Complicating the Story of Immigrant Integration

Vivian Louie

in Writing Immigration

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267176
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950207 | DOI:
Complicating the Story of Immigrant Integration

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This chapter deconstructs the issue of immigration and immigrant parents' involvement in education. Based on a sociological study of second-generation Dominican and Colombian young adults and their parents, it reframes parental involvement by examining the world of parents as immigrants. It shows that the experience of immigrant families is shaped by the social isolation of parents and an emerging immigrant cultural identity of marginalization. This identity persists long after arrival and cuts across social mobility paths, although it is experienced in different ways according to social class. The chapter describes a poignant “sense of being alone in America among the immigrant parents” that bears upon their children's sense of being on their own in American schools. It argues that policymakers need to consider how best to incorporate newly arrived immigrants and immigrant children, particularly strategies for immigrants to develop strong affiliations in the multiple domains of their lives in the United States.

Keywords: United States; immigration; immigrants; education; immigrant children; immigrant families; immigrant parents; social isolation; marginalization; social class

Chapter.  7334 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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