Document Type


Subject Area(s)

FOREIGN workers, Employment, Immigrants, Social Stratification, Costs and Standard of Living, Sociology


The article outlines a theoretical system of extended stratification in order to account for differences between immigrants and natives in the amount of time individuals devote to paid work and the number of family members participating in paid work. The extended stratification theory contends that because people have different socio-economic frames of reference, they vary in their willingness to work long hours in an effort to achieve modest improvements in their current socioeconomic circumstances. Thus, immigrants from relatively poor societies tend to see their richer host society as abundant in opportunities for getting ahead through hard work. Immigrants will often be more willing than natives to work long hours because they value the economic return more highly than native persons who have been raised in a comparatively rich society. It is not that most immigrants achieve high standards of living when evaluated by the standards of the host society, rather that immigrants often have the opportunity to achieve a considerably higher standard of living in the host society than they could achieve back home.

Included in

Sociology Commons