Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Following a wave of immigration from Iran, which was estimated to have a population of 71.2 million people in 2007, during the last quarter of the 20th century, Iranian Americans have emerged as a substantial ethnic community in the United States. Although Iranian Americans are drawn from the several ethnic and religious groups of Iran, a set of shared experiences have reinforced a specifically Iranian identity and strengthened shared cultural traditions. The Iranian American community has simultaneously undergone processes of assimilation to the dominant U.S. culture and strengthening of a specifically Iranian ethnic identity. This entry briefly reviews Iranian immigration and then focuses on the ethnic, religious, and economic characteristics of the Iranian American community, its political issues, and its adaptation to the new home country. Iranian immigration dates back to the late 19th century, including a group of Iranians in the Iranian Exhibition of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition ...