BIRMS Book Discussion: Divergent Fates: Origins, Destinations and the Sociology of the Second Generation with Renee Luthra (University of Essex)

Location: IES, Pleinlaan 5, 1st floor, Voltaire Room
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The newly established VUB platform on migration and diversity (BIRMS) will host a book discussion with Renee Luthra (University of Essex)

(This is a brown bag lunch seminar, please bring your lunch)



As space is limited (15 to 20 max), please register at


Renee Luthra is a sociologist and director of the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Essex. In an informal setting, she would be happy to present and discuss her latest forthcoming book entitled Divergent Fates: Origins, Destinations and the Sociology of the Second Generation that she co-authored with Thomas Soehl (Mc Gill) and Roger Waldinger (UCLA) on the Second Generation in the US, forthcoming with Routledge in Autumn 2018.



As of the last census in 2010, one in four children in the United States had a foreign born parent. This growing “second generation” immigrant population represents the most diverse segment of American society: the children of cleaners, builders, and crop-pickers, as well as corporate moguls, inventors and scientists, their parents arrive from all corners of the globe and bring with them socialization experiences representing a wide range of the world’s cultural variation. Moving in a world where no one is free to cross state borders simply as they wish, today’s second generation also have families which span international boundaries, and unequal legal rights to move across them or even to reside in the country in which they are raised. As a result of these uniquely international influences on the lives of the children of immigrants, a sociology of the second generation requires an international perspective to understand the diversity in second generation school, work, ethnic attachment and political life.

This book develops and then applies this necessary international perspective. As a whole, it is a work of synthesis, absorbing and systematically assessing hypotheses from multiple theoretical frameworks – foremost assimilation, segmented assimilation, and transnationalism – and demonstrating the utility of the international perspective for understanding second generation outcomes. We draw on internationally standardized measures of sending country value orientations to glean new insights about how group context shapes the lives of the second generation. Using multi-level modelling techniques, we also discover that, despite the preoccupation with ethnic group difference in the second generation literature today, the majority of variation in second generation outcomes is found within, rather than between ethnic groups. Previously unobserved international influences at the family level - differences in legal status and the strengths of cross-border ties - matter for the children of immigrants raised in the United States. Thus, the international perspective we develop is crucial to understanding within-group differences as well as differences between groups of second generation migrants.