Divided fates: immigrant children in a restructured US economy

M. P. Fernandez-Kelly, R. Schauffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


This essay is based on survey and ethnographic research among second-generation immigrants. The purpose is to investigate the meaning of segmented assimilation by comparing five groups of immigrant children: Haitians, Vietnamese, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Mexicans. We examine the effects of physical location, mode of reception, and membership in particular social networks on characteristics such as fluency in English, school performance, self-perception and occupational expectations among the various groups. We hypothesize that the experience of the new immigrants bifurcates in consonance with self and collective identities. Defining oneself as an immigrant protects a child from some of the deleterious effects of assimilation. This is especially apparent among Haitians and West Indians for whom assimilation may entail becoming African Americans and, therefore, enduring stigma and diminishing opportunities. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-689
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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