Now in the midst of the largest wave of immigration in history, America, mythical land of immigrants, is once again contemplating a future in which new arrivals will play a crucial role in reworking the fabric of the nation. At the center of this prospect are the children of immigrants, who make up one fifth of America's youth. This book, written by the codirectors of the largest ongoing longitudinal study of immigrant children and their families, offers a clear, broad, interdisciplinary view of who these children are and what their future might hold.
For immigrant children, the authors write, it is the best of times and the worst. These children are more likely than any previous generation of immigrants to end up in Ivy League universities--or unschooled, on parole, or in prison. Most arrive as motivated students, respectful of authority and quick to learn English. Yet, at the same time, many face huge obstacles to success, such as poverty, prejudice, the trauma of immigration itself, and exposure to the materialistic, hedonistic world of their native-born peers.
The authors vividly describe how forces within and outside the family shape these children's developing sense of identity and their ambivalent relationship with their adopted country. Their book demonstrates how "Americanization," long an immigrant ideal, has, in a nation so diverse and full of contradictions, become ever harder to define, let alone achieve.
This book addresses how immigrant children fare in America...What thought has American society given to the special needs of these students? Have we done anything to accommodate them? What have they experienced? The answers to these and many other questions are woven together with moving accounts of immigrant children. It is impossible to read this book without being moved. Highly recommended.
This book contributes significantly to this debate not only for the U.S., but also for other receiving countries that have higher percentages of immigrants and less friction The authors review some issues in bilingual education in areas of backlash, such as California, and calmly promote the advantages of first-language retention and development until proficiency, accompanied or followed by sufficient English instruction to ensure full competence in both languages In their interdisciplinary focus and wide knowledge of related fields, the authors are able to give a good account of the facilitating and hindering factors for immigrants from both individual and social perspectives The book is written in an accessible style; rather friendly to higher-level undergraduates and well informed persons in general The book is outstanding and will surely contribute to sane and possibly fruitful discussion of the issues both among Americans and those in similar countries that depend on relatively high rates of immigration.
- 224 pages
- 5-1/2 x 9 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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