Rethinking Geographies of Assimilation

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Economic Geography; Geography; Governance; Geography: Human Geography; Environmental Geography: Human Geography; Labour Economics; Planning; Planning - Human Geography; Planning, Housing; Land Economy; Public Policy; Regional Development; Regional Geography - Human Geography; Regionalism; Urban Economics; Urban Policy; Urban Politics; Urban Studies


This commentary argues for a reconsideration of the concept of assimilation in geographical research. Whereas critics of assimilation theory have often misrepresented assimilation research, those working within the assimilation framework have seldom explored societal understandings of “sameness.” This commentary advocates that geographers look at assimilation not only in terms of spatial patterns but also in terms of the discursive and material practices through which dominant and subordinate groups negotiate the terms of social membership. The need to arrive at a richer understanding of assimilation becomes more pressing as the assimilability of migrants becomes an increasingly salient topic of debate.

This document is currently not available here.