2280 Bethany Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
The Shaping of an Immigrant Community, 1880–1920
Anita Olson Gustafson
“This book draws together better than any other on Chicago’s ethnic Swedes a complete picture of immigrant ethnic identity construction with a compelling narrative, utilizing varied supportive primary sources. Gustafson peppers the text with rich historical sources.” —Kurt W. Peterson, contributor to Norwegians and Swedes in the United States: Friends and Neighbors
Between 1880 and 1920, emigration from Sweden to Chicago soared, and the city
itself grew remarkably. During this time, the Swedish population in the
city shifted from three centrally located ethnic enclaves to neighborhoods scattered throughout the city. As Swedes moved to new neighborhoods, the early enclave-based culture adapted to a progressively more dispersed pattern of Swedish settlement in Chicago and its suburbs. Swedish community life in the new neighborhoods flourished as immigrants built a
variety of ethnic churches and created meaningful social affiliations, in
the process forging a complex Swedish-American identity that combined
their Swedish heritage with their new urban realities.
Anita Olson Gustafson is dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of history at Mercer University. She holds a BA in Swedish and economics from North Park University and a PhD in history from Northwestern University. She has authored several articles on Swedish immigration to America.
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