Children and Immigration in America

Children and Immigration in America

Document details
Category: Anthropology Essay
Subcategory: Cultural Anthropology
Words: 2153
Pages: 10

The growing number of Latino immigrant families in the United States is expected to double by the year 2050, making them a dominant population whose cultural barriers need to be addressed (Vallejo, 2012). First generation students are under the social concept of equal opportunity, which is manifested through ones opportunities to acquire education at any level, independent of ones background (Gofen, 2009). However, minorities encounter specific cultural challenges that hinder the deconstruction of the intergenerational cycle. Although identifiable tools can be used as resources towards social mobility, Portes and MacLeod (1996) argue that parental status and the distinct characteristics of immigrant communities hinder educational attainment. The conditions of immigrant communities submerged with poverty, outside discrimination, and the legal status of inhabitants puts immigrant students at a disadvantage (Portes MacLeod, 1996). Although parents have high aspirations for their offspring, the fear of Americanization leaves parents insecure about the potential gains and losses a higher education can lead to. London (1989) examines family role assignments and separation dynamics among first generations students. He states that immigrant parents form contradicting messages as they encourage their children to be successful, but constrain them to local communities (London, 1989). The fear of losing their children to Western culture contributes to the slow process of cultural and structural assimilation of Mexican immigrants (Su, Richardson, Wang, 2010). Su et al. (2010) concluded that until the third generation the process of assimilation begins to shape Mexican Americans gender role values consistent with American ideologies. The process of assimilation is fully evident in the third generation because parents are born in the U.S. and are able to adapt to Western values shaping their offsprings cultural beliefs. Although adapting to Western society increases the opportunities for intergenerational mobility, Vallejos (2012) findings demonstrate that there are multiple paths of incorporation into the middle class that one need not to become white to achieve mobility, and that incorporating as a minority is not...

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