Sociology Research Paper on Ethnicity, Immigration and Family Life

Ethnicity, Immigration and Family Life


This research explores the relationship between ethnicity, immigration, and family life. The major areas the research focuses on are the observable demographic shifts and the life transformation experiences people go through in order to adapt to new areas of living (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 61). As the case stands, racial or ethnic groupings and other immigration challenges are destined to occur due to changes in places of residence and consequently, inability to adapt easily to the life styles of the native population. Therefore, immigration presents a wide range of challenges on human population and the statistical information presented in this research reflect upon economic, cultural, family, social and housing changes.

In summary, the findings of this research are based on the notion that native children are much more likely to have both parents than children in immigrant homes (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 61). This means that children from immigrant families are brought up by their grandparents, close relatives, and non-relatives. Secondly, this investigation is correspondence to the general understanding that parental education and training is the most central characteristic of family circumstances, and this is very relevant to both individual and social development (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 69). Finally, the understanding of immigration is controlled by evidence of official poverty rates among immigrant families, which is much higher than poverty levels among native groups. 

Based on the mentioned findings, there is a growing need for policies and programs to help reduce social complexities, ensure education success, economic progress, and economic well-being of the immigrant groups (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 69). In general, this study is elliptical to historical challenges of immigration in USA and current economic status of the nation as attributed to ethnic and social diversities.

Historical Information

Over the past decades, USA has had the opportunity to learn through experience. This is because the country has faced significant ethnicity and family challenges brought forth by major demographic shifts. On the part of family experiences, demographic shifts have clearly transformed the way the American people live, and the impact is prominent when we focus on early stages of a person’s life, the growth of slums and poor living conditions in some specific states. Statistical information reveal a figure close to 25 percent of the US population as the proportion taken by children today compared to 36 percent in 1960, meaning that the number of children in every family reduces as we progress into the future. This incident means that families have become more concerned with the life their children lead other than the number of children they can possibly raise in the process.   

A part from the reduction in number of children, families tend to raise their children differently. Today, over 67 percent of the American population consists of working women who stay away from home most of the time or committed to other social issues. In around 1950, only 15 percent of the American women were spending most of their time away from home. However, due to changes in demographic composition and parenting roles, families concerns are much more inclined towards the need for social influence. However, as the need to have social influence overrides the needs for establish better families, nearly 26 percent of the American population still lives under poverty, whereby the majority includes neglected families or those families with fewer than two parents.

The rise of racial and ethnic minority groups takes the largest share of the American population. The American natives are currently concerned with immigrations and births to immigrants, which are the main forces that drive the American historical, social and economic transformation.  From several illustrates, one would realize that immigrant families form the fastest growing segment of the American population and this has become a threat to Native Americans. Since the year 1990, the number of immigrant families has growth in digits, seven times higher than the Native Americans. Still on family figurative changes, by the start of 2000, 1 child out of 5 American children came from a newcomer family and the ratio continues to expand with improvements on economic performances of foreign families.

Population Concentration and Dispersion

The research reveals that immigrant families have only had the opportunity to settle in particular states, which at one time in history became overpopulated compelling people to expand into other states, and today every American state consists of people of different races and ethnic origins (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 71). Studies have also shown that growth of immigrant population in various states has resulted in tremendous increase in racial and ethnic grouping, and recognition for social-class becomes even higher than before (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 73). The graph below depicts the percentage growth of immigrant families in American on a global perspective as early and 2000.

Text Box: Percentage immigrants

    Based on the graph above, we notice that USA has been the main destination for immigrants both in the past and at present. The research reveals two major prominent immigration waves that have ever occurred in USA; the immigration between 1901 and 1910 and the one between 1980s and 1990s. Within the mentioned periods, peoples’ origins have shifted across the world, affecting lives across all diversities, ranging from social to economic perspectives.

Immigration, the spread of ethnicity and Family Circumstances  

Immigrations have brought recognizable changes to family circumstances. Focusing on the experiences children have concerning their families and areas of origin, most children become used to single parenting and drops in number of family members. People have also presented various ideologies on issues of immigration and the spread of ethnicity in across the American states (Chuang, & Tamis-LeMonda, 2013, p. 75). Correspondence to the argument of ethnic transformation is the amalgamation of European immigrants into American societies and the cultural changes this immigrant group brought forth. Between 1880 and 1930, the Italians, Ploes Lithuanians and the Russian Jewish, whom the rest of the ethnic groups considered desperate, appeared different in character, social practices, literacy, culture, economic background, and in language from the prior waves of immigrants. After several years of existence, the mentioned differences are no more and the various groups have merged together, forming one large and amorphous class with a mixed European ancestry (McGoldrick, Giordano & Garcia-Preto, 2005, p. 32). America experiences rapid growth of population of mixed ancestry, and because of the overusing European practices, the white Americans feel that they are potentially losing touch with their immigrant origins and communal practices. The reasons mentioned behind the loss in ethnic contact revolve around dimensional ethnic prejudice or discriminations, largely uninvolved ethnic politics as well as consumption of ethnic foods and products (McGoldrick, Giordano & Garcia-Preto, 2005, p. 33). The white Americans identify themselves more ethnically superior than any other group in the country since they are the first groups to settle in the region. The level of ethnicity has become increasingly complex affecting not only the economic world but also intercepting into the social world with inhibitions to pervasive intermarriages, mixed ancestry claimant, social arc rivals, and separate residential norms.

