Do Traditional Models of Assimilation Still Apply?: Models of Assimilation Among Albanian Americans of St. George Cathedral in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Stephanie A. Callahan, Providence College


Very few studies of any kind exist on the historical or contemporary Albanian- American community. Prior to 1990 the fairly homogenous Albanian-American community was subject of Dennis Nagi’s 1982 project, titled Ethnic Community as it Applies to a Less Visible National Group: The Albanian Community of Boston, Massachusetts, which studied modes of assimilation adopted by the multiple generations of Albanian-American members of St. George Orthodox Cathedral in the Greater Boston area, classifying them using four traditional models of assimilation: Anglo-Conformity, the Melting Pot, Cultural Pluralism, and Acculturation-but-not-Assimilation. Over the past thirty-two years, however, more generations of Albanian Americans have arrived, dramatically changing the makeup of the Albanian-American community in Boston, and the whole United States. This influx of Albanian immigrants in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century caused a significant increase in not only the number of, but also diversity among Albanian Americans, warranting further study of the modes of assimilation adopted by this contemporary group. This study asks the following research question: Of the following models of assimilation, Anglo-Conformity, the Melting Pot, Cultural Pluralism, Acculturation but not Assimilation, the Triple Melting Pot, Symbolic Ethnicity, and Unhyphenated Whites, which best describes each generation of this select community of contemporary Albanian Americans connected to the Albanian Orthodox Church in Greater Boston, and how to the results compare with Nagi’s results?