From Hometown to American School: Understanding the Educational Trajectories of Different Generations of Children of Migrants from the Same Town (1900s-1970s)

Gabrielle Escaich, ERC Lubartworld, Ecole Normale Supérieure, New York University

This proposal aims to understand the determinants of the educational trajectories of children of migrants in a socio-historical approach. The population on which this study is based consists of the children (around 200) of all the migrants from a small Polish town, Lubartów, who immigrated to the United States between the 1900s and 1950. While many research works in social sciences deal with the determinants of the educational trajectories of descendants of immigrants, few studies precisely reconstruct, in a longitudinal approach, the previous trajectories of the children and their parents, including before their arrival in the country of immigration. This is what we propose: to follow the trajectories of parents and children, from the parents' place of origin to the country of immigration, via different historical sources and not only via retrospective data, in order to fully account for the effects of these previous trajectories on the children's educational pathways. To this end, in addition to sources related to the country of immigration (lists of passengers, censuses, school archives), we also use local sources (population registers) from the town of origin of the parents, providing rich socio-demographic information on individuals in the country of emigration and the conditions of departure. We will be interested in particular in the weight of two types of factors in the educational trajectories of children of migrants. First, the migratory trajectories and conditions of immigration (successive countries of residence, date of arrival, naturalization, etc.) of parents and children. Secondly, the social trajectories of parents: what is the role of parents’ social positions in the country of origin and in the country of immigration on children's trajectories? By studying the educational trajectories of children belonging to different generations, we will also analyze changes in the relative weight of these different factors in these trajectories.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 155. Educational Institutions and Student Well-Being