On the notion of social differences, ethnicity is more symbolic to the choices people make, and this in one way determines the far people can go as far as communal participation is concerned. In one view, it is also important to understand the assimilation process and the intentions of the European ethnic groups to incorporate the Asian and the Latin Americans into the American society. Evidences have shown that income and occupational results of USA lean on patterns of national fertility, common language built over centuries, residential resemblance of natives, improvements in socio-economic status of every ethnic group, accepted intermarriages, which is now common as well as provision of equitable, and all-inclusive education (McGoldrick, Giordano  & Garcia-Preto, 2005, p. 35). As such, the American progress relies on the first and second immigrant generations; the Southerners and Easterners who rode the wave of prosperity and full economic achievements into the country. This investigation relates to immigrant groups and the observed socio-economic boom, which is the main cause of European immigrant assimilation in USA.

At no particular time will one ethnic community accept to be inferior and the battle for racial and ethnic recognition will continue to supersede other interests. As long as one ethnic group will continue to view itself more superior than other groups, immigration will remain one of the biggest threats to America, its population, economic growth, and social progress.

Evidences for Gaps and Limitations of Immigration, ethnicity and Family Circumstances

From a practical approach, mortality and fertility rates are occasioned by the recorded information and terms or ethnic or immigrant origin and not on basic accounts of birthplace. Evidences have shown that infertility among ethnic groups in USA is dependent on pre-assumptions of laborious methods like ‘own-child’ methods of immigrant families. In every circumstance, any immigrant does not feel appreciated when asked to reveal his or her ethnic identity, more especially where racial categories are recognized. The own-child method reveals single parenting as one of the factors leading to low growth in family lives. On the basis of family circumstance, children are the more disadvantaged groups and with the changes in demographic setups, there are complications as far as children’s economic well-being and education progress is concerned.

Some of the social challenges attached to immigrations, ethnicity, and family life revolves around population pressure and stress to social amenities, deplorable living condition, social immoralities, and compromise to national sovereignty. On accounts of population pressure, the immigrants add to the number of natives and this creates a demographic rise and pressure to natural resources. With exceeding pressure on natural resources and other social amenities, people are forced to live deplorable lives since the available resources cannot sustain their rising needs. The government must therefore come in rescue and expand its services to the people but since there is continuous inflow of immigrants, the government will still face allocation challenges. Apart from population pressure and poor living conditions, the rise in poverty levels compel people to seek for alternative sources of livelihood, and at times they get involved in immoral activities. The rise of crime rates and prostitution show the extent to which people can go in order to meet some of their basic needs.


In general, USA has had new immigrations majorly from Asia and Latin America, with several distinguishing features from other older immigrants like the European ethnic groups. Essentially, the new Asian and Latin America immigrants form part of the ongoing flow of immigrant groups, and the immigration process appears to be sustained indefinitely without retrogression (McGoldrick, Giordano & Garcia-Preto, 2005, p. 35). The fact that the inflow of immigrants is sustainable makes USA a nation of continuous immigration and not a country of periodic entry as one would expect. The American government has developed immigration policies with an intention of reducing mass movement into the country while allowing entry economically viable groups.

On similar account, evidences have shown that the new Asian-Latin American immigrants are likely to create highly stratified social characteristics based on improved incomes, equal distribution of resources, and strategic growth in labor markets, and this will possibly ensure reduction in movement of people searching for better paying jobs and more fulfilling living conditions outside America. Labor mobility is yet another factor that leads to immigration and as long as a country is in a position of sustaining its population, immigration becomes something of the past (McGoldrick, Giordano & Garcia-Preto, 2005, p. 35). Finally, the perceived national origins and geographical distribution of Asian-Latin American immigrants are highly concentrated in particular areas. Any policy created by the government should ensure that new immigrants spread into other states to allow for cultural diffusion without straining current social and economic progress of the country (McGoldrick, Giordano  & Garcia-Preto, 2005, p. 37).    


Chuang, S. S., & Tamis-LeMonda, C. S. (2013). Gender roles in immigrant families. New York: Springer.

McGoldrick, M., Giordano, J., & Garcia-Preto, N. (2005). Ethnicity & family therapy. New York: Guilford Press.