Gaining the upper hand: Economic mobility among immigrant and domestic minorities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


Labour market experiences of three immigrant minorities in the United States are reviewed and contrasted with the three principal theories bearing on ethnic poverty and economic mobility: cultural assimilation, human capital acquisition, and industrial restructuring. Although there is support for each, they do not account satisfactorily for the experiences of many ethnic groups, in particular those who have progressed on the basis of socially embedded small entrepreneurship. An alternative conceptualization is suggested by these experiences that highlights the significance of community level variables and, in particular, alternative sources of social capital. The character of these processes is examined. Its implications for theories and policy towards ethnic minorities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-522
Number of pages32
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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