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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Loucky, James

Second Advisor

Stevenson, Joan C.

Third Advisor

Hammond, Joyce D., 1950-


Relatively recent immigration from non-traditional sending areas such as Latin America and Asia reignited scholarship dedicated to understanding and measuring the adaptation and assimilation of immigrants and their descendents. Segmented assimilation theory emerged from this scholarship and predicts three pathways of assimilation for the children of immigrants: positive, downward and selective. I focused on selective assimilation - an assimilation strategy that intentionally preserves culture of origin and maintains relationships to co-nationals and an immigrant community. I explored successful assimilation strategies employed by 1.5 and second generation Mexicans that live in Seattle, Washington. Surveys and interviews administered to a small sample of this population highlighted, as expected, the basic validity of modes of incorporation, human capital and family as keys to assimilation. In-depth interviews provided an emic perspective of what it means to be Mexican and American and the complexity of living biculturally. Interviews revealed further how culture, family and connections to community influenced an individual's advancement. Without exception, participants utilized a composite assimilation strategy that maximized positive aspects of American and Mexican cultures.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Digital Format


Geographic Coverage

Seattle (Wash.); United States


Academic theses




Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

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