Title

Persistence and Change in Ethnic Residential Space: an Ecological Case Study of the Polish in Philadelphia

Date of Award

1974

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Geography

Advisor(s)

David E. Sopher

Keywords

Geography, ethnicity, intra-urban migration, Philadelphia, Polish-Americans

Subject Categories

Geography

Abstract

The subject of this dissertation evolved out of an original interest in intra-urban migration. Attempts at modeling intra-urban migration patterns led to the identification of neighborhoods in the city that seem to remain stable while other parts of the city experience high turnover rates. A search for reasons why such stability occurs led to explorations into racial and class differences as they relate to residential choice and preference. This dilettantish route led almost full-circle back to intra-urban migration, though now more narrowly focused on questions about ethnicity and the role of assimilation in the dispersal of ethnic residential enclaves. As I began to research this new focus, it struck me that, despite popular belief, ethnic groups seemed to be very much in evidence in urban America today; that assimilation theory contains clear geographic implications for changing residential patterns; and that there are few studies that deal with these implications.

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