Date of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education


College of Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies and Research

First Advisor

Ronald Chennault, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen Monkman, PhD

Third Advisor

Leah Schmalzbauer, PhD


Recent work done by Alejandro Portes and Ruben Rumbaut posits that future generations of Mexican Americans are not likely to improve on the poor socio-economic and cultural status inhibiting their success in the United States. While second generation Mexican American immigrants struggle to acculturate, both academically and economically, to their new homeland, other immigrant groups, such as Chinese Americans, are generally thriving. Through interviewing Chinese and Mexican parents of students at a Chicago elementary school, this study will examine the social and cultural capital of the two immigrant groups upon arrival to the Unites States, how these forms of capital have helped or hindered their acculturation process, and what effect this might have on the acculturation process and eventual educational and social success of their children in the United States.

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