Lee, Goodman and Ramirez

In the piece by Lee titled A Part and Apart the focus is on differences between European immigration and immigration of everyone else, people of color. We also see how ideas and beliefs of Immigration scholars differ. For example Lee talks about Sanchez and Vecoli, two scholars with ideas that are on polar ends. Sanchez is open about disliking comparing contemporary immigration with early European immigration. He feels as though the immigration paradigm which was set by scholars of European immigration have set up. On the other hand, Vecoli advocates for a “holistic” way of looking at immigration. I would say that Vecoli is fine with using the set paradigm or template that has been created as a way to look at immigration based on European migration. Lee goes on to point out that it is necessary to view contemporary immigration in a new light due to the fact that their migration was so much more than just push versus pull factors. Contemporary immigrants have faced racial prejudice, something early European immigrants didn’t face much of especially during the era of colonization. In short this piece was about bridging the gaps between the polar opposite ends on how to study and analyze immigration.

Goodman’s piece titled Nation Of Migrants is also about the issue of looking at contemporary immigration as one would look at early European immigration. Goodman shares with us that because of Oscar Handlin’s novel The Uprooted there was an establishment of a “traditional notion” or “immigrant paradigm” which has been used as a guide to analyze immigration still today. I think he would agree with Lee in that they both seem to see the traditional notion as problematic. At one point in the piece Goodman goes off to say that scholarship has evolved from immigration history to migration history and mobility studies which again, really focuses on not only push versus pull factors but really gives the migrants humanity and acknowledges the fact that it’s about human decision and sometimes due to unprecedented circumstances that they move around the world. Goodman states that Vecoli’s way of looking at immigration, the traditional way using the immigrant paradigm, is problematic in that is seems to treat European immigrants as the “prototypical” immigrant. He goes as far to say that this has given immense privilege to these European immigrants who have had little to no trouble in comparison to groups like African American and even Native Americans. Goodman also talks about language and how we should refrain from using the word immigrant and calling everyone that is mobile a migrant because it helps us with seeing the United States as a nation of migrants, people who come and go and take and leave pieces of them behind that shape the country. Migrants don’t just come and take but also have agency in writing and being key actors in the history of the country.

Lastly, in the piece titled Globalizing Migration Histories?, Ramirez speaks on the terms global and globalization. He states that globalization has become a buzzword that has left the term “worldwide” behind. In his piece he argues that migration movements need to be seen as more than just moving from point A to point B. He states that connections among movements need to be seen as not just parts of national histories but of world history due to how migration doesn’t just affect the country of destination. Ramirez shares with us an Italian and Canadian case study where he helps us see how different migration really is and it can never really be analyzed using one framework or guide. We learn that Italians emigrated worldwide, they were scattered everywhere, he called this a diaspora of Italians. For the most part Italians traveled to places where they could use their labor skills. Canadians on the other hand practiced what we would call chain migration in that they usually followed kin, relatives and townsfolk into certain areas where pockets of Canadians were already residing. Ramirez also informs us that often times these Canadians would cross back into Canada and visit home before coming back into the New England area etc.

5 thoughts on “Lee, Goodman and Ramirez

  1. Laura,
    Spot-on with your analysis of Vicoli and Sanchez’s disagreement and the piece as a whole. I similarly feel like Lee spent much of the rest of her article attempts to bridge the supposed gap postulated by Sanchez and Vicoli. I also thought it was very interesting the way that you tried to connect Goodman’s piece to the thinking of an ‘article 1’ thinker like Vicoli. As to your analysis of the last piece, I couldn’t agree more with your insight that Ramirez argues that ‘globalization’ as a whole has become a buzzword in modern times. One thing I will say about your analysis of Ramirez’s piece, however, is that you maybe could have focused a little bit more on the fact that the ‘Canadian diaspora’ was basically entirely regional, and less on the means through which they did it (chain migration).

  2. You made some good points in your post. From the reading I was surprised from the Italians, and Canadians.

  3. I particularly enjoyed your interpretation of Goodman’s piece. The framing of European immigrants as the “prototypical” immigrant is key for understanding how the U.S. constructs its nation of immigrants and consequently its American exceptionalism narratives. You correctly identified how this places European immigrants on a pedestal above non-white migrants and how we need to actively combat this with our language in academia, starting with referring to mobile humans as migrants rather than immigrants. Overall great post!

  4. I agree that the conclusions of Lee and Goodman’s essays aline with one another. Both essays look at how scholars disagree with one another on how to analyze more contemporary immigration groups. These essays also emphasized how certain analyses of immigration ignore the experience of people of color and conflate the experience of European immigrants and people of color. Reading these discussions of traditional forms of analyzing immigration helped me reevaluate how I viewed immigration.

  5. With these articles, it does seem like they are trying to counter popularly held notions of buzz words and popularly held myths. Each article seems to frame it in a scholarly way that seems to be the intent of the papers. I agree with what you have said about those articles.

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