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Inheriting the Homeland? Intergenerational Transmission of Cross-Border Ties in Migrant Families


Theories of migrant transnationalism emphasize the enduring imprint of the pre-migration connections that the newcomers bring with them. But how do the children of migrants, raised in the parents’ adopted country develop ties to the parental home country? Using a structural equation model and data from a recent survey of adult immigrant offspring in Los Angeles, this paper shows that second generation cross-border activities are strongly affected by earlier experiences of and exposure to home country influences . Socialization in the parental household is powerful, transmitting distinct home country competencies, loyalties and ties, but not a coherent package of transnationalism. Our analysis of five measures of cross-border activities and loyalties among the grown children of migrants shows that transmission is specific to the social logic underlying the connection: activities rooted in family relationships such as remitting are transmitted differently than emotional attachments to the parent’s home country.

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