The New Second Generation : Segmented Assimilation And Its Variants

1084 Words Feb 17th, 2016 null Page
One of the scholarly articles that was more thought provoking to me was Portes and Zhou work, titled The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and Its Variants. While I have seen and experience this segmented assimilation, this is the first time I have read an article that articulates the situation so clearly. I have never thought of myself as a second-generation immigrant because I wasn’t born in the United States. However, according to the article, I am considered a second-generation immigrant because, even though I was born in Ecuador, I have lived in the United States most of my life…this was very surprising to me. Hence, throughout the paper when I refer to second-generation immigrants, I will mean immigrants who are foreign-born but have lived in the U.S for more than five years. In this paper, I will talk about the emphasis that exist in the United States to categorize people and its implication on the assimilation process, then I will share my experience in relation to the vulnerability of this downward assimilation. Finally, I will touch lightly on the hybrid cultural identity of second-generation immigrants (which is not explicitly mention by the author but I think is important to acknowledge). When Portes and Zhou began to discuss the vulnerability to downward assimilation, they mentioned color as one of the factor, they said “…by virtue of moving into a new social environment, marked by different values and prejudices, [is] that physical appearance…

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