The new immigration to the United States is unprecedented in its diversity of color, class, and cultural origins. Over the past few decades, the racial and ethnic composition and stratification of the American population - as well as the social meanings of race, ethnicity, and American identity - have fundamentally changed. "Ethnicities", a companion volume to Ruben G. Rumbaut's and Alejandro Portes's "Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation", brings together some of the country's leading scholars of immigration and ethnicity to examine the lives and trajectories of the children of today's immigrants. The emerging ethnic groups of the United States in the 21st century are being formed in this process, with potentially profound societal impacts. Whether this new ethnic mosaic reinvigorates the nation or spells a quantum leap in its social problems depends on the social and economic incorporation of this still young population. The contributors to this volume probe systematically and in depth the adaptation patterns and trajectories of concrete ethnic groups.
They provide a close look at this rising second generation by focusing on youth of diverse national origins - Mexican, Cuban, Nicaraguan, Filipino, Vietnamese, Haitian, Jamaican and other West Indian - coming of age in immigrant families on both coasts of the United States. Their analyses draw on the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, the largest research project of its kind to date. "Ethnicities" demonstrates that, while some of the ethnic groups being created by the new immigration are in a clear upward path, moving into society's mainstream in record time, others are headed toward a path of blocked aspirations and downward mobility. The book concludes with an essay summarizing the main findings, discussing their implications, and identifying specific lessons for theory and policy. This is a Copublication with the Russell Sage Foundation.
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University of California Press
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US Kirkus Review »
An analysis of the acculturation patterns and future prospects of children within key ethnic groups living in the San Diego and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale areas. Rumbaut ("Immigration Research for a New Century", not reviewed) and Portes ("City on the Edge", 1993) have assembled a dense volume outlining the status of children of recent immigrants to the US. Their study focuses on the offspring of Mexican, Cuban, Nicaraguan, Filipino, Vietnamese, Haitian, and Jamaican immigrants. These second-generation youngsters do not adopt American identities as was thought, but rather turn toward ethnic identities and away from assimilation. The contrasts between immigration groups are startling. In a comparison between two groups with the longest US contact-the children of Mexican and of Filipino immigrants-the Mexican-American study is especially dispiriting: this group shows substantially lower achievement in contrast to all other second-generation groups. Their educational and occupational aspirations are unrealistic (67 percent anticipate completing college, while only 10 to 20 percent will actually do so), leading the authors to note that they will certainly be dissatisfied with the poorly paid work done by their parents, but, as a group, they will not be able to compete for the highly skilled jobs they aspire to. If decent jobs in the middle range do not materialize, the situation could become unpleasant. On the other hand, Filipino immigrants (in population second only to Mexican immigrants) tend to be college-educated professionals, and fit easily into the US middle class. The children of this group have realistically high educational desires, with daughters hoping to obtain advanced degrees (a significant percentage seek medical careers), and sons aiming for a bachelors of science. (Males tend to choose engineering and computer technology fields.) While the statistical information will soon overwhelm nonacademics, this is a timely and important subject. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Ruben G. Rumbaut
Ruben G. Rumbaut is Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. He is coauthor, with Alejandro Portes, of Immigrant America: A Portrait (California, 1996), and coeditor of Immigration Research for a New Century: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2000) and Origins and Destinies: Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America (1996). Alejandro Portes is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and Director of the Center for Migration and Development, Woodrow Wilson School for Public Affairs. He is the coauthor of City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami (California, 1993) and Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States (California, 1985). Portes is the 2010 recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association.