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The Changing Face of World Cities

Young Adult Children of Immigrants in Europe and the United States

The Changing Face of World Cities: Young Adult Children of Immigrants in Europe and the United States

Publication Year: 2012

A seismic population shift is taking place as many formerly racially homogeneous cities in the West attract a diverse influx of newcomers seeking economic and social advancement. Not only do young people from immigrant backgrounds make up a large and growing share of these cities’ populations but they will steadily replace the native-born baby boom generation as it ages out of the workplace and positions of influence. In The Changing Face of World Cities, a distinguished group of immigration experts presents the first systematic, data-based comparison of the lives of young adult children of immigrants growing up in seventeen big cities of Western Europe and the United States. Drawing on a comprehensive set of surveys, this important book brings together new evidence about the international immigrant experience and provides far-reaching lessons for devising more effective public policies. The Changing Face of World Cities pairs European and American researchers to explore how youths of immigrant origin negotiate educational systems, labor markets, gender, neighborhoods, citizenship, and identity on both sides of the Atlantic. Maurice Crul and his co-authors compare the educational trajectories of second generation Mexicans in Los Angeles with second generation Turks in Western European cities. In the U.S., uneven school quality in disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods and the high cost of college are the main barriers to educational advancement, while in some European countries, rigid early selection sorts many students off the college track and into dead-end jobs. Students who got their education in the comprehensive U.S., French, or Swedish systems are more likely to go on to college than those from the highly stratified German and Austrian systems. Liza Reisel, Laurence Lessard-Phillips, and Phil Kasinitz find that while more young members of the second generation are employed in the U.S. than in Europe, they are also likely to hold low-paying jobs that barely lift them out of poverty. In Europe, where immigrant youth suffer from higher unemployment, the embattled European welfare system still yields them a higher standard of living than many of their American counterparts. Van Tran, Susan Brown, and Jens Schneider find that the benefits of the European social welfare system extend to the quality of life in immigrant neighborhoods: second generation Turks in Berlin live in much better neighborhood conditions than do Mexicans and Dominicans in L.A. and New York. Turning to issues of identity and belonging, Jens Schneider, Leo Chávez, Louis DeSipio, and Mary Waters find that it is far easier for the children of Dominican or Mexican immigrants to identify as American, in part because the U.S. takes hyphenated identities for granted. In Europe, religious bias against Islam makes it hard for young people of Turkish origin to identify strongly as German, French, or Swedish. Editors Maurice Crul and John Mollenkopf conclude that despite the barriers these youngsters encounter on both continents, they are making real progress relative to their parents and are beginning to close the gap with the native-born. The Changing Face of World Cities goes well beyond existing immigration literature focused on the U.S. experience to show that national policies on each side of the Atlantic can be enriched by lessons from the other. The Changing Face of World Cities will be vital reading for anyone interested in the young people who will shape the future of our increasingly interconnected global economy.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xiv

This book has traveled a long way since its inception. It began, in a sense, in 1998 when the University of Amsterdam invited John Mollenkopf to spend a month as Wibaut Chair visiting professor. Seeking out colleagues then working on immigrant immigration issues in Amsterdam...

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pp. xv-xviii

Demographic change in Europe can be described accurately with three key terms: fewer, older, more diverse. According to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, the number of people aged fifteen to sixty-four in the European Union will decline by 50 million between now and...

Part 1. Introduction

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pp. 1-2

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Chapter 1. The Second Generation

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pp. 3-25

The children of immigrants are central to the future of the large cities of western Europe and the United States and of the countries surrounding these cities.1 Not only do young people from immigrant backgrounds make up a large and growing share of their populations...

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Chapter 2. Legacies of the Past

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pp. 26-43

The present, it is often said, is a product of the past, and nowhere is this truer than in contemporary studies of the second generation. On both sides of the Atlantic, debates about the children of immigrants and the themes studied have been strongly affected by legacies of the past...

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Chapter 3. National Conceptions of Assimilation, Integration, and Cohesion

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pp. 44-62

Models of incorporation provide the touchstones for social science research on immigration, offering hypotheses to guide empirical analysis. These models address the following central questions: How will immigrants and their children, the second generation, shed their...

Part 2. Results

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pp. 63-64

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Chapter 4. Success Against All Odds

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pp. 65-96

Scholars have given considerable attention to the educational pathways of the new second generation, the children of immigrants to the United States and western Europe who came of age at the turn of the twenty-first century. Social scientists on both sides of the Atlantic...

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Chapter 5. Entering the Labor Market

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pp. 97-128

Finding a good foothold in the labor market is a crucial test for the second generation in western Europe and the United States. In recent years, as large numbers of the children of immigrants have come of age and embarked on their careers, we can begin to see what place they will occupy...

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Chapter 6. Immigrants' Daughters and the Labor Market

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pp. 129-155

The previous chapter gave a broad analysis of labor market outcomes for the second generation. This one looks specifically at how the daughters of immigrants fare in the labor markets of different countries. Building on feminist critiques of the welfare state literature, we argue that welfare state...

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Chapter 7. Neighborhoods and Perceptions of Disorder

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pp. 156-182

The post-1960 influx of immigrants and the coming of age of their children have made the neighborhoods of the big immigrant-receiving cities in the United States and western Europe increasingly more diverse in ethnic terms (Logan and Zhang 2010). And yet, despite the growing...

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Chapter 8. Citizenship and Participation

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pp. 183-205

The issue of citizenship is central to all other debates about the membership, belonging, and integration of immigrants and their children. Everyone who has citizenship from birth is inalienably entitled to full political, legal, and civic rights. Acquiring citizenship through naturalization...

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Chapter 9. Belonging

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pp. 206-232

Feelings of belonging or of being at home are difficult to grasp in surveys because how one feels about one’s identity depends so much on the context. The enactment of identity and identities is situational, depending on who one is interacting with, when, and where...

Part 3. Transatlantic Comparison

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pp. 233-234

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Chapter 10. Challenges and Opportunities

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pp. 235-260

Over the last fifty years, the major cities in western Europe and the United States have developed many ways of integrating immigrants and their children into their social, economic, and political fabric. This creates an opportunity to compare outcomes for similarly positioned...


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pp. 261-286


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pp. 287-306

E-ISBN-13: 9781610447911
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871546333

Page Count: 324
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 821726178
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Changing Face of World Cities

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Immigrants -- Cultural assimilation -- United States.
  • Immigrants -- Cultural assimilation -- Europe, Western.
  • Children of immigrants -- United States -- Social conditions.
  • Children of immigrants -- United States -- Economic conditions.
  • Children of immigrants -- Europe, Western -- Social conditions.
  • Children of immigrants -- Europe, Western -- Economic conditions.
  • Group identity -- United States.
  • Group identity -- Europe, Western.
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