Ethnic Enclaves

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  • Ethnic enclaves are areas within a community where the residents have cultural differences from those in the surrounding area. Residents live in enclaves either by choice or because of segregation. Often new immigrants or migrants settle among their ethnic peers because they feel more comfortable with similar language, food, holidays, or cultural practices. But the decision is not always a choice. Sometimes housing restrictions prevent ethnic groups from living outside the area, or poverty prevents them from living anywhere else. Ethnic or immigrant enclaves occurred throughout the American West in the nineteenth and twentieth century. While some have disappeared, there are still some historical enclaves, and as new immigrants arrive, new, modified ethnic enclaves are being created.

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an enclave as “a distinct ...

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