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Indian Americans: The Life and Work of a New Immigrant Community

University of Pennsylvania Social Science & Policy Forum

Devesh Kapur
Director, CASI, and Madan Lal Sobti Professor for the Study of Contemporary India
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 12:00
College Hall, Room 205 University of Pennsylvania 3450 Woodland Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104

PEOPLE OF INDIAN ORIGIN – whether they are Indian-born or U.S.-born – make up well less than one percent of the American population.  Despite its small size, this community has been called a "Model Minority" that has been unusually successful in pursuing the "American Dream" through careers in high-skill occupations and entrepreneurship.  The talk focuses on four major themes in the immigration literature – selection, assimilation, entrepreneurship, and clustering – to analyze the specific characteristics of this community. Unlike most immigrant groups who enter the country at a disadvantage (relative to non-Hispanic Whites) and converge within a generation or two, the advantages of exceptional positive selection of Indian immigrants at the time of entry appears to be sustained through the next generation.

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