Institutional integration has long been an important focus in literatures on inequality, education and mobility. Building on this work and drawing from multi-wave survey and records data from a large public university, the analyses we offer in this article provide unique and systematic comparative tests of first- versus continuing-generation inequalities in integration, disaggregated by academic versus social types, and with attention to other potentially influential status attributes. Our findings reveal: (1) clear overall inequalities in campus integration for first-generation students that cut across gender and race/ethnic lines; (2) a higher likelihood of employment among first-generation students—employment that tends to detract from integration opportunities; and (3) especially pronounced inequalities when it comes to forms of academic and social integration that entail bureaucratic- and resource-related barriers. We discuss the implications for understanding inequality and the first-generation experience in higher education and for more general sociological conceptions of institutional integration and mobility.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- First-generation students
- Higher education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science