Immigration and youthful illegalities in a global edge city

Ronit Dinovitzer*, John Hagan, Ron Levi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This research focuses on immigration and youthful illegalities in the Toronto area, one of the world's most ethnically diverse global cities. While current research documents a negative relationship between crime and immigration, there is little attention to individual-level mechanisms that explain the paths through which immigrant youth refrain from illegalities. Through a study of two cohorts of adolescents across two generations (1976, 1999), we elaborate a process model that is generic over both generations, and in which measures of bonds to parents and schools, commitments to education, and dispositions of risk aversity mediate youth involvement in illegalities. By focusing on a period when non-European immigration to Toronto increased dramatically, we then identify a compositional effect through which the more recent cohort is engaged in fewer illegalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-372
Number of pages36
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Immigration and youthful illegalities in a global edge city'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this