In addition to a worldwide flow of capital, ideas, and organizations, one distinguishing feature of globalization involves the extensive movement of people – temporarily, as tourists, students, and guest workers, and more permanently as immigrants. It is a world in motion, and the movement of people to and among global cities is especially pronounced, despite the risks that they frequently face in traveling and the hostile receptions that immigrants often face after they arrive at their destination.
This chapter will focus in detail on the patterns of movement that are characteristic of immigrants, and the way they tend to assimilate partially and selectively rather than in total, as implied by the once popular melting pot theory. The final section of the chapter explores the variety of enclaves that immigrant groups have created. We also note that these enclaves have often become tourist attractions, in ways that alienate the residents.
Immigrants and their routes
Between 1990 and 2010, the number of international migrants in the world increased, on average, by about 3 million persons per year. By 2010, more than 3 percent of the world’s population was estimated to be living in a nation other than the one in which they were born. This overall figure masked enormous variations, however. In Australia and Canada, more than 20 percent were foreign born, and in the United States and most nations inWestern Europe the figure was between 10 percent and 15 percent.