Across Generations: Immigrant Families in America by Nancy Foner

By Nancy Foner

Immigrants and their American-born kids signify approximately one zone of the USA inhabitants. Drawing on wealthy, in-depth ethnographic learn, the interesting case stories in throughout Generations study the intricacies of family among the generations in a huge variety of immigrant groups—from Latin the USA, Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa—and supply a feeling of what daily life is like in immigrant families.Moving past the clich? of the youngsters of immigrants undertaking pitched battles opposed to tradition-bound mom and dad from the outdated kingdom, those bright essays provide a nuanced view that brings out the binds that bind the generations in addition to the tensions that divide them. Tackling key matters like parental self-discipline, marriage offerings, academic and occupational expectancies, felony prestige, and transnational relations ties, throughout Generations brings the most important insights to our figuring out of the us as a state of immigrants.Contributors: Leisy Abrego, JoAnn D'Alisera, Joanna Dreby, Yen Le Espiritu, Greta Gilbertson, Nazli Kibria, Cecilia Menj'var, Jennifer E. Sykes, Mary C. Waters, and Min Zhou.

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One young man said: “I had few problems communicating with my caretaker. She gave me general direction and told me what to do. I basically could tell her my problems and she would give advice in return. ” But some caretakers are reluctant to deal with children’s problems. They fear that any active role will cause strained relationships with the children and may lead to losing income if the parents remove the children from their homes or if the children decide to leave. In my research, I heard of no case of serious open conflict with paid caretakers, although quite a few parachute kids reported they disliked or were indifferent to their caretaker.

After graduation from college, they often lack the type of networks that facilitate job placement and occupational mobility. A whole series of additional issues arise as the children of Chinese immigrants enter adulthood. What will their relationships with their parents be like then? Will the children be grateful to parents for pushing them to succeed? Will sources of conflict prominent in adolescence be less acute in adulthood? Will there be new sources of tension, for example, disagreements with parents over family finances, marriage, and childbearing or child-rearing methods?

Another sensitive issue is the work ethic. Immigrant Chinese parents believe that hard work, rather than natural ability or innate intelligence, is the key to educational success. Regardless of socioeconomic background, they tend to think that their children can get A’s on all their exams if they just work hard, and if the children get lower grades they will be scolded for not working hard enough. The parents also believe that by working twice as hard it is possible to overcome structural disadvantages associated with immigrant and/or racial minority status.

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