A quarter of young adults in the U.S. today are the children of immigrants, and Latinos are the largest minority group. In Stagnant Dreamers, sociologist and social policy expert María Rendón follows 42 young men from two high-poverty Los Angeles neighborhoods as they transition into adulthood. Based on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with them and their immigrant parents, Stagnant Dreamers describes the challenges they face coming of age in the inner city and accessing higher education and good jobs and demonstrates how family-based social ties and community institutions can serve as buffers against neighborhood violence, chronic poverty, incarceration, and other negative outcomes.
Rendón demonstrates the importance of social supports in helping second-generation immigrant youth succeed. To further the integration of second-generation Latinos, she suggests investing in community organizations, combatting criminalization of Latino youth, and fully integrating them into higher education institutions. Stagnant Dreamers presents a realistic yet hopeful account of how the Latino second generation is attempting to realize its vision of the American dream.
Stagnant Dreamers has received several awards by the American Sociological Association, including the Robert E. Park Award, (Community and Urban Sociology section); Distinguished Contribution to Research Book Award (Latina/o Sociology) and Honorable Mention for the Thomas and Znaniecki Best Book Award (International Migration).
María Rendón is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. As an urban scholar, Dr. Rendón has made important contributions to understand how residential segregation and poverty concentration affects Latino immigrants and their children. This includes examining the role of urban violence, criminalization and racialization processes in the lives of Latinos, as well as how social networks and institutions alleviate or aggravate the consequences of American spatial inequalities.