being ashamed to not have made money in the new world) and the can't really integrate and make it in the new world either.

So, they get pretty depressed and frustrated mentally.
It seems to me that in the old days all immigrants were finally proud to have made it in the new country and had not only integrated but often over-identified with the new country. I don't think that's so clearly the case anymore for today's immigrants from African countries into Europe.

by mimi on Sun Nov 6th, 2005 at 09:38:09 PM EST
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