“For a nation of immigrants, America has always had a complicated relationship with immigration. Some came in splendor, some came in chains, and everything in between.
In the half century since Ellis Island closed, immigration and the immigrant experience have changed massively, again. Do we still want to absorb? Do they still want to assimilate? Are we open to a permanent underclass? In a globalized world, do immigrants ever really leave the old country?
This hour On Point: the realities of the new American immigrant experience.”
Jim Pethokoukis, senior writer for U.S. News & World Report
Ruben Rumbaut, sociology professor at University of California Irvine and author of Immigrant America: A Portrait
Hector Tobar, Mexico City bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and author of Translation Nation
Peggy Levitt, sociology professor at Wellesley College and author of God Needs No Passport
Peggy Levitt is a Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Associate; Faculty Co-Director, Transnational Studies Initiative and Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College. Her new book, God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape, will be published by The New Press in June.
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam is a self-described full-on liberal who worries a lot about community in America.
He made his name in the 1990s with his finding that hordes of
Americans were, in his famous phrase, "bowling alone"—living without
the traditional community ties of bowling leagues and Moose clubs that
bound people together.
Then he set out on a huge project to find out why. The answer looks
like a liberal's nightmare: diversity. Diverse communities, Putnam
found, show dysfunction. At least for a while.
This hour On Point: Robert Putnam, Pat Buchanan and Lani Guinier on diversity and community in America.
Nobel prize-wining economist Amartya Sen has long since looked beyond the numbers of development and growth and into the affairs of the human heart. What he sees there these days he finds deeply troubling.
From East to West, he warns, people around the world are being boxed into narrow, dangerous understandings of their own identity. Reduced from full and complex human beings to simply Muslim, Christian, Shiite, Sunni, Jew.
Sen has a bone to pick with Samuel Huntington's “Clash of Civilizations” thesis. It is the road to hell, he says. But maybe we were already on it.
Hear Nobelist Amartya Sen talk about identity, violence and what he calls the “illusion of destiny”.