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Between Adulthood and Childhood: The Boundary Work of Immigrant Entrepreneurial Children

Lisa Sun-Hee Park
Berkeley Journal of Sociology
Vol. 45, Seductions, Pressures, Identities and Transformations: Perspectives on WORK (2001), pp. 114-135
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41035559
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Between Adulthood and Childhood: The Boundary Work of Immigrant Entrepreneurial Children
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Abstract

Children growing up in small immigrant family businesses must negotiate a variety of roles, obligations, and expectations. Multiple responsibilities are required to function as both a worker (i. e. adult) and family member (i. e. child). Most of all, it is the mental process, or "boundary work," of separating home and work coupled with conflicting family role expectations that makes the family business especially complicated. In this paper, I argue that the social context of Asian immigrant small businesses creates an environment that requires children who grow up within it to adhere to unique developmental expectations. The embedded nature of work and home in the context of immigrant small family businesses requires that these adolescents and young adults experience a premature adulthood at the same time that they endure a prolonged childhood.

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