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Changing Face of Home, The

Transnational Lives of the Second Generation, The

Peggy Levitt, Mary C. Waters

Publication Year: 2006

The children of immigrants account for the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population under 18 years old—one out of every five children in the United States. Will this generation of immigrant children follow the path of earlier waves of immigrants and gradually assimilate into mainstream American life, or does the global nature of the contemporary world mean that the trajectory of today's immigrants will be fundamentally different? Rather than severing their ties to their home countries, many immigrants today sustain economic, political, and religious ties to their homelands, even as they work, vote, and pray in the countries that receive them. The Changing Face of Home is the first book to examine the extent to which the children of immigrants engage in such transnational practices. Because most second generation immigrants are still young, there is much debate among immigration scholars about the extent to which these children will engage in transnational practices in the future. While the contributors to this volume find some evidence of transnationalism among the children of immigrants, they disagree over whether these activities will have any long-term effects. Part I of the volume explores how the practice and consequences of transnationalism vary among different groups. Contributors Philip Kasinitz, Mary Waters, and John Mollenkopf use findings from their large study of immigrant communities in New York City to show how both distance and politics play important roles in determining levels of transnational activity. For example, many Latin American and Caribbean immigrants are "circular migrants" spending much time in both their home countries and the United States, while Russian Jews and Chinese immigrants have far less contact of any kind with their homelands. In Part II, the contributors comment on these findings, offering suggestions for reconceptualizing the issue and bridging analytical differences. In her chapter, Nancy Foner makes valuable comparisons with past waves of immigrants as a way of understanding the conditions that may foster or mitigate transnationalism among today's immigrants. The final set of chapters examines how home and host country value systems shape how second generation immigrants construct their identities, and the economic, social, and political communities to which they ultimately express allegiance. The Changing Face of Home presents an important first round of research and dialogue on the activities and identities of the second generation vis-a-vis their ancestral homelands, and raises important questions for future research.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Title Page

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pp. i

Copyright page

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pp. iv


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pp. vii-ix


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pp. x-xi

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pp. xii

THIS BOOK WOULD not have seen the light of day without the support, encouragement, and patience of numerous friends and colleagues. We are especially grateful to Jorge Dom

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pp. 1-30

AT LUNCHTIME THE loud, cavernous cafeteria at Framingham High School fills with students talking and laughing with one another. They eat tortillas, rice noodles, and chapatis. They speak more than fifteen languages. banners with flags from more than twenty-seven countries represented by the student body swing from one corner of the ceiling to the other. ...


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Chapter 1 An Early Transnationalism? The Japanese American Second Generation of Hawaii in the Interwar Years

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pp. 33-42

SCHOLARS HAVE EXPLORED the presence of transnational identity among the children of immigrants by examining the dynamics for forming perceptions of the homeland. For example, in this volume, Nazli Kibria and Andrea Louie study the domains for cultural contact that produce knowledge and awareness of the homeland in today's Asian American second generation. ...

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Chapter 2 Severed or Sustained Attachments? Language, Identity, and Imagined Communities in the Post-Immigrant Generation

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pp. 43-95

A WOMAN IN a camp in Croatia captured in a vivid metaphor the war-torn refugees' sense of loss of homeland: "They are like people who have lost a limb. Amputees. They can still feel their homeland, even though it's gone. It tingles. . . . They can dream it's still there" (Merrill 1995). ...

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Chapter 3 Transnationalism and the Children of Immigrants in Contemporary New York

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pp. 96-122

THE UNITED STATES is once again a nation of immigrants. About 850,000 documented and at least 225,000 undocumented immigrants arrive in the country every year, and about one-third of the nation's population growth is now the result of migration from abroad. The political debate over immigration has generally been dominated by "hard-headed" issues of economics and demographics: Do immigrants "take" jobs from natives? ...

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Chapter 4 The Ties That Change: Relations to the Ancestral Home over the Life Cycle

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pp. 123-144

JUST WHEN SHE was about to begin her freshman year at Yonkers High School in New York, Lizzie Santos's parents decided to send her to live with her Dominican grandparents so that she could attend school in Santo Domingo. They wanted to protect her from the gangs, drugs, and violence that they felt plagued their urban neighborhood. ...

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Chapter 5 Life Course, Generation, and Social Location as Factors Shaping Second-Generation Transnational Life

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pp. 145-167

WHY AND HOW would second-generation Mexicans in New York participate in transnational life? And what factors would affect the nature of that participation in the short and long terms? I pursue answers to these questions in this chapter by analyzing second-generation transnational life among the children of migrants from a town in rural Puebla, Mexico, that I have called Ticuani. ...

