“A Part and Apart” by Erika Lee focuses on immigrant histories and the immigrant experience. Lee discusses immigrant history has been Eurocentric and more recently has become more broad to include Asian and Latin American immigration history. Lee emphasizes the evolution of each immigrant group’s history, she does this by highlighting the experience of Asian immigrants. In this case the view Americans had on Asian Americans changed at different points in history and it also depended on where they were from (Japan, the Philippines). One point that I feel was made clear in Lee’s writing was that every immigrant group has a different experience (some are more alienated than others).
In Adam Goodman’s “Nation of Migrants,” Goodman discusses how the United States is not a “nation of immigrants” rather a nation composed of various people from different places that have added to US history. The “immigrant paradigm” is one that does not acknowledge the various forms of migration that occurred and continues into today; it places an emphasis on European immigration and diminishes the presence of other migrant groups. Rather by describing the US as a “nation of migrants,” it emphasizes the various forms of migration that occur within and internationally. The “migrant paradigm” not only acknowledges European migrants but also other groups that had initially been left out such as African Americans, Latin Americans, and other non-European groups. One thing I found interesting was when Goodman discusses how US migration history also includes internment, deportation and forced migration; however, when we are taught about these topics in school we are not taught they are one in the same.
“Globalizing Migration Histories” by Bruno Ramirez compares the migration histories of Italy and Canada. Ramirez discusses how Robert Harney put an emphasis on Italian immigration because it had “important global dimensions” (Ramirez 20), because the Italian case was considered “global” it received more attention. I think that this was due to the fact that when Italians immigrated they moved to various countries not only crossing a nation’s borders but also crossing oceans. However, in the case of Canada not much attention was given to the migration patterns because it was not viewed as “global”. The reason being most Canadian migrants crossed over into different parts of the United States rather than across the world (or ocean). One question this reading brought up was: How does terminology play a role in migration studies? How does labeling Italian migration as a “diaspora” change how historians study migration patterns?