The Changing Face of World Cities: Young Adult Children of Immigrants in Europe and the United States

Russell Sage Foundation
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A seismic population shift is taking place as many formerly racially homogeneous cities in the West attract a diverse influx of newcomers seeking economic and social advancement. In The Changing Face of World Cities, a distinguished group of immigration experts presents the first systematic, data-based comparison of the lives of young adult children of immigrants growing up in seventeen big cities of Western Europe and the United States. Drawing on a comprehensive set of surveys, this important book brings together new evidence about the international immigrant experience and provides far-reaching lessons for devising more effective public policies.

The Changing Face of World Cities pairs European and American researchers to explore how youths of immigrant origin negotiate educational systems, labor markets, gender, neighborhoods, citizenship, and identity on both sides of the Atlantic. Maurice Crul and his co-authors compare the educational trajectories of second-generation Mexicans in Los Angeles with second-generation Turks in Western European cities. In the United States, uneven school quality in disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods and the high cost of college are the main barriers to educational advancement, while in some European countries, rigid early selection sorts many students off the college track and into dead-end jobs. Liza Reisel, Laurence Lessard-Phillips, and Phil Kasinitz find that while more young members of the second generation are employed in the United States than in Europe, they are also likely to hold low-paying jobs that barely life them out of poverty. In Europe, where immigrant youth suffer from higher unemployment, the embattled European welfare system still yields them a higher standard of living than many of their American counterparts. Turning to issues of identity and belonging, Jens Schneider, Leo Chávez, Louis DeSipio, and Mary Waters find that it is far easier for the children of Dominican or Mexican immigrants to identify as American, in part because the United States takes hyphenated identities for granted. In Europe, religious bias against Islam makes it hard for young people of Turkish origin to identify strongly as German, French, or Swedish. Editors Maurice Crul and John Mollenkopf conclude that despite the barriers these youngsters encounter on both continents, they are making real progress relative to their parents and are beginning to close the gap with the native-born.

The Changing Face of World Cities goes well beyong existing immigration literature focused on the United States experience to show that national policies on each side of the Atlantic can be enriched by lessons from the other. The Changing Face of World Cities will be vital reading for anyone interested in the young people who will shape the future of our increasingly interconnected global economy.

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About the author

MAURICE CRUL is professor of sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

JOHN MOLLENKOPF is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, and director, Center for Urban Research, at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Russell Sage Foundation
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Published on
Aug 1, 2012
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Pages
324
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ISBN
9781610447911
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
Social Science / General
Social Science / Social Classes & Economic Disparity
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Few public projects have ever dealt with economic and emotional issues as large as those surrounding the rebuilding of lower Manhattan following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Picking up the pieces involved substantial challenges: deciding how to memorialize one of America's greatest tragedies, how to balance the legal claim of landowners against the moral claim of survivors who want a say in the future of Ground Zero, and how to rebuild the Trade Center site while preserving the sacredness and solemnity that Americans now attribute to the area. All the while, the governor, the mayor, the Port Authority, and the leaseholder competed with one another to advance their own interests and visions of the redevelopment, while at least leaving the impression that the decisions were the public's to make. In Contentious City, editor John Mollenkopf and a team of leading scholars analyze the wide-ranging political dimensions of the recovery process.

Contentious City takes an in-depth look at the competing interests and demands of the numerous stakeholders who have sought to influence the direction of the recovery process. Lynne Sagalyn addresses the complicated institutional politics behind the rebuilding, which involve a newly formed development commission seeking legitimacy, a two-state transportation agency whose brief venture into land ownership puts it in control of the world's most famous 16 acres of land, and a private business group whose affiliation with the World Trade Center places it squarely in a fight for billions of dollars in insurance funds. Arielle Goldberg profiles five civic associations that sprouted up to voice public opinion about the redevelopment process. While the groups did not gain much leverage over policy outcomes, Goldberg argues that they were influential in steering the agenda of decision-makers and establishing what values would be prioritized in the development plans. James Young, a member of the jury that selected the design for the World Trade Center site memorial, discusses the challenge of trying to simultaneously memorialize a tragic event, while helping those who suffered find renewal and move on with their lives. Editor John Mollenkopf contributes a chapter on how the September 11 terrorist attacks altered the course of politics in New York, and how politicians at the city and state level adapted to the new political climate after 9/11 to win elected office.

