Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The new immigrant: A comparison of the factors contributing to upper class status among non-Hispanic groups in the United States
by Pahlavan, Mehdi, Ph.D., Howard University, 2014, 125; 3629340
Abstract (Summary)

Historically, the majority of immigrants to the United States came from European countries. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act (IRA) fundamentally changed the configuration of immigrants to the United States. The largest immigrant communities now consist of Latin Americans, Asians, and Africans. Another important development in immigrant communities in the past few decades has been the growth of a disproportionately large upper class in non-Hispanic immigrant communities. In this study, I will investigate the determinants of upper class status with a focus on non-Hispanic immigrants in the United States.

I have used a theoretical framework consisting of a wide spectrum of social theories. The theoretical framework encompasses Demographic and Structural Factors, Assimilation Theory, Weberian Theory, Elite Theories, and Marxian Theory. From this wide spectrum of theories, I have developed a set of fifteen exogenous variables including key socio-demographic variables, metropolitan area, region, the number of hours worked, immigration from an English speaking country, citizenship status, the length of stay in the United States, occupational status, occupational prestige, educational attainment, private schooling, and employment status. Consequently, I have analyzed the influence of these variables on upper class status attainment among non-Hispanic immigrants in the United States.

The current study has utilized secondary data analysis from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to examine the relationship among study variables. More specifically, by conducting block analysis, the result of the regression analysis spelled out the degree of influence of each theoretical perspective on the dependent variable, upper class status attainment.

The results of this study have revealed that Structural and Demographic factors make up the largest share of influence on upper class status attainment among non-Hispanic immigrants in the United States. The most influential variables emerged as “hours worked” (β = 0.211) from the Demographic and Structural Factors block, “educational attainment” (β = 0.174) from elite theory, and “Marital Status” (β = 0.119) from the Demographic and Structural Factors block respectively.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nuriddin, Tariqah
Commitee: Livingston, Ivor, Manuel, Ron C., Olobatuyi, Moses, Payne-Jackson, Arvilla
School: Howard University
Department: Sociology and Anthropology
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Social research, Ethnic studies, Social structure
Keywords: Hispanic, Immigration, Inequality, Mobility, Non-Hispanic, Upper class
Publication Number: 3629340
ISBN: 978-1-321-06141-3
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