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|Deemed ‘model minorities,’ second-generation Chinese-Americans have, on average, high levels of educational attainment and, as a result, they have experienced more upward mobility than other groups. Yet, on the other side of the Atlantic, a strikingly different story about Chinese immigrants and their offspring emerges. Findings from my preliminary research show that Chinese youths in Spain and Italy have substantially lower educational ambitions and attainment than youths from every other ethno-national origin group. What are the explanations for these drastic divergences in the educational trajectories of Chinese immigrant youth across different host societies? My research highlights three potential explanations: cultural understandings of success, perceptions of blocked opportunity and sense of belonging in the host societies, and the role of parental influence in shaping youth’s educational and career ambitions. Based on analysis of three comparable, large-scale datasets in the U.S., Spain and Italy, I find that a key factor in determining minority youth’s educational ambitions is the availability of alternative channels for mobility – namely, entrepreneurship – in the ethnic community and the host society. Unlike their counterparts in the U.S., Chinese youth in Spain and Italy tend to express entrepreneurial rather than academic ambitions. Met with discrimination at school and in the labor market, yet finding financial success in niche markets as small business owners, it appears that the Chinese in Southern Europe have, at least temporarily, forged an alternative pathway of mobility based on entrepreneurial endeavors rather than educational accomplishments – a formula passed on from immigrant parents to their offspring. In addition to findings from multivariate regression analyses, additional evidence is provided in in-depth interviews with Chinese youth and their parents across the three host societies.
|Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
|The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: http://catalog.princeton.edu/
|Asian American studies
|Tiger Children in Old and New Immigrant Destinations: The Divergent Educational Experiences of Chinese Immigrant Youth in Spain, Italy and the U.S
|Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
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