Double Dutch? Formative years, youth memories, and the life course of older Dutch-Americans: the role of ethnicity and religion

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Peter Ester


In their classic study on ethnic Americans, Dinnerstein and Reimers show that the massive flow of immigrants from western and northern Europe in the 19th century has largely been absorbed into mainstream American culture. Assimilation is the rule, rather than the exception. The longer immigrant groups have lived in the United States, the more they have given up their original culture and the more they have assimilated. The loss of what Dinnerstein and Reimers call “Old World culture” is above all observed in the abandoning of native immigrant languages in everyday life, in the church, in schools, in ethnic media, and in increasing intermarriage (“the ultimate form of assimilation”).

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Dutch Americans; Dutch -- United States; Identification (Religion); Reformed Church -- Membership; Ethnicity