Second-Generation Decline: Scenarios for the Economic and Ethnic Futures of the Post-1965 American Immigrants

  • Herbert J. Gans
Part of the Migration, Minorities and Citizenship book series


‘Second-Generation Decline’ questions the current American faith in the myth of nearly automatic immigrant success. In discussing economic scenarios, positive and negative, for the future of the children of the post-1965 immigrants, it proposes the possibility that a significant number of the children of poor immigrants, especially dark-skinned ones, might not obtain jobs in the mainstream economy. Neither will they be willing — or even able — to take low-wage-long-hour ‘immigrant’ jobs like their parents. As a result they, and young males among them particularly, may join blacks and Hispanics among those already excluded, apparently permanently, from the mainstream economy. The paper also deals with the relations between ethnicity and economic conditions in the US, and with the continued relevance of the assimilation and acculturation processes described by ‘straight-line theory’. This issue, as well as most others discussed in the paper, may also be salient for European countries experiencing immigration, especially those countries with troubled economies.


Organize Crime Upward Mobility Mainstream Economy Ethnic Enclave European Immigrant 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert J. Gans

There are no affiliations available

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