May 23, 2001 - 4:00 PM
Professor of Sociology, Boston University
Susan Eckstein is former President of the Latin American Studies Association. She has published extensively on Mexico, Cuba, and Latin America. This talk is based on on-going research in Cuba and the United States. That research probes the Cuban case in terms of different paradigms for analyzing immigrant experiences, including the “assimilationist” and “transnationalist” paradigms. By considering the significance of different historical generational experiences, the study develops a historically grounded generational frame of analysis. It captures differences in views, involvements, and cross-border ties between two cohorts of first generation émigrés: those who left between 1959 and 1979 and those who emigrated later often for economic reasons. The latter’s transnational ties, paradoxically, appear to be unwittingly doing more to transform Cuba than first wave isolationism. The cohort comparison is based on interviews with émigrés in Union City (New Jersey) and Miami. The analysis of effects of transnational ties rests on interviews in Cuba as well.