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This paper challenges the inward looking perspective of recent immigration research by situating migration to the United States within a global and historical context. This macro-stratification perspective breaks out of the confines of national contexts to explore how international migration is shaped by global power divides. We argue that in order to fully understand international migration, it is necessary to account for both the emergence of global power structures and the historical domination of Europe. We develop our argument by first outlining the significance of global power divides, with a particular focus on the United States. We then demonstrate how patterns of movement and incorporation are shaped by these power divides. This sheds new light on inequalities between native born and foreign born individuals in the United States. We conclude by highlighting the implications of the macro-stratification perspective for both future research and social change.


Required Publisher Statement
© University of California at Berkeley. Available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Suggested Citation
Paret, M., & Gleeson, S. (2006). International migration in macro-stratification perspective: Bringing power back in [Electronic version]. Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 50, 120-146.