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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54184
Doc. No:TL24138
Call number:‭3477141‬
Main Entry:Leila Rodriguez
Title & Author:Economic adaptation and the self-employment experience of Nigerian immigrants in New York CityLeila Rodriguez
College:The Pennsylvania State University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:204
Abstract:This study addresses the self-employment experience of Nigerian immigrants in New York City. Business ownership has been shown to be both a means of individual and collective socioeconomic mobility for immigrants. In addition, it offers an alternative form of employment to those unable to work in the wage labor market. Self-employed immigrants also do not compete with the native-born for jobs as they create their own and often create jobs for others as well. While most theories that explain the proclivity towards self-employment of some immigrant groups focus on the limitations that keep them from wage labor (like lack of English-speaking abilities or little education), Nigerians do not fit this profile. This study focuses on three specific objectives: to understand the determinants of self-employment; to examine the factors that determine the structure of business-related social networks; and to understand the consequences of self-employment and of relying on different networks. I conducted fieldwork for twelve months in New York City, and collected both qualitative and quantitative data, supplemented with data from the American Community Survey. I argue that most Nigerians do not enter self-employment as an alternative to constraints they face in obtaining wage labor. Instead, it is a culturally-valued occupation that most are highly familiar with, they plan and work towards it for many years, and they are attracted by its potential for financial growth and independence. Network structure appears to be related to the original goals of the business, with some entrepreneurs gearing their businesses towards the ethnic community and others towards a broader market. Primarily Nigerian customers prove challenging for entrepreneurs. These customers, because of their close ties to the business owners, often delay payment or make enormous demands. For this reason many entrepreneurs eventually expand their customer base. Because these businesses are often located in impoverished areas, however, relying on the local neighborhood population for business also prevents the business from growing.
Subject:Social sciences; African migration; Immigrants; International migration; New York City; Nigerian; Self-employment; Black studies; Cultural anthropology; Demography; 0938:Demography; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0325:Black studies
Added Entry:P. L. Johnson
Added Entry:The Pennsylvania State University