Perceived advantages: the influence of urban and suburban neighbourhood context on the socialization and adaptation of Mexican immigrant young menedit
Neighbourhoods are important contexts for the socialization and adaptation of immigrant youth. They provide resources and opportunities for positive interactions with peers and non-family adults. But neighbourhoods differ systemically in their demographic composition and the type and quality of resources they offer young people. In the US, there is an implicit assumption equating suburban neighbourhoods with better schools, more jobs and higher quality housing compared to urban neighbourhoods. There is however, little explicit empirical evidence of how such differences may shape the experience of immigrant youth. This gap is concerning in light of recent trends of immigrants to move directly to the suburbs. The first part of the paper reviews the literatures on immigrant adaptation and neighbourhood effects. Drawing on two qualitative studies, the second part of the paper illustrates mechanisms through which suburban and urban neighbourhoods may influence the socialization and adaptation of immigrant youth growing up in them.