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Second generation, identity formation

Migration A–Z


  1. Roberto G. Gonzales and,
  2. Rennie Lee

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm476

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Gonzales and, R. G. and Lee, R. 2013. Second generation, identity formation. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The ways in which today's children of immigrants are choosing to identify themselves ethnically are shaped by a variety of pre- and post-migration factors. Their American experiences are undoubtedly separate and unique from those of their immigrant parents as well as those of their American-born peers. While the immigrant first generation has a distinct point of reference in the country of origin, the experiences of their children are distinctly American (Portes & Rumbaut 2001). However, many of them carefully balance dual cultures and languages at home and in school. The children of immigrants representing post-1965 migrations are just beginning to reach adulthood in significant numbers (Kasinitz et al. 2008). Understanding the adaptation among these adult children of immigrants requires attention to the ways in which they are acculturating and coming of age. How they become incorporated into mainstream society will reveal much about their current experiences and what future generations may experience (Portes & Rumbaut 2001: 22).


  • cross-cultural;
  • cultural diversity;
  • demography and population studies;
  • employment and unemployment;
  • identity politics