Extended Family Integration Among Euro and Mexican Americans: Ethnicity, Gender, and Class

Authors

  • Natalia Sarkisian,

    Corresponding author
    1. Boston College
      Department of Sociology, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (natalia@sarkisian.net).
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  • Mariana Gerena,

    1. Northeastern University*
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    • *

      The Institute on Urban Health Research, Bouvé College of Heath Sciences, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Stearns 503, Boston, MA 02115.

  • Naomi Gerstel

    1. University of Massachusetts**
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    • **

      Department of Sociology and SADRI, Machmer Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003.


Department of Sociology, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (natalia@sarkisian.net).

Abstract

This article compares the extended family integration of Euro and Mexican American women and men and assesses the importance of class and culture in explaining ethnic differences. Using National Survey of Families and Households II data (N = 7,929), we find that ethnic differences depend on the dimension of integration. Mexican Americans exhibit higher rates of kin coresidence and proximity, but lower rates of financial support than Euro Americans. Two additional differences exist only among women: Mexican American women are more likely than Euro American women to give household or child care help. As to the explanation for these differences, social class is the key factor; cultural variables have little effect. Our findings support a theoretical framework attending to intersections among ethnicity, gender, and class.

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