Week 1 Readings

While Reading “A Part and Apart” the Erika Lee explains the different perspectives or arguments she was introduced to on her journey of becoming an immigration historian. Not only an immigration historian but as well as an Asian Americanist. As Lee went into detail about explaining what immigration means to her and the specific standpoints she wishes to follow and how other colleagues were always introducing new theories, I noticed how her idea would always connect to Asian Immigration. This showed how dedicated Lee was to explaining and educating upon the topic of why and how Asian Immigration came to be. What caught my attention was when Lee mentioned contemporary immigrants on page 39 and talked about people who decide to immigrate from other places don’t just look out for themselves and start a new life but it shows how hard it is to accommodate into a completely new environment, especially by explaining how immigrants never really cut ties with their homeland. By not cutting ties, these immigrants add a new meaning to what it is to be American, not forgetting everything they once were but adding to who they are. After each point Lee came across, it showed how important Asian Immigration was to her and not only comparing it to other ethnic backgrounds, so she never failed on speaking on the behalf of Asian Immgirants but also speaking as an intellectual with evidence.

In “A Nation of Migrants” I liked the idea of immigrants making up the identity of what it means to be American. Not only do immigrants learn to adapt but the host land sometimes accommodates what happens over time. But as I kept reading the article, a division between immigrants making up the identity of what it means to be American to completely separating it peaks through. Especially once Adam Goodman goes into detail about how the United States fought to control immigration in terms of allowing those who can enter the borders and who cannot, as well as creating a line of Americans vs Immigrants. I also noticed how the narrative changed from immigration to migration and I liked how there was a distinctive point made in regards to how immigrants plan their future but by still providing for everything they left behind. Although immigrants do move to plan a better future for themselves, I liked how it was mentioned that they don’t see their end goal in America, more like they look to provide for a better life at home, they fall for the idea of a return to their homeland. Which reminded me of what Lee spoke in her article and what it meant to be an American and not completely forgetting who they are but adding to the fact based on adaptation.

In “Globalizing Migration Histories” Bruno Ramirez takes a look at using the term globalization. To an extent, Ramirez talks about how in the 1990s there was no migration happening all throughout the world, but perhaps Europeans coming to America to colonize or expand lands. I agree with Ramirez saying that this wasn’t happening all around the world to call it a phenomenon but instead it was creating the world all around. See, once Italians and Canadians started migrating to America, as Ramirez explains how Italians set up throughout America, creating little Italian populations while Canadians limited their migration patterns. Italians are seen as the spark that ignited the emphasis on what was happening outside of Europe. In that period it seemed like the rest of the world was immigrating to new locations. Ramirez also mentioned how geographical proximity also plays a role in what was seen as globalization, seeing as although it seemed like alot was happening around America at the time, that does not define what the rest of the world was looking like.

One thought on “Week 1 Readings

  1. Aylen, really insightful post. I think it’s obvious from reading your commentary on this that you did the readings for this week. I can’t help but appreciate the fact that you put your own opinions and understanding of the pieces into your blog post; I thought that went a long way in making your post quite unique. If I were to give some advice for next week, however, I think I would say to go in-depth a bit more into the pieces. In Lee’s piece, for example, I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what the two men were fighting about — to my understanding, it was about the direction Immigration Studies should take in regard to its framing and focus of certain racial/ethnic groups

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