Despite much social science research on Mexican immigrants, we still do not know much about how the young adult children of Mexican immigrants try to get ahead in newer settlement contexts, the complexity behind this process, and the costs confronting this group. My book project What it Takes to Succeed: The Costs of Integration for the Children of Mexican Immigrants addresses this gap. A prospectus for my manuscript is currently under review at multiple scholarly presses. In my book, I argue that striving toward integration thrusts social, emotional, financial, and psychological costs onto Mexican young adults as they try to redeem their immigrant parents’ sacrifices. Chief among these costs are the racialization and discrimination confronting these youngsters along their trajectory toward college completion and in their broader life course. The research is based on in-depth interviews, observations, and internet methods with sixty Mexican-origin young people of various legal statuses from New York City and suburban Pennsylvania between 2015 and 2020. In considering the racial and social contexts of when and where Mexican immigrants settle, I show the constraints and resources these young people confront as they attempt to complete college and get ahead in this country.
WHERE TO FIND ME
2024 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Montréal, Québec, Canada - August)
Between Integration and Inequality – The Young Adult Children of Immigrants in New Destinations
Session Organizer: JORGE BALLINAS
As large numbers of the children of Latina/o/x immigrants have come of age in new destination locations, there is a necessity to analyze their social trajectories as influenced by communities without a prior history of receiving these groups. This session brings together a group of scholars who have examined young people of various legal statuses as they transitioned from high school to college and beyond in Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah. Despite surpassing multiple markers of integration, these young people are still subject to much racialization and other inequalities which could have derailed their educational trajectories. To surmount these constraints along their transition to college, the young adults across these research projects had to seek out multiple sources of support to continue their path toward integration. These dynamics will be highlighted in this interdisciplinary panel discussion to expand our empirical and theoretical understanding of how this group’s social characteristics and communities of settlement interact to produce their educational and broader social trajectories and what these outcomes mean in our national sociopolitical context.
Panelists: Jorge Ballinas (Pennsylvania State University), Alessandra Bazo Vienrich (Rhode Island College), Liliana Castrellon (San Jose State University), Andrea Flores (Brown University), Nicole Perez (University of Illinois at Chicago)