"Made in Massachusetts" : converting hides and skins into leather and Turkish immigrants into industrial laborers (1860s-1920s)
AdvisorKohn, Edward P.
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Early twentieth-century America witnessed a large influx of immigrants largely from eastern and southern Europe as well as the Near East. The major “pull” factor stimulating the growth of migration was the rise of several American industries and a growing demand for laborers. In addition to the demand for immigrant labor, rising concern over political and economic conditions in the homeland resulted in a process of chain migration of Ottoman ethnic and religious groups from particular regions. By analyzing both “pull” and “push” factors triggering an out-migration from the Harput vilayet, as well as the migration trajectories of the Turkish immigrants, this dissertation argues that existing ethnic and social networks determined the settlement and employment patterns and inevitably affected the acculturation processes of Turkish immigrants in the United States. Specifically, this study contends that while the Turkish immigrants on the North Shore of Boston assimilated into American life, iv they also participated in the process of Turkish nation-building, maintained old home networks and transnational engagements.