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Chapter 6 The Generation of Identity: Redefining the Second Generation Within a Transnational Social Field

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pp. 168-208

GEORGES WOKE UP laughing. He had been dreaming of Haiti, not the Haiti he had visited last summer, but the Haiti of his youth. But it wasn't actually the Haiti of his youth either, as he realized when he tried to explain to his wife, Rolande, the feeling of happiness with which he had awakened. ...


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Chapter 7 On Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Meaning of Immigrant Generations

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pp. 211-215

THE ESSAYS IN this volume on second-generation post-1965 immigrants focus on two central issues: whether immigrants and their children have different assimilation experiences and different transnational ties, and the adequacy of the long-established assimilationist paradigm to account for the views and involvements of the so-called new immigrants, who have been peopling the United States since the mid-1960s. ...

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Chapter 8 Second-Generation Transnationalism

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pp. 216-220

AMONG HISTORIANS OF the earlier European immigrations, the first question about transnationalism that one often hears is, Just how much is really new in the new transnationalism?, or in this case, How much is really new in the new second-generation transnational behavior? The point most often made about historical precedents for transnationalism is that knowing about the precedents helps dampen excessive claims that particular experiences observed in our own time are novel. ...

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Chapter 9 The Study of Transnationalism Among the Children of Immigrants: Where We Are and Where We Should Be Headed

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pp. 221-241

THIS VOLUME EXAMINES the life trajectories taken by the children of immigrants in the United States, who live in a world where rapid communication and travel make sustained contact with their parents' country of origin more possible today perhaps than ever before. Under these conditions, immigrants' children who have by and large grown up in the United States may orient themselves toward their parents' country of origin...

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Chapter 10 Second-Generation Transnationalism, Then and Now

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pp. 242-252

MUCH HAS BEEN written about transnational practices among immigrants who come to the United States--about the origins of these practices, the forms they take, how extensive they are within and among different groups, and their consequences. A critical question is whether transnationalism is in fact a first-generation phenomenon...

Part III Using a Transnational Lens to Understand the Children of Immigrants

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Chapter 11 There's No Place Like "Home": Emotional Transnationalism and the Struggles of Second-Generation Filipinos

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pp. 255-294

SOCIOLOGISTS OF IMMIGRATION have recently turned their attention to the next generation--the children of immigrants, or "the second generation," asserting that the future success and well-being of particular immigrant groups can be partially discerned from their children's ability to assimilate, adopt English, and succeed in school...

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Chapter 12 Of Blood, Belonging, and Homeland Trips: Transnationalism and Identity Among Second-Generation Chinese and Korean Americans

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pp. 295-311

IN AMY TAN'S 1989 best-selling novel The Joy Luck Club, Jing-Mei Woo, an immigrant mother, tells her incredulous and Americanized second-generation daughter that "once you are born Chinese, you cannot help but feel and think Chinese. . . . Someday you will see, . . . it is in your blood, waiting to be let go." The mother's words ring true for the daughter on her first trip to China...

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Chapter 13 Creating Histories for the Present: Second-Generation (Re)definitions of Chinese American Culture

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pp. 312-340

THIS CHAPTER BRINGS together multiple themes to provide a new perspective on how second- (and later-) generation children of immigrants create transnational relationships with their country of ancestral origin. For my analysis, I draw from my research on American-born Chinese Americans who participate in family history and genealogical projects that culminate in their return to their ancestral villages. ...

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Chapter 14 Second-Generation West Indian Transnationalism

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pp. 341-366

IN RECOGNITION OF the growing importance of globalization, recent research on immigration has focused increasingly on transnationalism (see, for example, Cordero-Guzman, Smith, and Grosfoguel 2001). This focus underscores how the global interconnectedness of national cultures, political systems, and economies--to cite only a few of the more important arenas of action--shapes the flow and adaptation of migrants in different regions of the world. ...

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Chapter 15 "Vi

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pp. 367-398

THE GLOBALIZATION OF labor, capital, and culture, the restructuring of world politics, and the expansion of new technologies of communication and transportation--all have driven people and products across the globe at a dizzying pace. In the last decade, reflecting the current saliency of transnational processes, scholars have shifted their analytical paradigms from the dualism inherent in the classic models of migration...


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pp. 399-408

E-ISBN-13: 9781610443524
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871545169
Print-ISBN-10: 0871545160

Page Count: 424
Publication Year: 2006