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Generation 1.5: Educational Experiences

  • Author(s): Rumbaut, RG
  • Editor(s): Banks, JA
  • et al.

Published Web Location

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2182167
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Abstract

Differences in nativity (of self and parents) and age at arrival, which are criteria used to distinguish between generational cohorts, are known to affect significantly the modes of acculturation of adults and children in immigrant families, especially with regard to language and ethnic identity, educational attainment and aspirations, patterns of social mobility, outlooks and frames of reference, and even their propensity to sustain transnational attachments over time. However, despite the import of intergenerational analysis for the study of the long-term impact of immigration, the meaning and measurement of “generations” has varied. The term “one-and-a-half” or “1.5” generation distinguishes those who immigrate as children from the “first” generation of immigrants who migrate as adults and the “second” generation of native-born persons of foreign parentage. Segments of any foreign-born population can be further refined into distinct types, depending on their ages and life stages at migration. Among those who immigrate as children their processes of acculturation and educational experiences can vary significantly depending on whether their migration occurred during early childhood, middle childhood, or adolescence. They are at starkly different life stages at the point of migration and begin their adaptation processes in very different social contexts. Educational and other adaptive outcomes are also affected by historical circumstances (such as the case of war-torn refugees), the cultural distance traveled by migrant populations, their socioeconomic resources, legal status and contexts of reception in host countries. While life stage and generational status matter, intergenerational analyses need to consider multiple possible determinants of concrete outcomes, and situate and interpret the data within larger contexts.

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