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Acculturation Identity and Higher Education: Is There a Trade-off Between Ethnic Identity and Education?

Lena Nekby, Magnus Rödin and Gülay Özcan
The International Migration Review
Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter 2009), pp. 938-973
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20681736
Page Count: 36
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Acculturation Identity and Higher Education: Is There a Trade-off Between Ethnic Identity and Education?
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Abstract

This paper examines the role of identification to home and host cultures on the pursuit of higher educations for individuals with immigrant backgrounds. Identity is defined according to a two-dimensional acculturation framework based on strength of identification to both ethnic background cultures and the majority culture. Results indicate that integrated men that identify with both the majority and the background culture are associated with higher probabilities of completed tertiary educations than men that identify only with the majority culture as well as men with weak affiliations to both background and majority cultures. These results hold despite controls for early education outcomes and socioeconomic status. No systematic differences in higher educational attainment by identity are found for women once differences in early education are accounted for. These results put into question the premise of oppositional identities, i.e., a trade-off between ethnic identity and higher educational achievement.

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