How African American is the Net Black Advantage?: Differences in College Attendance Among Immigrant Blacks, Native Blacks, and Whites
black immigrants, second generation, higher education, African Americans, selective colleges, propensity score analysis
Previous research shows that black high school graduates are more likely than similar whites to attend college net of differences in socioeconomic family background and academic performance. That is, blacks evidence a net advantage in college-going. However, increasing numbers of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbeanin highly selective universities raise the question of whether the net black advantage in college attendance is very African American. Using a large, nationally-representative sample of students (NELS:88), we investigate whether previous findings of a net black advantage in college enrollment are reflective of the educational trajectories of first and second generation blacks rather than those of third-and-later generation blacks, whose historical and contemporary experiences have been the basis for such educational and social policies as affirmative action. We find dual, yet distinct, cases of the net black advantage in college-going, such that third-and-later generation blacks are more likely than similar whites to attend all types of colleges net of background factors, whereas first and second generation blacks are only more likely than similar whites to attend selective colleges. We explore the theoretical implications that our findings have for immigration research, particularly segmented assimilation theory, as well as Obgu’s theory of oppositional culture.
Bennett, Pamela and Amy Lutz. 2009. “How African American is the Net Black Advantage?: Differences in College Enrollment among Immigrant Blacks, Native Blacks and Whites.” Sociology of Education 82:70-100.
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