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Brinbaum's research focuses on the school careers of the children of immigrants in France and then in comparison with European countries and United States. Her current work is focused on the transitions from school to work, job quality, and employment trajectories of the second generation youth in a comparative perspective. Her research interests include educational careers, labor market transitions and employment of the second generation youth, discriminations at school and on the labor market, and relationships of immigrant families in school.
Analyzes France's second-generation immigrants' postsecondary education choices, access to tertiary programs, dropout, and transition to the labor market, compared to those of students of French origin.
Quantifies and explains differences in educational outcomes between the young second generation (i.e. children of immigrants who are born in the country of residence or arrived before the start of compulsory school age) and their peers without migration background.
Analyzes the entire trajectories of second-generation children of immigrants in Europe through secondary education from year six to their baccalaureát school-leaving examination, considering performance at the start and end of lower secondary school, tracks chosen at upper secondary school, and final qualifications gained. Details the process whereby inequalities are constructed. Confirms a number of results that were known or suspected, but goes much further, revealing differentiation by type of baccalauréat, country of origin, and sex.
Aims to compare the educational outcomes of children of immigrants in France and in the United States to highlight the ethnic educational inequalities in both countries. Focuses on children from two groups: North Africans in France and Mexicans in the United States. Examines aspirations, expectations and secondary attainment in the two contexts.
Compares the transition from school to work among Mexican-origin youth in the United States and North African-origin youth in France relative to the native-majority youth with similar low-level credentials. Argues that high levels of youth unemployment in the society means greater ethnic penalties for second-generation minorities.