Cover of Comparative Economic Transformations by Yu-shan Wu
Comparative Economic Transformations
Mainland China, Hungary, the Soviet Union, and Taiwan
Yu-shan Wu

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1995
300 pages.
$60.00

Cloth ISBN: 9780804723886

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Winner of the 1991 Joseph Levenson Prize, sponsored by the Association for Asian Studies.

Winner of the 1991 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.

Winner of the 1996 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.

In virtually all advanced industrialized countries, the explosive topic of immigration has engendered heated argument, political anger, cultural anxieties, and blatant racism. In the United States, most of the attention is on the stream of Mexicans crossing the border in such numbers that early in the next century Latinos—immigrant and U.S.-born—are expected to surpass African Americans as the largest minority group.

This book focuses on key aspects of the problem, including the puzzling differences between Mexcio-born adolescents and adolescents born in the United States. Whereas Mexico-born adolescents are highly motivated to learn English and use the educational system to improve their lot, U.S.-born adolescents seem angry, frustrated, and less interested in academic achievement. What accounts for this difference?

In a unique research design, the authors seek answers in a psychological and cultural study of four groups of adolescents: a group in a Mexican town with a high rate of migration; a group that had migrated to the United States with their families, a group of second-generation Latinos; and a group of white ethnographic observations, the authors pursue such questions as: How is achievement motivation patterned Mexican family life? How do the concerns of white American adolescents differ from those of the other groups? What happens to immigrant families as children shift cultural values in the new country?

Among the many significant conclusion to emerge from this study is that whereas Mexicans see their achievements in the context of family obligations, white adolescents struggle with issues of independence and ambivalence toward authority, and U.S.-born Latinos—hybrid children of two worlds—share concerns with both white and Mexico-born peers.

About the authors

Carola Suárez-Orozco is Research Associate in Human Development at Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco is Professor of Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University Graduate School of Education.