Przestrzenne zróżnicowanie procesów asymilacji Polonii w Nowym Jorku
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The paper aims the analysis of assimilation processes of Polish community in New York City. In order to study this complex problem it is necessary to characterize selected factors influencing the pace of assimilation and its differentiation in New York's group of Polish descent. The article presents an origins and development of Polish and Polish- -American community as well as its current spatial concentration (residential pattern) and total population in the city. The research also includes naturalization processes associated with taking U.S. citizenship, activities of Polish institutions and organizations and use of native language by group of Polish descent as well as the cultivation of native traditions. The first Poles immigrated from Poland in the seventeenth century to the Dutch colony, at that time – the New Netherlands and to New Amsterdam as the center of the province. However, the biggest wave of immigration from the Polish lands was related to the socio – economic intense inflow at the turn of twentieth century. Currently, New York's Polish community is made up of various waves of immigrations. However, the most significant group of Polish immigrants is that from the last two decades. Thus, Polish community in New York can be defined as a relatively young, which mainly emigrated from Poland in the nineties last century. According to the 2009 American Community Survey , there is about 243,000 people of Polish descent in New York. This group includes both Polish Americans (people born with American citizenship in the United States), as well as Polish immigrants with Polish or American citizenship. Most people with Polish ancestry live in Brooklyn neighborhoods (Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Borough Park, Park Slope, Midwood). The Queens community of Polish descent is mostly located in Rigdewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Bayside, Bellerose, Floral Park. In Manhattan, Polish community is more dispersed and people with Polish ancestry live mainly in East Village, the Upper West Side and Yorkville (so-called Little Poland). Based on the residential patterns of the Polish community in New York and the spatial concentration of various ethnic organizations and institutions (churches, Sunday schools, associations, institutions, foundations, etc.) the author identifies four areas that are characterized by high population density of the Polish ethnic group as well as the presence of a number of Polish institutions. There are two areas in Brooklyn borough – Greenpoint / Williamsburg, Park Slope and one in Queens – Ridgewood / Maspeth and Manhattan – East Village. Along with decreasing influx of Polish immigrants and their movements into new communities (spatial dispersion) it can be expected to intensify the processes of assimilation in this group. In addition, it can be observed that the number of naturalized persons is gradually increasing. Another indicator of assimilation advancement might be the attainment of English-proficiency. The greater the level of English-language skills, the higher the chance for educational and employment achievement. A large part of the Polish community in New York (64% of this group) uses only English. Polish language is used mainly by generations of immigrants living primarily in Brooklyn (Greenpoint) and Queens borough (Ridgewood). Among different Polish organizations and institutions the most important is Polish parish and church which cares for the traditional customs, celebrating Polish Christmas and other holidays. Many Polish parishes in New York City also formed schools (called Sunday schools) which are an important factor in delaying the processes of assimilation.W artykule dokonano próby analizy procesów asymilacji Polonii zamieszkującej Nowy Jork. W tym celu przedstawiono wybrane czynniki wpływające na tempo oraz różnicowanie zjawiska asymilacji nowojorskiej społeczności polonijnej. Przedstawiono genezę i rozwój tej grupy osób oraz jej obecne rozmieszczenie i wielkość. Przedmiotem badań są również procesy naturalizacji związane z przyjmowaniem amerykańskiego obywatelstwa, działalność instytucji i organizacji polonijnych, a także posługiwanie się językiem polskim przez polonijną społeczność Nowego Jorku oraz kultywowanie rodzimych tradycji.
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