Aspirations, Class & Identity: A Study of the Children of Haitian Immigrants in Queens, New York

Orly Clerge, Brown University

This paper examines the acculturation process of second-generation Haitian immigrants in a multi-ethnic black suburban area in Queens, New York. This research focuses on the process of inter-generational mobility experienced by the children of Haitian immigrants and the ways in which it relates to their ethnic identity, racial background and youth developmental experiences. This research project tests the selective acculturation hypothesis, and purports that the second generation immigrants in this sample are on a pathway of selective acculturation. This study draws upon a qualitative methodology consisting of semi-structured interviews, a focus group, key informant interviews, and participant observations. The data suggests that Haitian youth, despite experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination in schools and community, have high educational and personal aspirations; questioning segmented assimilation's assumptions about population experiences with neighborhood affects of inter-generational mobility.

  See paper

Presented in Session 119: Immigration, Ethnicity and Child Development