Doctoral Dissertation Research: Intergenerational Transmission of Status in New Immigrant Families


Shamus Khan
Professor of Sociology & American Studies
Nicol Valdez
PhD Student


This project is a study of U.S.-born, citizen youth to better understand the intergenerational transfer of citizenship status. The project compares the experience of youth from undocumented and documented immigrant families. The legal-illegal dichotomy ingrained in U.S. immigration policies is conceptually limiting for understanding the diversity of citizenship experiences for the children of immigrants. A more nuanced analysis is now required to further uncover the generational effects of parental undocumented status on their U.S. born children with citizenship. This type of research offers new ways of understanding the intergenerational transmission of parents' social background to their children and develops insight into how local context can mediate and shape the lived experiences of immigrant origin youth. This research holds the potential to help policy makers, educators, and the wider public understand the social implications of undocumented status for future generations.