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Recent immigrants to the United States are diverse with regard to selectivity. Hyper-selectivity refers to a dual positive selectivity in which immigrants are more likely to have graduated from college than nonmigrants in sending countries and the host population in the United States. This article addresses two questions. First, how does hyper-selectivity affect second-generation educational outcomes? Second, how does second-generation mobility change the cognitive construction of racial categories? It shows how hyper-selectivity among Chinese immigrants results in positive second-generation educational outcomes and racial mobility for Asian Americans. It also raises the question of whether hyper-selectivity operates similarly for non-Asian groups. While there is a second-generation advantage among hyper-selected groups, hyper-selectivity has not changed the cognitive construction of race for blacks and Latinos as it has for Asians.


This article was originally published in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, available at

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).



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