Monday, December 3, 2018
Mitch Moxley on Slate reports on a fascinating study. According to a study by University of California, Irvine, Sociology Professor Jennifer Lee and UCLA Sociology Professor Min Zhou, contrary to stereotypes, Mexican-Americans are the most successful second-generation group in the country. The reason is simple: The study considered not just where people finished, but from where they started.
The report serves as counter-point to arguments raised by Amy Chua, a Yale Law School professor better known as the Tiger Mom. In a new book, The Triple Package, Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, argue that some groups—namely Chinese, Jews, Cubans, and Nigerians—are more successful than others because they possess certain cultural traits that enable them to be. The UC study, however, argues that it’s not any specific cultural trait that makes groups like Chinese-Americans more successful than others. Lee and Zhou say both Chinese-American and Mexican-American parents highly value education. Most parents do. But the reason Chinese-Americans get ahead is because they start ahead. Way ahead, in many cases.
The study, called “The Success Frame and Achievement Paradox: The Cost and Consequences for Asian-Americans,” looked at Chinese-, Vietnamese-, and Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles whose parents immigrated to the U.S.