Caribbean Diasporas: Migration and Ethnic Communities

Alejandro Portes, Ramón Grosfoguel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Emphasis is on the five major insular migrations arriving in the United States during this century: Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Jamaicans, and Puerto Ricans. We briefly examine the historical origins of these outflows, focusing on the role of shifting external hegemony over the region and the resulting changes in economic structure. The long relationship of the United States with its southern periphery has had the most diverse effects on these countries. In the case of the small Caribbean nations, a common pattern of U.S. hegemony interacted with very diverse colonial experiences to produce different political and economic structures. The latter have been reflected, in turn, in the character of Caribbean migration flows and the relative success of the ethnic communities that they spawned. Contrary to common stereotypes, immigrants from the island-nations of the region are not solely unskilled workers but comprise a diversified lot that includes entrepreneurs, professionals, technicians, and skilled workers as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-69
Number of pages22
JournalThe ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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