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Kids at WorkLatinx Families Selling Food on the Streets of Los Angeles$
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Emir Estrada

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479811519

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479811519.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Working Side by Side

Working Side by Side

Intergenerational Family Dynamics

(p.64) 3 Working Side by Side
Kids at Work

Emir Estrada

NYU Press

This chapter challenges segmented assimilation theory by looking at parent–child work relations. Unlike the parents in this study, all of the children I interviewed speak English and are familiar with American culture and technology, and the majority of the children are also U.S. citizens. These are resources unique to the children and I call these American generational resources (AGRs). I argue that children in street vending families share power in the household because they contribute to their family's income, and they are involved in business negotiations and decision-making processes. These children and youth speak English and enjoy legal status while most of their parents remain undocumented and are Spanish monolinguals. Segmented assimilation theory contends that this power imbalance in favor of the children could result in dissonant acculturation. Contrary to what segmented assimilation theory would predict, parents’ authority over their children is not diminished as a result of children's faster acculturation. Rather, parents who work with their children have more control over their children because they spend more time with them. In addition, children's AGRs are valued resources by their parents and are frequently useful for the family street vending business.

Keywords:   American generational resources, segmented assimilation theory, dissonant acculturation, intergenerational family dynamics, street vending, children and work, family work relations, informal economy

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