Immigrants from the Dominican Republic have faced a difficult transition to life in the United States. They and their children suffer from high poverty rates as well as poor educational and occupational outcomes. They are currently undergoing a large geographic shift - moving out of the areas in which they initially settled and into new communities, which are often smaller and have weaker economies.
With an award from the Russell Sage Foundation, Leif Jensen and Salvador Oropesa of Pennsylvania State University will examine one such community of Dominican immigrants in Reading, Pennsylvania. The study will explore Dominican racial and ethnic formation and assimilation in Reading, while examining the reception they receive in their new home. The investigators will complement this ethnographic work with an analysis of 2000 Census data, in order to examine the socio-economic outcomes of first generation Dominicans and their U.S.-born children. At the end of this pilot project, they hope to be in a position to develop and evaluate procedures for a larger study of Dominicans in diverse sites. This project will shed light on how a significant yet struggling immigrant population is received and, in turn, responds as it makes a new home for itself in the United States.
Reports and Publications
- Jensen, Leif, Jeffrey H. Cohen, Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, Gordon F. De Jong and Leila Rodriguez. 2006. "Ethnic Identities, Language and Economic Outcomes Among Dominicans in a New Destination: A Research Note." Social Science Quarterly, 87(5): 1088-1099. (PDF)
Oropesa, R. S. and Leif Jensen. 2010. "Dominican Immigrants and Discrimination in a New Destination: The Case of Reading, Pennsylvania." City & Community, 9 (3): 274-298. (Gated)
Oropesa, R.S. 2011. "Neighborhood Disorder and Social Cohesiveness among Immigrants in a New Destination: Dominicans in Reading, PA." Urban Studies 49(1): 112-129.