Text 1

In spite of “endless talk of difference, ” American society is an amazing machine for homogenizing people.


There is “the democratizing uniformity of dress and discourse, and the casualness and absence of deference” characteristic of popular culture.


People are absorbed into “a culture of consumption” launched by the 19th-century department stores that offered “vast arrays of goods in an elegant atmosphere. Instead of intimate shops catering to a knowledgeable elite, ”


these were stores “anyone could enter, regardless of class or background.


This turned shopping into a public and democratic act.”


The mass media, advertising and sports are other forces for homogenization.


Immigrants are quickly fitting into this common culture, which may not be altogether elevating but is hardly poisonous.


Writing for the National Immigration Forum, Gregory Rodriguez reports that today's immigration is neither at unprecedented levels nor resistant to assimilation.

Gregory Rodriguez 为美国移民研讨会撰文指出,今天的移民既不是处于空前的水平,也不抵制同化。

In 1998 immigrants were 9. 8 percent of population; in 1900, 13. 6 percent.

在 1998 年,移民占全国人口的 9.8%;在 1900 年为 13.6%。

In the 10 years prior to 1990, 3. 1 immigrants arrived for every 1, 000 residents;

在 1990年以前的十年之中,在每千位居民当中,有千分之 3.1的新来的移民;

in the 10 years prior to 1890, 9. 2 for every 1, 000.

而在 1890 年以前的十年之中,每千位居民当中就有千分之 9.2 的移民。

Now, consider three indices of assimilation -- language, home ownership and intermarriage.


The 1990 Census revealed that “a majority of immigrants from each of the fifteen most common countries of origin spoke English 'well' or 'very well' after ten years of residence. ”


The children of immigrants tend to be bilingual and proficient in English.


“By the third generation, the original language is lost in the majority of immigrant families. ”


Hence the description of America as a “graveyard” for languages.

因此,有人就把美国描 述成了“语言的坟场”。

By 1996 foreign-born immigrants who had arrived before 1970 had a home ownership rate of 75. 6 percent, higher than the 69. 8 percent rate among native-born Americans.

到了 1996 年,出生于国外的、在 1970 年以前到达美国的移民有 75.6%购置了自己的住房,这个数字高出土生土长的美国人的拥有自己所有权住房的百分比——69.8%。

Foreign-born Asians and Hispanics “have higher rates of intermarriage than do U. S. -born whites and blacks. ”


By the third generation, one third of Hispanic women are married to non-Hispanics,


and 41 percent of Asian-American women are married to non-Asians.


Rodriguez notes that children in remote villages around the world are fans of superstars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Garth Brooks,

罗得里格斯写道,即使那些住 在世界各地偏僻村庄的的孩子们都是诸如阿诺·施瓦辛格和加思·布鲁克斯等明星的星迷,

yet “some Americans fear that immigrants living within the United States remain somehow immune to the nation's assimilative power. ”

然而“一些美国人却害怕住在美国的移民不知怎样才能免受美国的同化力量影响” 。

Are there divisive issues and pockets of seething anger in America? Indeed.


It is big enough to have a bit of everything.


But particularly when viewed against America's turbulent past, today's social indices hardly suggest a dark and deteriorating social environment.