Immigration, Incorporation, and Generational Cohorts in Historical Contexts

HISTORICAL INFLUENCES ON LIVES AND AGING, pp. 43-88, K. Warner Schaie and Glen H. Elder, Jr., eds., Springer Publishing, 2005

35 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2011

See all articles by Rubén G. Rumbaut

Rubén G. Rumbaut

University of California, Irvine - Department of Sociology

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

This paper aims to contribute to our understanding of historical and generational influences in the incorporation of immigrants in the United States. The first part addresses the importance of spelling out historical contexts for understanding virtually any aspect of the study of immigration and incorporation. By not doing so, we are left with an elegant but ahistorical positivism. The second section specifies the size and composition - and definition - of what are loosely referred to as the immigrant first and second “generations” in the United States, outlines a typology of distinctive generational cohorts (based on differences in nativity and age at arrival), and analyzes their patterns of acculturation as well as educational and occupational attainment. In particular, I consider the utility and validity of “lumping” vs. “splitting” such generational cohorts in the study of the adaptation of foreign-born immigrant children and the native-born children of immigrants. These distinctions - in a field where the study of intergenerational relations has been criticized as ahistorical - underscore the importance of situating and understanding generational processes in specific historical contexts.

Suggested Citation

Rumbaut, Rubén G., Immigration, Incorporation, and Generational Cohorts in Historical Contexts (2005). HISTORICAL INFLUENCES ON LIVES AND AGING, pp. 43-88, K. Warner Schaie and Glen H. Elder, Jr., eds., Springer Publishing, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1877364

Rubén G. Rumbaut (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Sociology ( email )

3151 Social Sciences Plaza A
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

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