Moving forward after the destruction of the Twin Towers was a daunting task, made more difficult by the numerous competing claims on the site, and the varied opinions on how it should be used in the future. Contentious City brings together the voices surrounding this intense debate, and helps make sense of the rival interests vying for control over one of the most controversial urban development programs in history.

A Russell Sage Foundation September 11 Initiative Volume

Strangers No More is the first book to compare immigrant integration across key Western countries. Focusing on low-status newcomers and their children, it examines how they are making their way in four critical European countries—France, Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands—and, across the Atlantic, in the United States and Canada. This systematic, data-rich comparison reveals their progress and the barriers they face in an array of institutions—from labor markets and neighborhoods to educational and political systems—and considers the controversial questions of religion, race, identity, and intermarriage.

Richard Alba and Nancy Foner shed new light on questions at the heart of concerns about immigration. They analyze why immigrant religion is a more significant divide in Western Europe than in the United States, where race is a more severe obstacle. They look at why, despite fears in Europe about the rise of immigrant ghettoes, residential segregation is much less of a problem for immigrant minorities there than in the United States. They explore why everywhere, growing economic inequality and the proliferation of precarious, low-wage jobs pose dilemmas for the second generation. They also evaluate perspectives often proposed to explain the success of immigrant integration in certain countries, including nationally specific models, the political economy, and the histories of Canada and the United States as settler societies.


Strangers No More delves into issues of pivotal importance for the present and future of Western societies, where immigrants and their children form ever-larger shares of the population.

The United States is an immigrant nation—nowhere is the truth of this statement more evident than in its major cities. Immigrants and their children comprise nearly three-fifths of New York City’s population and even more of Miami and Los Angeles. But the United States is also a nation with entrenched racial divisions that are being complicated by the arrival of newcomers. While immigrant parents may often fear that their children will “disappear” into American mainstream society, leaving behind their ethnic ties, many experts fear that they won’t—evolving instead into a permanent unassimilated and underemployed underclass. Inheriting the City confronts these fears with evidence, reporting the results of a major study examining the social, cultural, political, and economic lives of today’s second generation in metropolitan New York, and showing how they fare relative to their first-generation parents and native-stock counterparts.

Focused on New York but providing lessons for metropolitan areas across the country, Inheriting the City is a comprehensive analysis of how mass immigration is transforming life in America’s largest metropolitan area. The authors studied the young adult offspring of West Indian, Chinese, Dominican, South American, and Russian Jewish immigrants and compared them to blacks, whites, and Puerto Ricans with native-born parents. They find that today’s second generation is generally faring better than their parents, with Chinese and Russian Jewish young adults achieving the greatest education and economic advancement, beyond their first-generation parents and even beyond their native-white peers. Every second-generation group is doing at least marginally—and, in many cases, significantly—better than natives of the same racial group across several domains of life. Economically, each second-generation group earns as much or more than its native-born comparison group, especially African Americans and Puerto Ricans, who experience the most persistent disadvantage. Inheriting the City shows the children of immigrants can often take advantage of policies and programs that were designed for native-born minorities in the wake of the civil rights era. Indeed, the ability to choose elements from both immigrant and native-born cultures has produced, the authors argue, a second-generation advantage that catalyzes both upward mobility and an evolution of mainstream American culture.

Inheriting the City leads the chorus of recent research indicating that we need not fear an immigrant underclass. Although racial discrimination and economic exclusion persist to varying degrees across all the groups studied, this absorbing book shows that the new generation is also beginning to ease the intransigence of U.S. racial categories. Adapting elements from their parents’ cultures as well as from their native-born peers, the children of immigrants are not only transforming the American city but also what it means to be American.

