Work and Family: Blacks and Immigrants from South and East Europe

Suzanne W. Model

in Immigration Reconsidered

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780195055108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854219 | DOI:
Work and Family: Blacks and Immigrants from South and East Europe

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This chapter compares European immigrants and native-born blacks, pointing out that the situation seems to have worked in the reverse for black urban migrants. In contrast to Europeans, blacks were unable to achieve labor-union membership, and by the early 20th century were losing access to such occupations as bootblacking and barbering, which they traditionally occupied. Blacks were forced into service jobs that allowed little mutual assistance in job recruitment. Unable to aid one another in finding work, they had to resort to individual job searches; fathers, for example, could seldom place their sons in jobs. Blacks were less successful than immigrants in their work searches, even though, ironically, they followed the favored individualistic American strategy. This chapter also looks to differences in employment opportunities to explain why black families appear less cohesive than families of white immigrants in the job market and at home.

Keywords: native-born blacks; South Europe immigrants; East Europe immigrants; Afro-Americans; black urban migrants; service jobs

Chapter.  15406 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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