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New Second Generation, The

New Second Generation, The

Alejandro Portes EDITOR
Copyright Date: 1996
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    New Second Generation, The
    Book Description:

    The children of the past decade's influx of immigrants comprise a second generation far different than any this country has known before. Largely non-white and from the world's developing nations, these children struggle with complex problems of racial and ethnic relations in multicultural urban neighborhoods, attend troubled inner city schools, and face discriminatory labor markets and an economy that no longer provides the abundant manufacturing jobs that sustained previous generations of immigrants. As the contributors toThe New Second Generationmake clear, the future of these children is an open question that will be key to understanding the long-range consequences of current immigration.

    The New Second Generationchronicles the lives of second generation youth in Miami, New York City, New Orleans, and Southern California. The contributors balance careful analysis with the voices of the youngsters themselves, focusing primarily on education, career expectations, language preference, ethnic pride, and the influence of their American-born peers. Demographic portraits by Leif Jensen and Yoshimi Chitose and by Charles Hirschman reveal that although most immigrant youths live at or below the official poverty line, this disadvantage is partially offset by the fact that their parents are typically married, self-employed, and off welfare. However, the children do not always follow the course set by their parents, and often challenge immigrant ethics with a desire to embrace American culture. Mary Waters examines how the tendency among West Indian teens to assume an American black identity links them to a legacy of racial discrimination. Although the decision to identify as American or as immigrant usually presages how well second generation children will perform in school, the formation of this self-image is a complex process. M. Patricia Fernandez-Kelly and Richard Schauffler find marked differences among Hispanic groups, while Ruben G. Rumbaut explores the influence of individual and family characteristics among Asian, Latin, and Caribbean youths.

    Nativists frequently raise concerns about the proliferation of a non-English speaking population heavily dependent on welfare for economic support. But Alejandro Portes and Richard Schauffler's historical analysis of language preferences among Miami's Hispanic youth reveals their unequivocal preference for English. Nor is immigrationan inevitable precursor to a swollen welfare state: Lisandro Perez and Min Zhou and Carl L. Bankston demonstrate the importance of extended families and ethnic community solidarity in improving school performance and providing increased labor opportunities.

    As immigration continues to change the face of our nation's cities, we cannot ignore the crucial issue of how well the second generation youth will adapt.The New Second Generationprovides valuable insight into issues that may spell the difference between regeneration and decay across urban America.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-453-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Population Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. 1 Introduction: Immigration and Its Aftermath
    (pp. 1-7)
    Alejandro Portes

    The chapters in this volume offer the reader a wealth of information on a topic of increasing visibility in the field of immigration. For a variety of reasons, the growth and adaptation of the second generation have not been subjects of great concern for researchers in this field during the recent past. Reasons include the relative youth of the “new” second generation spawned by post-1965 immigration to the United States and the difficulties of studying it on the basis of census and other official data. Scholarly attention in this field has remained focused on adult immigrants, who are more visible...

  6. 2 Language and the Second Generation: Bilingualism Yesterday and Today
    (pp. 8-29)
    Alejandro Partes and Richard Schauffler

    This chapter examines the process of linguistic adaptation and the extent and determinants of bilingualism among children of immigrants, the new second generation spawned by accelerated immigration of the past decade. The setting of the study is South Florida, one of the areas most heavily affected by recent immigration. We review the findings in the context of the history of linguistic conflict and language assimilation that have accompanied U.S.-bound migration over the life of the nation.

    The present wave of immigration was triggered by the 1965 Immigration Act as well as by subsequent changes in American asylum and refugee policies....

  7. 3 Divided Fates: Immigrant Children and the New Assimilation
    (pp. 30-53)
    M. Patricia Fernández Kelly and Richard Schauffler

    Assimilation, perhaps the most enduring theme in the immigration literature, unfolds into descriptive and normative facets. From an empirical standpoint, the concept designates a range of adjustments to receiving environments and points to the manner in which immigrants blend into larger societies. In a normative sense, assimilation is linked to an expectation that foreigners will shed, or at least contain, their native cultures while embracing the mores and language of the host country. Put succinctly, assimilation has always been more than a convenient word to enumerate the ways in which immigrants survive; it has also been a term disclosing hopes...