The politics of immigration have heated up in recent years as Congress has failed to adopt comprehensive immigration reform, the President has proposed executive actions, and state and local governments have responded unevenly and ambivalently to burgeoning immigrant communities in the context of a severe economic downturn. Moreover we have witnessed large shifts in the locations of immigrants and their families between and within the metropolitan areas of the United States. Charlotte, North Carolina, may be a more active and dynamic immigrant destination than Chicago, Illinois, while the suburbs are receiving ever more immigrants.

The work of John Mollenkopf, Manuel Pastor, and their colleagues represents one of the first systematic comparative studies of immigrant incorporation at the metropolitan level. They consider immigrant reception in seven different metro areas, and their analyses stress the differences in capacity and response between central cities, down-at-the-heels suburbs, and outer metropolitan areas, as well as across metro areas. A key feature of case studies in the book is their inclusion of not only traditional receiving areas (New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles) but also newer ones (Charlotte, Phoenix, San Jose, and California's "Inland Empire"). Another innovative aspect is that the authors link their work to the new literature on regional governance, contribute to emerging research on spatial variations within metropolitan areas, and highlight points of intersection with the longer-term processes of immigrant integration.

Contributors: Els de Graauw, CUNY; Juan De Lara, University of Southern California; Jaime Dominguez, Northwestern University; Diana Gordon, CUNY; Michael Jones-Correa, Cornell University; Paul Lewis, Arizona State University; Doris Marie Provine, Arizona State University; John Mollenkopf, CUNY; Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California; Rachel Rosner, independent consultant, Florida; Jennifer Tran, City of San Francisco

An instant New York Times bestseller, named a best book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, and Entertainment Weekly, among others, this celebrated account of a young African-American man who escaped Newark, NJ, to attend Yale, but still faced the dangers of the streets when he returned is, “nuanced and shattering” (People) and “mesmeric” (The New York Times Book Review).

When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, trying to fit in at Yale, and at home on breaks.

A compelling and honest portrait of Robert’s relationships—with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends—The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It’s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds—the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It’s about trying to live a decent life in America. But most all this “fresh, compelling” (The Washington Post) story is about the tragic life of one singular brilliant young man. His end, a violent one, is heartbreaking and powerful and “a haunting American tragedy for our times” (Entertainment Weekly).
The politics of immigration have heated up in recent years as Congress has failed to adopt comprehensive immigration reform, the President has proposed executive actions, and state and local governments have responded unevenly and ambivalently to burgeoning immigrant communities in the context of a severe economic downturn. Moreover we have witnessed large shifts in the locations of immigrants and their families between and within the metropolitan areas of the United States. Charlotte, North Carolina, may be a more active and dynamic immigrant destination than Chicago, Illinois, while the suburbs are receiving ever more immigrants.

The work of John Mollenkopf, Manuel Pastor, and their colleagues represents one of the first systematic comparative studies of immigrant incorporation at the metropolitan level. They consider immigrant reception in seven different metro areas, and their analyses stress the differences in capacity and response between central cities, down-at-the-heels suburbs, and outer metropolitan areas, as well as across metro areas. A key feature of case studies in the book is their inclusion of not only traditional receiving areas (New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles) but also newer ones (Charlotte, Phoenix, San Jose, and California's "Inland Empire"). Another innovative aspect is that the authors link their work to the new literature on regional governance, contribute to emerging research on spatial variations within metropolitan areas, and highlight points of intersection with the longer-term processes of immigrant integration.

Contributors: Els de Graauw, CUNY; Juan De Lara, University of Southern California; Jaime Dominguez, Northwestern University; Diana Gordon, CUNY; Michael Jones-Correa, Cornell University; Paul Lewis, Arizona State University; Doris Marie Provine, Arizona State University; John Mollenkopf, CUNY; Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California; Rachel Rosner, independent consultant, Florida; Jennifer Tran, City of San Francisco

Few public projects have ever dealt with economic and emotional issues as large as those surrounding the rebuilding of lower Manhattan following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Picking up the pieces involved substantial challenges: deciding how to memorialize one of America's greatest tragedies, how to balance the legal claim of landowners against the moral claim of survivors who want a say in the future of Ground Zero, and how to rebuild the Trade Center site while preserving the sacredness and solemnity that Americans now attribute to the area. All the while, the governor, the mayor, the Port Authority, and the leaseholder competed with one another to advance their own interests and visions of the redevelopment, while at least leaving the impression that the decisions were the public's to make. In Contentious City, editor John Mollenkopf and a team of leading scholars analyze the wide-ranging political dimensions of the recovery process.

