Synopses & Reviews
Behind the contentious politics of immigration lies the question of how well new immigrants are becoming part of American society. To address this question, Inheriting the City
draws on the results of a ground-breaking study of young adults of immigrant parents in metropolitan New York to provide a comprehensive look at their social, economic, cultural, and political lives.
Inheriting the City examines five immigrant groups to disentangle the complicated question of how they are faring relative to native-born groups, and how achievement differs between and within these groups. While some experts worry that these young adults would not do as well as previous waves of immigrants due to lack of high-paying manufacturing jobs, poor public schools, and an entrenched racial divide, Inheriting the City finds that the second generation is rapidly moving into the mainstream--speaking English, working in jobs that resemble those held by native New Yorkers their age, and creatively combining their ethnic cultures and norms with American ones. Far from descending into an urban underclass, the children of immigrants are using immigrant advantages to avoid some of the obstacles that native minority groups cannot.
This major study of the children of the great wave of immigration to New York City that has been sustained since the 1960's tells us as much about the fate of the second generation--in education, in occupation and income, in acculturation--as we can presently know. Nathan Glazer, co-author of < i=""> Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City <>
Inheriting the City is chock-full of compelling stories of the generation now coming of age in New York. Explaining the divergent fates of young adults of Chinese, Dominican, Russian Jewish, West Indian, and South American origins--compared with their native white, black, and Puerto Rican counterparts--this brilliant study is essential for anyone hoping to grasp the manifold legacies of today's new immigration. Rub & eacute;n G. Rumbaut, co-author of < i=""> Immigrant America: A Portrait <> and < i=""> Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation <>
The authors bring us no simplistic message. The 'melting pot' (if it ever existed) is gone forever. Diversity will persist. But, contrary to the rants of high- and low-brow prophets of doom, it is manageable. Indeed, the diversity resulting from immigration will continue to revitalize New York City and thereby the country as a whole. Aristide R. Zolberg, author of < i=""> A Nation By Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America <>
This major study of the children of the great wave of immigration to New York City that has been sustained since the 1960's tells us as much about the fate of the second generation--in education, in occupation and income, in acculturation--as we can presently know. In doing so, it makes a major contribution to the important question of whether we may expect a change in the impact of immigration on American life, and whether the fears of many that this impact will be negative is justified.
Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age is an eagerly-anticipated volume that will set the standard, and become the point of comparison, for future studies of the children of immigrants and second-generation incorporation. Richard Alba, State University of New York at Albany
What a timely and surprising book! The second generation lens brings into focus so many aspects of American life, from the shifting color line to the effects of social policy, the plight of the native born, and the contribution of immigration. Original, relevant, and nuanced, this is a must-read for anyone interested in America today and tomorrow... A wonderful and worthwhile book. Gish Jen, author of < i=""> The Love Wife <>
As recent headlines have made clear, the challenge of massive immigration is a defining issue for the twenty-first century. Debate on this volatile and controversial issue will be more enlightened if we get the facts straight. This powerfully documented book is a major contribution toward that end. The authors lay out the complicated, sometimes unexpected, but fundamentally encouraging facts about how the children of today's immigrants are assimilating into American life. If America's leaders can read only one book on this topic, this should be it. Robert D. Putnam, author of < i=""> Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community <>
How America absorbs immigrants is among the most important yet least understood dimensions of our national experience. The authors offer a nuanced analysis of the sometimes counter-intuitive processes by which this happens. The result provides resonant insights that will shape policies, improve services, and most importantly teach us how and why immigration works. Henry Cisneros, Chairman, CityView, and former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
As assimilation continues, studies show that whatever the language spoken at home, the children of recent immigrants nearly all come to use English as their first language, and they are as American in their attitudes and behavior as their native counterparts. Indeed, the definitive, 10-year investigation by Philip Kasinitz, John H. Mollenkopf, Mary C. Waters and Jennifer Holdaway, entitled Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age, reports a "second-generation advantage." Immigrants' children are caught between highly motivated, hard-working parents and the challenges of the American environment, and this actually contributes to their success. Orlando Patterson
This study demonstrates how children of immigrants combine U.S. and parental cultural beliefs and practices in achieving their educational and occupational aspirations, and the variations and differences across immigrant and native-born groups. The research explodes many myths about immigrants as represented by the mass media and public opinion, resulting in a valuable study that makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on immigration. New York Times
Behind the contentious politics of immigration lies the question of how well new immigrants are becoming part of American society. To address this question, Inheriting the City draws on the results of a ground-breaking study of young adults of immigrant parents in metropolitan New York to provide a comprehensive look at their social, economic, cultural, and political lives.
2009 Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, Eastern Sociological Society
About the Author
Philip Kasinitz is Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Hunter College.John Mollenkopf is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center.Mary C. Waters is M. E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.Jennifer Holdaway is a Program Director at the Social Science Research Council.
the Migration Program, Social Science Research Council
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Inheriting the City
2. The Worlds of the Fathers and Mothers
3. Ethnic Identities
4. Family and Neighborhood Origins
5. The School System as Sorting Mechanism
6. The Second Generation Goes to Work
7. Forming New Families
8. Culture Matters
9. Civic and Political Engagement
10. Race, Prejudice, and Discrimination
11. Conclusion: The Second-Generation Advantage