The new U.S. immigrants: How do they affect our understanding of the African American experience?

Frank D. Bean, Cynthia Feliciano, Jennifer Lee, Jennifer Van Hook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Because Moynihan's 1965 report (in)famously emphasized the need to change black family culture to ameliorate black poverty, his work holds relevance for understanding factors affecting color lines. The implications of recent immigration for U.S. race relations depend on family cultural orientations among Mexican Americans, as well as on how Anglos culturally perceive this group. Mexican-origin family behaviors are often reified as either being unduly familistic or largely governed by culture of poverty tendencies. Here, we review research suggesting that neither of these is accurate, thus indicating that future Mexican-origin economic advancement is as likely to turn on the availability of structural opportunities as on cultural factors. In-depth interviews with Anglos further suggest that Mexican-origin persons are culturally viewed with less prejudice and discrimination than blacks, which implies that the integration of Mexican-origin persons into American society (unlike that of blacks) is progressing at a steady if not rapid pace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-220
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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