Perceived social standing among Asian immigrants in the US: Do reasons for immigration matter?

Juan Chen, Gilbert C. Gee, Michael S. Spencer, Sheldon H. Danziger, David T. Takeuchi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the association between a subjective measure of social status and the reasons for immigration among Asian immigrants in the US. We use data from the National Latino and Asian American Study to test several hypotheses about this association. Our analyses show the positive effect on perceived social standing of migrating for better education, the negative effect of migrating to seek employment, and the negative impact of refugee status. Migrating for family reunification can be associated with various circumstances, which lead to differing outcomes. The results suggest that the notion that immigrants arrive in the US with limited resources and few skills and move slowly up the socioeconomic ladder must be reassessed in light of the complex social context and factors such as ethnicity, gender, divergent immigration paths, and a range of associated circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-869
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Asian immigrants
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Perceived social standing
  • Reasons for immigration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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