“Nation of Migrants”, “A Part and Apart” and “Globalizing Migration” Readings

“Nation of Migrants” by Adam Goodman provides an interesting look at how the United States built an identity off of the concept that they are a ‘nation of immigrants’ and how it only serves to further the concept of American exceptionalism. I will admit that for a very long time I believed that idea and this essay made me reconsider how this narrative can erase several important aspects of American history, especially the existence of African-Americans and Native Americans. Reformatting the discussion from immigration to migration is an interesting topic to discuss and how the transition permits a more global understanding of history as well as removes the concept of the nation-state as the only form of evaluating the migration of people. The paper also acknowledges how migration is not purely moving to the United States and how other countries have complex migration patterns in history and applying a label based on a certain eras migration pattern, like the U.S., removes the complexities of how and why migration occurs in certain countries.

“A Part and Apart” by Erika Lee provides a more personal discussion on how the section of Immigration History has changed so much and the integration of interdisciplinary subjects. The paper focused on how approaching migration with ethnic studies in mind and how this approach broadened the understanding of migration within certain groups of people. I was interested in the paper’s discussion on Asian migration and found that it demonstrated how immigration changed greatly from the immigration of European immigrants. The addition of other subjects when looking at migration history has also permitted scholars to acknowledge how forms of prejudice have affected the migration of people of color and how that migration is perceived.

“Globalizing Migration Histories?” by Bruno Ramirez focuses more on how certain migrations can be viewed as global and how the terminology is used in discussions of migration today. The paper uses examples of Italian migration and Canadian migration to further view how the term global is used and how the topic of this migration pattern becomes globalized in the scholarly world. It is interesting to read how the migration of Canada to and from the United States is an existing pattern but is largely not focused on and is not discussed globally. Italian migration is, on the other hand, discussed more and only, later on, is it a global topic in the scholarly word. The discussion on transnational migration is also addressed in this paper and how the way in which scholars view migrations should be viewed from beyond nation-state boundaries in order to have a broader understanding of the migration patterns of people.

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