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 Rubén 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.
A Copublication with the Russell Sage Foundation
Rubén 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.
"Ethnicities is a timely and important book. Rumbaut and Portes have brought together a group of stimulating essays by leading scholars in immigration studies that deal with issues at the heart of debates about the new second generation. From Mexicans to Vietnamese and Haitians, the essays show how the children of immigrants in diverse groups are faring and, in different ways, "becoming American." This volume is sure to become a standard reference for future research in the field."—Nancy Foner, author of From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration
"The authors take the reader on an instructive cross country journey to understand the newest immigrants and their children. Ethnicities fills a big gap in the sociological portrait of today's American mosaic."—Herbert Gans, author of The War Against the Poor
"This pathbreaking book, rich in new data and incisive analyses, is the first to bring together a collection of studies of the second generation's diverse origins, pathways, and challenges. Ethnicities will spark many lively discussions among my students, many of whom belong to this brave new second generation."—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Doméstica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence
"This tightly focused collection makes it clear that the children of immigrants are key to understanding the nation's new immigrant experience. It reveals contradictory trends among, for example, Haitians, Filipinos, Cubans, Vietnamese, and Mexicans, such as high praise for American society along with increased reports of discrimination. This book contributes significantly to major empirical and theoretical debates."—Rodolfo O. de la Garza, co-author of Making Americans, Remaking America
"Remarkably coherent, readable and insightful, this volume makes important contributions to theory, particularly in recasting the concept of assimilation. By combining survey data with interviews and historical background, Ethnicities (and its companion, Legacies) provides a wealth of information about the long-term effects of contemporary immigration--examining what happens to the second and subsequent generations. It is both an exciting and a disturbing book."—Bryan R. Roberts, author of The Making of Citizens: Cities of Peasants Revisited