Through a consideration of residential propinquity, religious and cultural activity, language retention, and levels of exogamy, this article provides a microstudy of the Welsh community in San Francisco and identifies the Welsh as a distinct ethnolinguistic community in the city during the late decades of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth. What was the nature of Welsh immigrant culture, and to what extent were working-class Welsh people involved in its expression? In addition, through an analysis of intragenerational changes in socioeconomic status, as indicated by occupational mobility, the article tests the assumption that the Welsh were prime illustrations of the “American Dream,” thus providing a clearer picture than the images promulgated by contemporary Welsh leaders who strove to emphasize the industry and upward mobility of their fellow countrymen. Did the Welsh as a group occupy a privileged position in the occupational hierarchy, and were they universally successful in improving on this position?
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