Journal of International Migration and Integration

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1061–1081 | Cite as

Receptivity’s Construction in Public Schools: a Component of Immigrant Integration in an Emerging Gateway

  • Paul N. McDanielEmail author
  • Heather A. Smith


Community receptivity, a critical component in integration processes, is a place’s collective response to newcomers. It is a constructed context in which the experiences of settlement and adjustment for both immigrants and non-immigrants occur. Receptivity is fluid, shaped by multi-scalar components of a community’s political, economic, social, and cultural spheres. In traditional gateways, the evolving interplay of long-established forces guides receptivity. But in new gateways, front line providers that encounter the initial settlement needs of immigrants are the vanguard of constructing the broader community’s warmth of immigrant welcome. This case study of three elementary schools in Charlotte, NC demonstrates the role of public schools as a site of receptivity’s early construction within an emerging gateway. We argue that teachers are creating receptivity building blocks within their classrooms, guiding the construction of receptivity within their schools, among the school board, the school district, and the city as a whole.


Immigration Community receptivity New immigrant gateways Public schools 



We would like to thank the individuals in Charlotte, NC who participated in this study and the anonymous reviewers for their feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and AnthropologyKennesaw State UniversityKennesawUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Earth SciencesThe University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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