Peter Guarnaccia's New Book's Jacket Cover

From the Back Jacket...

"Immigration, Diversity and Student Journeys to Higher Education presents an indepth understanding of how immigrant students at a major public research university balanced keeping their family cultures alive and learning U.S. culture to get to college. A revitalized anthropological understanding of acculturation provides the theoretical framework for the book. The text builds its analysis using extensive quotes from the 160 immigrant students who participated in the 21 focus groups that form the core of this study. The students’ families come from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, and reflect a wide diversity of experiences and insights into how these students successfully pursued higher education. A key theme of the book is the “immigrant bargain,” where students repay their parents’ hard work and migration sacrifices by excelling in school. A large majority of the parents made clear that a major motivation for immigrating was so their children could have better educational opportunities; these parents had the original dreams for their children.

Immigration, Diversity and Student Journeys to Higher Education examines the similarities and differences across this diverse group of students, ending with a series of recommendations about how to improve acculturation research and how to facilitate immigrant students’ journeys to educational success. “Immigration, Diversity and Student Journeys to Higher Education offers a much needed and insightful account of the successful transition to university among immigrant students. The compelling analysis draws on the voices of students to highlight the powerful role of family, community, schools and the university context in shaping their paths to and experiences with higher education. College is now the ticket to upward mobility in the United States, and yet, we still know little about how the children of immigrants make this critical transition, along with the crucial identity and language shifts they encounter along the way. Peter Guarnaccia, an expert in immigrant cultural adaptation, has written a timely and important book.”
Vivian Louie, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College, Author of Compelled to Excel: Immigration, Education and Opportunity among Chinese Americans and Keeping the Immigrant Bargain: The Costs and Rewards of Success in America

Peter J. Guarnaccia is Professor in the Department of Human Ecology and Investigator at the Institute for Health at Rutgers University. He is co-editor of A Death Retold: Jesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship (2006)."


Peter's Bio

Peter Guarnaccia (Ph.D., Connecticut, 1984, Medical Anthropology) is Professor I in the Department of Human Ecology and Investigator at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. He has contributed to research, conceptual development and applied applications to many of the important areas in culture and mental health research: cultural analyses of psychiatric epidemiology; the integration of cultural syndromes into psychiatric epidemiology and clinical research; family caregiving for a relative with serious mental illness; cultural competence in mental health services delivery; cultural issues in the anxiety disorders; and acculturation among immigrant students. To carry out this research program, he employs a creative tension between in-depth, ethnographic studies of individuals in a family context and broader community and national studies employing epidemiological approaches.
Prof. Guarnaccia was Associate Editor of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry from 2000-2004 and Co-Editor-in-Chief from 2004-2007. He is co-editor, with Keith Wailoo and Julie Livingston, of A Death Retold: Jesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship, published by the University of North Carolina Press (2006). From 1996-2008, he directed Project L/EARN at the Institute for Health at Rutgers with a decade of funding from NIMH. Project L/EARN trained and mentored underrepresented undergraduates to prepare them for graduate school. From 2008-2018, he led a Global Service Learning Program on Culture and Community Health in Oaxaca, Mexico.
In 2013, he received funding from NICHD for the study of “What Makes Acculturation Successful?” focused on the diverse immigrant student body at Rutgers University. Through its multi-ethnic focus, the goal was to identify cross-cutting and cultural-specific experiences of the adaptation and adjustment processes of immigrant students to the U.S. that assist them in attaining a college education. Prof. Guarnaccia has just published the results of the study, Immigration, Diversity and Student Journeys to Higher Education, with Peter Lang Publishing (2019) in their series on Equity in Higher Education Theory, Policy and Praxis.