  8. 4 Studying Immigrant Adaptation from the 1990 Population Census: From Generational Comparisons to the Process of “Becoming American”
    (pp. 54-81)
    Charles Hirschman

    In 1980, the U.S. Bureau of the Census dropped the question on the birthplace of parents from the decennial census. Although a new question on ancestry was added, the loss of the parental birthplace question meant that it was no longer possible to identify directly the children of immigrants in census data from 1980 and 1990. Ironically, this loss of critical information coincided with a wave of immigration from Latin America and Asia in the 1970s and 1980s. Tracking the progress (or lack of progress) of the children of new immigrants has become a more difficult task without adequate census...

  9. 5 Today’s Second Generation: Evidence from the 1990 Census
    (pp. 82-107)
    Leif Jensen and Yoshimi Chitose

    Citizens of the United States have long been sensitive to the economic and social consequences of large-scale immigration. During the early 1900s, when southern and eastern Europeans were populating the ghettos of eastern U.S. cities, public outcry led to the enactment of quotas that virtually excluded all but northwestern Europeans (Bouvier and Gardner, 1986). As a result of the 1965 amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act, recent decades have witnessed another great wave of immigration. This legislation raised the ceiling on immigration, shuffled preference categories to give primacy to those entering to be reunited with kin over those with...

  10. 6 The Households of Children of Immigrants in South Florida: An Exploratory Study of Extended Family Arrangements
    (pp. 108-118)
    Lisandro Pérez

    The structure of households has long been recognized as critical to family welfare, especially to the well-being of children. In studies of African American families, for example, family structure has been linked to educational opportunities, employment prospects, and delinquency and crime (Taylor, 1994: 33). The manner, however, in which family structure, and especially female headship, is associated with adverse consequences for children has been difficult to articulate and the source of some controversy. Research indicates that poverty is the critical variable, not family structure per se, since the purported negative effects of female headship disappear at the upper socioeconomic levels...

  11. 7 The Crucible Within: Ethnic Identity, Self-Esteem, and Segmented Assimilation Among Children of Immigrants
    (pp. 119-170)
    Rubén G. Rumbaut

    Ironically, Mary Antin’s popular autobiography, written before she was thirty, was serialized inThe Atlantic Monthlyin the same year the Immigration (Dillingham) Commission presented its forty-two-volume report to the U.S. Congress, including five volumes on children of immigrants, fueling fears about the danger to the nation posed by a putatively inferior stock of inassimilable “new” immigrants from eastern and southern Europe. A Russian Jew who immigrated at a young age to Boston with her family in 1894 and went to public schools in Chelsea, Antin was the precocious and independent daughter of a petty trader confined to the “Pale...

  12. 8 Ethnic and Racial Identities of Second-Generation Black Immigrants in New York City
    (pp. 171-196)
    Mary C. Waters

    The growth of nonwhite voluntary immigrants to the United States since 1965 challenges the dichotomy that once explained different patterns of American inclusion and assimilation—the ethnic pattern of assimilation of European immigrants and the racial pattern of exclusion of America’s nonwhite peoples. The new wave of immigrants includes people who are still defined racially in the United States but who migrate voluntarily and often under an immigrant preference system that selects for people with jobs and education that puts them well above their co-ethnics in the economy. Do the processes of immigration and assimilation for nonwhite immigrants resemble the...

  13. 9 Social Capital and the Adaptation of the Second Generation: The Case of Vietnamese Youth in New Orleans
    (pp. 197-220)
    Min Zhou and Carl L. Bankston III

    Growing up in the United States can be a difficult and confusing process for immigrant children, who frequently are caught between pressures to assimilate into American society and pressures to preserve their own cultures of origin. This process presents additional hardships for refugee children since they must confront the loss of loved ones, the loss of social status, and the loss of homeland, and must work through the myriad problems of uprooting and sociocultural disruption (Eisenbruch, 1988). This chapter examines how aspects of an immigrant, refugee culture can serve as sources of social capital to offset the adaptational difficulties of...

  14. References
    (pp. 221-232)
  15. Index
    (pp. 233-246)