The Image of Elsewhere in the American Tradition of Migration.

by Peter A. Morrison, Judith P. Wheeler


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Speculates about contemporary patterns of migration behavior, drawing on Lee's reinterpretation of Turner's frontier theory. One deeply engrained American characteristic seems to be the sense that one can always "pick up and go elsewhere." The author emphasizes the importance of images and their role in motivating migration. Until recently the full extent and consequences of the population's migrations were severely understated. Demographic analyses of contemporary migratory experiences provide a detailed view of the population's astonishing impermanence. The decision to migrate is triggered by economic and social influences, mainly those associated with life cycle stage, occupation, employment status, educational attainment, and past mobility experience. Survey data suggest that migrants are seeking economic opportunity, but they consider a very narrow range of locales; they migrate to places family and friends have settled--so called "chain migration." 13 pp.

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