Gender and Ethnicity in College Choices
Featherman and Hauser’s (1978) analysis leads us to conclude that education has been an avenue of occupational attainment for immigrant groups. High educational attainment has facilitated the mobility of some immigrant groups, while lack of schooling has severely impeded the ability of other groups to move up the ranks occupationally. However, the literature indicates a persuasive coalition between general attitudes of a given minority community and individual choice. For example, in the United States, both foreign-born and second-generation Mexican men suffer an occupational disadvantage due to their low levels of education while Russian Jews have achieved greater occupational status by attaining higher levels of education (Olneck, 1995). Examining data from the 1976 Survey of Education and Income, Hirschman and Wong (1984) found similar results, and concluded that “It is only through over achievement in education that Asian-Americans reach socioeconomic parity with the majority population” (p. 600).