The 50% American
ISBN: 9781589010673 (1589010671)
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The 50% American
Immigration and National Identity in an Age of Terror
Stanley A. Renshon
The United States is the only nation in the world that allows its citizens to hold one or more foreign citizenships, vote in another nation's elections, run for or be appointed to office in another country, and join the armed forces even of a nation with interests hostile to those of the U.S. while retaining their citizenship. These policies reinforce the often already strong emotional, political, and economic ties today's immigrants retain to their home countries. Yet few studies have addressed what dual citizenship means for the United States as a nation and the integration of immigrants into the American national community. Is it possible to reconcile two different nationalities, cultures, and psychologies? How can we honor immigrants' sense of identity without threatening American national identity? What do Americans have a right to expect of immigrants and what do they have a right to expect of Americans?
Stanley A. Renshon, a certified psychoanalyst, is a professor of political science at the City University of New York and coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Program in the Psychology of Social and Political Behavior in the university's Graduate Center. His thirteen books include In His Father's Shadow: The Transformation of George W. Bush and High Hopes: The Clinton Presidency and the Politics of Ambition, which won the American Political Science Association's Richard E. Neustadt Award for best book on the presidency and the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis' Gradiva Award for the best published biography.
"Starting from the strange concept of 'dual nationality,' Renshon gives us a comprehensive and disturbing survey of the current condition of Amerian national identity. This is a valuable, thoroughly documented source book for any American concerned about our dwindling sense of common citizenship."—John Derbyshire, National Review columnist
"Renshon has made himself an expert on the issue of dual citizenship in the United States, but the book goes considerably beyond the specific issue of dual citizenship to deal generally with immigration policy and to ponder deeply the issue of what integration in a society means, what fosters it, what hinders it, and the relation of laws and regulations and policies regarding dual citizenship to this larger question of the making of Americans."—Nathan Glazer, professor of education and social structure, emeritus; Honorary Associate of Adams House, Harvard University
"In looking at the issue of how to cultivate a deep attachment to America in immigrants, and in natives, Renshon is addressing one of the most important problems facing our republic today. The question of dual citizenship and divided affections shows how fundamentally different immigration today is from the past, and policymakers would do well to study Renshon's ground-breaking exploration of this vital topic."—Mark Krikorian, executive director, Center for Immigration Studies
"Stanley Renshon draws on his formidable skills as both a political scientist and psychologist to illuminate questions that should be of deep concern to all of us. What does it mean to be an American? What are our obligations as citizens of the United States? What should we expect of newly-arrived immigrants who seek the privileges of citizenship? Should we allow dual citizenship, on the assumption that continuing to be a loyal citizen of Korea or Mexico is in no way incompatible with being a good American? Even a well-informed reader will find surprising information in The 50% American and powerful arguments conveyed in lucid, vigorous prose. With immigration issues looming large on the political horizon, this book could hardly be more timely."—Stephan Thernstrom, Winthrop Professor of History, Harvard University
Table of Contents
1 American Democracy and the Dilemmas of Dual Citizenship
Part I. American National Identity: The Framework
2 The Search for the Missing Link
3 A Theory of American National Identity
Part II. Domestic Challenges to American National Identity
4 Multiculturalism and National Identity
5 Hyphenation and National Identity
Part III. Global Challenges to American National Identity
6 Transnationalism and National Identity
7 Why Not a Transnational American Identity?
Part IV. The Development of National Identity
8 Do Multiple National Attachments Equal Conflicted National Loyalties?
9 Reforming Dual Citizenship: Some Proposals
10 Becoming American: Some Proposals
Appendix: Countries and Territories Allowing Dual Citizenship in Some Form