Italians Then, Mexicans Now
Immigrant Origins and the Second-Generation Progress, 1890-2000
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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JOEL PERLMANN is senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College.
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I AM GRATEFUL to Christopher Jencks for an extensive, illuminating, and selfless email correspondence conducted intermittently over the years; those exchanges helped me to think through many methodological and substantive issues. Seminar presentations to the Bard College faculty and at Bard’s Levy Economics Institute helped me more than participants probably realize, as did peppering my colleagues with questions...
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WE SAY COMPLACENTLY that “America is a land of immigrants” only because we also say that “America is the land of opportunity.” When confidence in upward mobility dims, so too does confidence that immigrants and their descendants will enter the mainstream. And because upwards of twenty million immigrants are once again coming to America in the course of a generation, it is natural to ask whether the conditions...
CHAPTER ONE. Toward a Population History:A Basis for Comparisons
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NO ONE WILL claim that ignoring historical context is a virtue, yet discussions of immigration tend to ignore how it has shaped the characteristics of immigrant and ethnic generations. Here I begin with the past and stress three themes. The first is the rationale for the comparison of the Mexicans of today with the SCE immigrants of the past and why Jewish immigrants should be excluded from the comparison...
CHAPTER TWO. IMMIGRANT WAGES THEN AND NOW
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I CONCENTRATE on the SCEN then and on the Mexicans now because these immigrant groups arrived in great numbers as low-skill workers in two periods of American history. Portes and Rumbaut (1996) have helpfully called these immigrants labor migrants as distinct from human capital migrants; the latter can trade on their advanced education and professional skills. Human capital migrants have been much more prevalent in the contemporary immigration than during the 1890 to 1914 immigration...
CHAPTER THREE. Second-Generation Schooling
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LOW LEVELS of formal schooling among SCEN and Mexican immigrants, compared to that of the native whites of their times, account for much of their wage handicap. Would education pave the way for their children to escape from the bottom? This question directs our attention to secondgeneration schooling by focusing, first of the SCEN and then of the contemporary Mexican second generations...
CHAPTER FOUR. Second-GenerationEconomic Outcomes
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BY 2000, A contemporary second-generation cohort had been in the labor force long enough for us to assess their early experiences. We begin with the familiar past-present comparisons between the SCEN and Mexicans. Later, we will focus in more depth on the contemporary Mexican second generation through a comparison of their well-being with that of Americanborn blacks...
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THEMES OF upward mobility and immigrant absorption are at the heart of American social history. This alone would be enough to spur inquiry as to whether the future absorption of immigrants and their offspring will be like its past. But in addition to this general curiosity, there are credible reasons to think that conditions have changed—economic conditions in the host society and the nonwhite origins of the new immigrants...
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THIS APPENDIX concerns three major subjects. The first (itself subdivided into numerous subtopics) concerns the estimates of wage ratios for 1910 to 1920 introduced in chapter 2 of this volume. The second subject is the Mexican 1.53 group used in chapters 3 and 4 as a proxy for the “true” second generation. The third subject (discussed in chapter 3) is the ethnic variation in the way those who left school after twelfth grade described their educational attainment...
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2005