Divergent Fates : Origins, Destinations, and the Sociology of the Second Generation

the Monday 26 March 2018 at l’Ined, salle Sauvy de 11h30 à 12h30

Presented by : Roger Waldinger (University of California, Los Angeles) ; Discussant : Ognjen Obucina (Ined)

This paper seeks to return scholarly attention to a core intellectual divide between segmented and conventional (or neo-) assimilation approaches, doing so through a theoretical and empirical reconsideration of contextual effects on second-generation outcomes. Echoing the proponents of segmented assimilation, we argue that population movements across borders inherently yield contextual effects that possess the potential to override or amplify the impact of individual characteristics. Yet unlike the proponents of segmented assimilation, we contend that the relevant contexts are not limited to the society of reception but rather extend to the shared influences deriving from the country of origin.  We then implement a new strategy for apprehending contextual effects, one that uses variables instead of names and disaggregates the different features that a nationality-oriented approach inevitably conflates.  Applying this strategy to the analysis of surveys of second generation young adults in the New York and Los Angeles areas, we show that our measures of context better predict second generation educational attainment than prevailing approaches.  While we uncover significant contextual effects deriving from origin and reception contexts, we also show that most second generational differences in educational attainment derive from disparities at the individual and familial level.

Roger Waldinger

is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration. He has worked on international migration throughout his career, writing on a broad set of topics, including immigrant entrepreneurship, labor markets, assimilation, the second generation, high-skilled immigration, immigration policy, and public opinion. Waldinger has published eight books, most recently The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and their Homelands (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015) and A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections (co-edited with Nancy Green; University of Illinois Press, 2016).  His most recently completed book manuscript, Divergent Fates: Origins, Destinations, and the Sociology of the Second Generation, co-authored with Renee Luthra and Thomas Soehl, is currently under review.   A 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, Waldinger’s research has been supported by grants from the Ford, Haines, Mellon, National Science, Sloan and Russell Sage Foundations.  He received the 2012 Distinguished Career Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association.