"Ethnicities is a timely and important book. Rumbaut and Portes have brought together a group of stimulating essays by leading scholars in immigration studies that deal with issues at the heart of debates about the new second generation. From Mexicans to Vietnamese and Haitians, the essays show how the children of immigrants in diverse groups are faring and, in different ways, "becoming American." This volume is sure to become a standard reference for future research in the field."Nancy Foner, author of From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration
"The authors take the reader on an instructive cross country journey to understand the newest immigrants and their children. Ethnicities fills a big gap in the sociological portrait of today's American mosaic."Herbert Gans, author of The War Against the Poor
"This pathbreaking book, rich in new data and incisive analyses, is the first to bring together a collection of studies of the second generation's diverse origins, pathways, and challenges. Ethnicities will spark many lively discussions among my students, many of whom belong to this brave new second generation."Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Doméstica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence
"This tightly focused collection makes it clear that the children of immigrants are key to understanding the nation's new immigrant experience. It reveals contradictory trends among, for example, Haitians, Filipinos, Cubans, Vietnamese, and Mexicans, such as high praise for American society along with increased reports of discrimination. This book contributes significantly to major empirical and theoretical debates."Rodolfo O. de la Garza, co-author of Making Americans, Remaking America
"Remarkably coherent, readable and insightful, this volume makes important contributions to theory, particularly in recasting the concept of assimilation. By combining survey data with interviews and historical background, Ethnicities (and its companion, Legacies) provides a wealth of information about the long-term effects of contemporary immigrationexamining what happens to the second and subsequent generations. It is both an exciting and a disturbing book."Bryan R. Roberts, author of The Making of Citizens: Cities of Peasants Revisited
An analysis of the acculturation patterns and future prospects of children within key ethnic groups living in the San Diego and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale areas. Rumbaut (Immigration Research for a New Century, not reviewed) and Portes (City on the Edge, 1993) have assembled a dense volume outlining the status of children of recent immigrants to the US. Their study focuses on the offspring of Mexican, Cuban, Nicaraguan, Filipino, Vietnamese, Haitian, and Jamaican immigrants. These second-generation youngsters do not adopt American identities as was thought, but rather turn toward ethnic identities and away from assimilation. The contrasts between immigration groups are startling. In a comparison between two groups with the longest US contact-the children of Mexican and of Filipino immigrants-the Mexican-American study is especially dispiriting: this group shows substantially lower achievement in contrast to all other second-generation groups. Their educational and occupational aspirations are unrealistic (67 percent anticipate completing college, while only 10 to 20 percent will actually do so), leading the authors to note that they will certainly be dissatisfied with the poorly paid work done by their parents, but, as a group, they will not be able to compete for the highly skilled jobs they aspire to. If decent jobs in the middle range do not materialize, the situation could become unpleasant. On the other hand, Filipino immigrants (in population second only to Mexican immigrants) tend to be college-educated professionals, and fit easily into the US middle class. The children of this group have realistically high educational desires, with daughters hoping to obtain advanced degrees (asignificant percentage seek medical careers), and sons aiming for a bachelors of science. (Males tend to choose engineering and computer technology fields.) While the statistical information will soon overwhelm nonacademics, this is a timely and important subject.