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Getting AheadSocial Mobility, Public Housing, and Immigrant Networks$
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Silvia Dominguez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720776

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720776.001.0001

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Social Support and Family Life

Social Support and Family Life

(p.65) 3 Social Support and Family Life
Getting Ahead

Silvia Domínguez

NYU Press

This chapter explores how self-propelling agency and social support shape immigrant trajectories and social mobility, including the negotiation of social support, the fluid nature of networks, and the roles of social support from a significant other, ties that offer leverage, and transnational ties. It also explores the challenges that self-propelling agents (SPAs) face in their quest for social mobility, including the struggle to maintain their children's “immigrant identity,” the shifting gender dynamics, and the negotiation of a changing culture and generational differences. To illustrate these points, the chapter mainly draws from the story of Josefa, a first-generation Afro-Honduran immigrant mother who lives in public housing in South Boston with her husband, Alberto, and their three children—Katrina, Yolanda, and Albertito.

Keywords:   SPA, social support, social networks, children's immigrant identity, gender dynamics, generational differences, self-propelling agents

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