Lee, Ramirez, and Goodman

“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?

4 thoughts on “Lee, Ramirez, and Goodman

  1. Isn’t transnational a progressive step towards the direction of global movements though? How far across the globe does migration have to stretch to transcend transnational and count as global? (Referring to “Globalizing Migration Histories?…”)
    When the Italians migrated, their culture and ethnic impacts went beyond national boarder and were also counted as global, but Canadian migration to the United States went across national boarders and was not considered global. What did the Italian migration have that was greater than the Canadians’?

  2. I totally agree completely with the your last remark about Lee making it clear of how different the experiences were for each immigrant group. Great question for the last reading. Would really like to find an answer to your last question about the “diaspora” changing the historians study migration patterns.

  3. I do agree with you that racial conceptualization of Asian immigrants especially did include not only the time and politics in that area of history, but also they spatial origins (“A Part and Apart”.) I did get that and that is a really strong point that shows biology and history have interconnectedness to social grouping and immigration patterns.
    In addition, it was not clear to me why the Italian migration was consider global and not Canadian. I was. aware of the regional argument, but I was unsure how expansive a regional migration would be to be considered global. the term “regional” does not give us clear borders, but your mentioning of crossing oceans, whether correct or not by Ramirez’s intended meaning is a good prediction on how vast the intervals of migration are (“Globalizing Migrant Histories.”)

  4. Hi! In your writing about Lee’s article, I was excited to see you talk about how the different experiences that different Asian immigrants had changed their experience overall! I think that in some cases, when we think of the word Asian, we think of everyone in Asia without realizing the many different people and cultures there. That was something that I pulled out and mentioned in my article as well! The idea of the U.S. being a “melting-pot” comes to mind when reading your analysis of “Nation of Immigrants” because of the inclusion of non-European immigrants into conversation. I think you did a super great job discussing what you got out of these articles and I was happy to see I got some of the same things out of it!

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