ANNA VEGLERY, Fordham University


The study examined patterns of social integration among first generation Greek immigrants to New York City. It considered three modes of integration: integration into the ethnic community; into the American community; or into both communities. As such, the study included the institutional areas of religion, education, occupations, and associations, and the area of primary group relationships. The study also examined the association between differential social integration and two background characteristics of the immigrants: (a) their educational level, and (b) their fluency in the English language. A purposive sample of 71 immigrants was located primarily through three intermediary sources, each of which had access to Greek immigrants of varying educational backgrounds. In-depth, face-to-face interviews, in both Greek and English, were conducted on the basis of a semi-structured interview schedule with both closed and open-ended questions. The analysis of the data relied on computer-run statistical tests. The findings of this study show that first generation immigrants integrate into social spheres of the American community as well as of the ethnic community. The findings also show that integration into the American community is more extensive at the secondary level of relationships--i.e. schools, occupations, and associations--while limited at the primary group level of relationships--i.e. social cliques and friendships. With respect to the immigrants' characteristics associated with their social integration the findings, with some exceptions, show that integration into the American community or into both the Greek and the American community simultaneously is associated with a higher level of schooling and greater command of the English language compared to integration into the ethnic community exclusively. Exceptions to the rule most likely bear out the importance of the "institutional completeness" of an ethnic community. The findings clearly indicate the continuation of cultural pluralism in the United States, especially in New York. The findings further indicate that, in addition to the social characteristics of the immigrants, the structural characteristics of an ethnic community vis-a-vis those of the receiving community ought to be considered in studies dealing with patterns of the immigrants' integration into the receiving society.

Subject Area

Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

VEGLERY, ANNA, "THE INTEGRATION OF POST-1965 GREEK IMMIGRANTS TO NEW YORK" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8714577.