Social Mobility across the Pacific: The Case of Japanese in the United States
Tate Kihara - PhD Candidate in Sociology, Brown University
Recent studies on the historical social mobility of immigrants in the United States during the ‘Age of Mass Migration’ (mid-19th to early-20th century) have found very weak persistence of first-generation immigrants’ pre-migration family characteristics among their second-generation children’s socio-economic attainment. However, such extant studies have focused on European origin groups (e.g., Italians and Irish) and have neglected non-European population that migrated at the same historical period but were incorporated in different social, legal and cultural contexts. Using historical, linked, multigenerational survey data of Japanese immigrants (Japanese American Research Project survey), I explore the multi- and inter-generational persistence of the ‘zeroth’ generation (i.e., Japanese grandparents of the second-generation) and first-generation immigrants’ pre-migration socio-economic and cultural family background on second-generation socio-economic attainment in the United States. My results reveal that both grand-parental and parental pre-migration socio-economic and cultural background had strong positive association with second-generation attainment, net of post-migration socio-economic attainment and reception contexts of the first-generation.
Tate Kihara is a Ph.D. Candidate in sociology at Brown University where he is also affiliated with the Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC). Prior to his enrollment at Brown, he received his MA and BA from the University of Tokyo. As an aspiring social demographer, Tate studies international migration in both historical and contemporary settings. His most recent research focuses on the historical Japanese population (late 19th-early 20th century) in the continental United States from a sociological and demographic perspective. His works have appeared in International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Population Research and Policy Review.
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