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Journal Article

Inheriting the Homeland? Intergenerational Transmission of Cross-Border Ties in Migrant Families

Thomas Soehl and Roger Waldinger
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 118, No. 3 (November 2012), pp. 778-813
DOI: 10.1086/667720
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/667720
Page Count: 36
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Inheriting the Homeland? Intergenerational Transmission of
                    Cross-Border Ties in Migrant Families
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Abstract

Theories of migrant transnationalism emphasize the enduring imprint of the premigration connections that the newcomers bring with them. But how do the children of migrants raised in the parents’ adopted country develop ties to the parental home country? Using a structural equation model and data from a recent survey of adult immigrant offspring in Los Angeles, this article shows that second-generation cross-border activities are strongly affected by earlier experiences of and exposure to home country influences. Socialization in the parental household is powerful, transmitting distinct home country competencies, loyalties, and ties, but not a coherent package of transnationalism. Our analysis of five measures of cross-border activities and loyalties among the grown children of migrants shows that transmission is specific to the social logic underlying the connection: activities rooted in family relationships such as remitting are transmitted differently than emotional attachments to the parents’ home country.

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