chapter nine
Dominicans: Transnational
Identities and Local Politics
Patricia R. Pessar and Pamela M. Graham

From the late 1960s to the present, the Dominican Republic has consistently ranked among the top ten countries sending immigrants to the United States; and by the 1980s this small Caribbean nation was the leading source of emigration into New York City (New York City Department of City Planning 1992). An estimated 412,000 foreignborn Dominicans resided in the city in 1998, 1 with the majority living in upper Manhattan (Foner 2000:12).

Most studies of Dominicans in New York have concentrated on their economic incorporation (Pessar 1987; Grasmuck and Pessar 1991; Guarnizo 1992; Gilbertson and Gurak 1993; Hernández et al. 1995). Clearly, this is an important perspective. Dominicans themselves sometime say, “No hay vida en Nuevo York, solamente trabajo” (there is no life in New York, only work). Yet the focus on economic issues detracts from the rich social, cultural, and political lives Dominicans have fashioned (Duany 1994; Pessar 1995; Graham 1996; Torres-Saillant and Hernández 1998).

To contribute to a fuller and more balanced picture, this chapter focuses on Dominican New Yorkers' political development over the course of the last few decades. 2 In doing so, we will describe Dominicans' simultaneous incorporation

-251-

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New Immigrants in New York
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter One - Introduction: New Immigrants in a New New York 1
  • Notes *
  • References 26
  • Chapter Two - Immigration to New York: Policy, Population, and Patterns 33
  • Notes *
  • References 77
  • Chapter Three - Immigrants, the Native-Born, and the Changing Division of Labor in New York City 81
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Chapter Four - Soviet Jews: the City's Newest Immigrants Transform New York Jewish Life 111
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Chapter Five - Chinese: Divergent Destinies in Immigrant New York 141
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Chapter Six - Koreans: an “institutionally Complete Community” in New York 173
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Chapter Seven - Jamaicans: Balancing Race and Ethnicity 201
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Chapter Eight - West Africans: Trading Places in New York 229
  • Notes *
  • References 248
  • Chapter Nine - Dominicans: Transnational Identities and Local Politics 251
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • Internet Resources 273
  • Chapter Ten - Mexicans: Social, Educational, Economic, and Political Problems and Prospects in New York 275
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • About the Contributors 301
  • Index 305
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