Unformatted text preview: Sociological Theory of
Explaining the Migration
Professor Luis AlvarezLopez, Ph.D. The Equilibrium Theory Individual choice: This theory explain the migration process as a result
of the individual rational choice. He or she choose to leave because a demand for
workers existed in the most advanced society. After World War II the changes in the capitalist
system triggered an increase in the demand of
workers from third world countries.
2 The Historical Structural Theory Macroeconomic Changes: This theory emphasize that macroeconomic
changes beyond the control of the migrants
triggered the conditions which force them to
leave. Receiving societies are seems as society with
need for a specific labor force at the bottom of
the social ladder.
3 A Bifurcated Labor Market The Changes in U.S. Economic. The shifting from a manufacturing economic to
the service economic (informational age) led to
the post-industrial society. The restructuring of U.S. economic created a
bifurcated labor market that required high skilled
and low unskilled workers. 4 The Rigidity of the Labor Market The Polarization of Wages: High skilled workers received excellent salaries,
plus usually a great package of benefits: medical
benefits, pension plan and sometime educational
benefits. Low skilled workers received low salaries and the
possibility of upward mobility are most of the
time close. 5 Bifurcate Labor Market Human Capital: Well paying jobs are associated to high human
capital that exhibited specialized knowledge. Low paying jobs are associated with a poorly
educated labor force, mostly ethnic minority and
recent immigrants. Informal sector of the economic. 6 Neoclassical Theory
Imbalance Between Labor and
According to this theory, labor migration occurred
as a result of an imbalance between labor demands
and wages in sending and receiving areas.
At the individual level this theory assume that the
individual will rationally calculate the gap between
their present wages and the one they will be earning
abroad. If the expected wages are higher the
individual will move.
7 An Alternative Explanation
The “New Economics of
This theory focuses more in the household than in
the individual as primary unit of analysis. Migration
is an economic strategy used by peasants and
workers to capitalize productive investment or to
acquire expensive items, such as, a house or
automobile, etc. 8 An Alternative Explanation
The New Economics of Migration:
According to Portes and Rimbaud three conditions need to
be meet to allows a member of the family to immigrate:
1-A demand for migrant labor must exist. 2-The labor demand must be made known by recruiters or
migrants social network.
3-Relative deprivation (Alba) represented a major factor
in stimulating out-migration.
9 An Alternative Explanation New Economics of Migration: Established migrant communities
facilitate the settlement and labor
market incorporation of the newcomers. Douglas Massey developed a
“cumulative causation model” of the
process in which labor migration
become its own major determinant.
10 Immigrant Classifications
Toward a Typology of Migrants:
According to Portes and Rumbaut(chapter 2) it is
possible to put forward a typology of the migrant
2-Professional Migrants 3-Entreprenual
4-Refugees Migrants and asyless
11 Immigrants Classification:
In the system of USA. visa allocation
This workers are a priority: workers with
advance degree or aliens with special ability.
These immigrants came not escaping for poverty,
but to improve careers and opportunity for
advancement. 12 Migrant Workers Entering to the USA: Cross the border on foots or with the help of a coyote Overstay a U.S. visa. Family reunification preference-1965 immigration law. Contract labors and H-2 workers (Laporte and
Rumbaud, Chapter 2). 13 The Typology of Migrants
A Tool for to Analyses the
Migration Process: Following Portes and Rumbaut the typology help to
analyze immigrant strategies for economic mobility,
their effort to learn a new language and culture. Their decision to adopt the American citizenship
and raise the children in USA. as American citizens. 14 Bibliography Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut. A
Portrait Immigrant America. Third Edition.
Berkeley: University of California Press,2006.
Chapter two, pp.12-36. Cornell Stephen/Hartmann Douglas. Ethnicity and
Race. Making Identities in a Changing World.
Second Edition. California: Pine Forge Press,2002. Richard T. Schaefer. Race and Ethnicity in the
United States. Four edition. New Jersey, Pearson,
Prentice Hall, 2007.
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