Contentious City takes an in-depth look at the competing interests and demands of the numerous stakeholders who have sought to influence the direction of the recovery process. Lynne Sagalyn addresses the complicated institutional politics behind the rebuilding, which involve a newly formed development commission seeking legitimacy, a two-state transportation agency whose brief venture into land ownership puts it in control of the world's most famous 16 acres of land, and a private business group whose affiliation with the World Trade Center places it squarely in a fight for billions of dollars in insurance funds. Arielle Goldberg profiles five civic associations that sprouted up to voice public opinion about the redevelopment process. While the groups did not gain much leverage over policy outcomes, Goldberg argues that they were influential in steering the agenda of decision-makers and establishing what values would be prioritized in the development plans. James Young, a member of the jury that selected the design for the World Trade Center site memorial, discusses the challenge of trying to simultaneously memorialize a tragic event, while helping those who suffered find renewal and move on with their lives. Editor John Mollenkopf contributes a chapter on how the September 11 terrorist attacks altered the course of politics in New York, and how politicians at the city and state level adapted to the new political climate after 9/11 to win elected office.

Moving forward after the destruction of the Twin Towers was a daunting task, made more difficult by the numerous competing claims on the site, and the varied opinions on how it should be used in the future. Contentious City brings together the voices surrounding this intense debate, and helps make sense of the rival interests vying for control over one of the most controversial urban development programs in history.

A Russell Sage Foundation September 11 Initiative Volume

The political involvement of earlier waves of immigrants and their children was essential in shaping the American political climate in the first half of the twentieth century. Immigrant votes built industrial trade unions, fought for social protections and religious tolerance, and helped bring the Democratic Party to dominance in large cities throughout the country. In contrast, many scholars find that today's immigrants, whose numbers are fast approaching those of the last great wave, are politically apathetic and unlikely to assume a similar voice in their chosen country. E Pluribus Unum? delves into the wealth of research by historians of the Ellis Island era and by social scientists studying today's immigrants and poses a crucial question: What can the nation's past experience teach us about the political path modern immigrants and their children will take as Americans?

E Pluribus Unum? explores key issues about the incorporation of immigrants into American public life, examining the ways that institutional processes, civic ideals, and cultural identities have shaped the political aspirations of immigrants. The volume presents some surprising re-assessments of the past as it assesses what may happen in the near future. An examination of party bosses and the party machine concludes that they were less influential political mobilizers than is commonly believed. Thus their absence from today's political scene may not be decisive. Some contributors argue that the contemporary political system tends to exclude immigrants, while others remind us that past immigrants suffered similar exclusions, achieving political power only after long and difficult struggles. Will the strong home country ties of today's immigrants inhibit their political interest here? Chapters on this topic reveal that transnationalism has always been prominent in the immigrant experience, and that today's immigrants may be even freer to act as dual citizens. E Pluribus Unum? theorizes about the fate of America's civic ethos—has it devolved from an ideal of liberal individualism to a fractured multiculturalism, or have we always had a culture of racial and ethnic fragmentation? Research in this volume shows that today's immigrant schoolchildren are often less concerned with ideals of civic responsibility than with forging their own identity and finding their own niche within the American system of racial and ethnic distinction.

Incorporating the significant influx immigrants into American society is a central challenge for our civic and political institutions—one that cuts to the core of who we are as a people and as a nation. E Pluribus Unum? shows that while today's immigrants and their children are in some ways particularly vulnerable to political alienation, the process of assimilation was equally complex for earlier waves of immigrants. This past has much to teach us about the way immigration is again reshaping the nation.

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