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Second and a half generation?

Irrespective of whether 1st generations are the ones who are born first in the new country vs. the ones who immigrated, [See the previous post] what would your child be if say you are 1st generation and your spouse is 2nd generation - Is your child “second and a half”? Curious to know what people under such circumstance (or similar) call themselves?

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This is an interesting question that never occurred to me before. My wife’s father is a first generation Polish immigrant, but her mother is an American with mixed heritage. My wife never calls herself “second generation Polish”. I think in these cases, the idea of “generation” disappears. She simply says, “I’m half Polish”.

However, I would imagine that it would be a problem if her mother was second generation Polish, in which case her heritage would be clearly Polish, but she won’t be able to say what degree of generation she is.

Dyske April 23, 2006 @ 11:26AM

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I'd put in that it depends on which side was the most culturally important in raising the child. If the first generation mother's family were there for the child's every birthday, holiday, etc., while the second generation father's side only made appearances at birthdays until age ten and very few holidays, the child is second generation.

Think of it in terms of the Hispanic (non-white) category on demographic polls. My father is white, my mother is Hispanic -- I check the "caucasian" box because it was at my paternal grandparent's house that holidays were. The maternal, Hispanic, side had little to do with my eventual character.

After all, isn't first/second/third-generation just a mark of character to show how assimilated or unassimilated you are?

jeffrey May 12, 2006 @ 6:48PM

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that "P" is me!

porsche May 15, 2006 @ 4:09PM

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