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Finding one's place: shifting ethnic identities of recent immigrant children from China, Haiti and Mexico in the United States

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Song, Steve

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Abstract This article examines the ethnic identity adaptations of recently-arrived immigrant children from China, Haiti, and Mexico. Overall, three main types of ethnic identity categories emerged: country of origin (e.g., Chinese), hyphenated (e.g., Chinese American), and pan-ethnic (e.g., Asian or Asian American). These three ethnic identities were examined to assess their relationships with various social and structural variables. While most of the participants retained their country-of-origin label throughout the five-year longitudinal study, a significant number of them showed divergent paths of ethnic identity shifts and formations. As a whole, only gender, annual household income, and parental educational level were significantly associated with different ethnic identity changes. Analyzed separately by national groups, Chinese participants’ ethnic identity adaptations were influenced by parental educational level, and Haitian and Mexican participants by gender. Potential explanations for the various ethnic adaptations are examined and limitations of the study discussed.
Keywords gender
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration
Free Keywords immigration; race; ethnic identity; youth; acculturation
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 1006-1031
Journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33 (2010) 6
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)