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Immigrant Adaptation

The United States has a rich immigrant history. Prior to 1965, most immigrants were of European descent. Contemporary immigration, however, is more racially and ethnically diverse and is transforming American society. Understanding immigrant adaptation is important to the sociology of education because outside of the family, schools are one of the most influential social institutions for immigrant children. In recent decades, there have been significant shifts in the experiences of immigrant children, primarily because of their country of origin, parental human capital, and structural influences. The study of immigrant adaptation suggests that both individual and contextual factors influence adaptation outcomes. Immigration scholars typically distinguish between two waves of immigration.

The “old” wave of immigration is characterized by migration from European countries and peaked before 1965. These ...

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