Research in Human Ecology

Pakistani immigrant organisational spaces in Toronto and New York City

Guarnizo, Luis E., and Ali R. Chaudhary

This study examines how ‘contexts of reception’ in two migrant cities shape the organisational infrastructure for Pakistani immigrant communities in Toronto and New York City (NYC). Previous research is divided into two epistemic camps, one focusing on locally oriented organisations promoting settlement/incorporation and the other on transnational organisations—thus obscuring the
relationships between these organisations.

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Puerto Ricans in Low Wage Jobs and Labor Markets: The Issues, Trends and Policies

Visser, M.A. and E. Melendez

Puerto Ricans are concentrated in low-wage jobs and experience higher rates of unemployment and poverty than other Hispanic subgroups. Through a cross-sectional data analysis from the American Community Survey, 2006– 2008, we examine the experience of Puerto Rican workers. Though educational attainment and language disparities play a role, structural factors such as concentration in low-wage service industries also explain the disadvantaged standing of Puerto Ricans in the labor market. This analysis highlights the importance of ethnic-specific studies and the need for research on factors that may influence Puerto Rican workers’ mobility in and out of low-wage jobs.

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Determinants of Transnational Political Engagement among Dominican and Colombian Migrants in Southern Europe

Guarnizo, Luis E., and Ali R. Chaudhary

This paper seeks to investigate the determinants of transnational political engagement among contemporary Latin American migrants in Spain and Italy. We test a series of hypotheses drawing on conventional assimilation theory and recent transnational migration and social network studies. Zeroinflated negative binomial regression models are used to analyse survey data on Colombian and Dominican migrants in Spain and Italy collected as part of the New Landscapes of Migration: A Comparative Study of Mobility and Transnational Practices between Latin America and Europe (NELMI) research project, conducted in four European countries – Spain, Italy, Denmark, and England. Results indicate that political transnational engagement is a gendered processes dominated by highly educated men. Dominican migrants are generally more likely than Colombians to engage in transnational politics. Overall results challenge the assimilationist assumptions that incorporation and transnational engagement are opposite processes. In fact, Colombians and Dominicans living in Spain, a country with which they share the same language, religious affiliation, and a history of colonialism, are more likely to engage in transnational political action than their counterparts in Italy. We conclude by comparing the findings from the European data with previously published results examining the same groups’ transnational political engagement in the United States.

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Changes in the Structure of Low-Wage Labor Markets and Skills Selectivity among Puerto Rican Migrants

Visser, M.A. and E. Melendez

This study provides an analysis of the occupational and educational selectivity of Puerto Rican migration to and from the United States using consolidated data from the American Community Survey for 2006 to 2008. Using existing theoretical explanations of migration, the study assesses the extent to which current explanations of migration are applicable to the most recent migratory flows. To ascertain the validity of the proposition that Puerto Rican migration flows are primarily composed of the most disadvantaged workers, we divided the sample into two labor market segments—those employed in low-wage occupations and those not employed in low-wage occupations. The main conclusions of this study are that net migration outflows from the island are likely to persist to the extent that growing disparities in labor market conditions between Puerto Rico and the United States persist, and that the patterns of selectivity predicted by various theories of migration are not unmistakably identifiable in current flows. Such evidence calls for a new look at the case of Puerto Rican migration.

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