Week One Readings

Erika Lee’s “A Part and Apart” gave a very interesting perspective on the issues occurring in the field of immigration history and ethnic studies. The debate described involved the state of the overlying field regarding immigration and the overlap between the two fields of history and ethnic studies. As well as the suggestion for progression with studying the future of immigration from George Sanchez. Lee provided the reader with the first-hand experience of hers as she witnessed the debate between the two which really summarized the continued debate while on an academic panel with the two. Erika Lee discusses her own personal scholarship in her field of Asian Americanists and explains to the readers that she was among the lucky scholars who are able to look at her studies in the context of history as well as ethnic studies. In my opinion, it seemed as though Lee was hinting at the fact that she would be among the first coming into the field with this overlap between the two from the start of her studies. Lee noted that she was among the youngest scholars on this panel and that she studied the works of the others. 

I noticed a direct overlap in “Nation of Migrants, Historians of Migration” By Adam Goodman and the article from Lee when they began to note the major works within the field and noted many of the same historians such as Sanchez and Vecoli. This led me to wonder if the works within this field are really this limited or if these works are really influential enough so much so that two different scholars analyzing the state of the field noted these works. In Goodmans writing I found that his main concept was the normalization of Migration and to switch the emphasis on migration rather than immigration in order to remove bias in a sense. Another notion I noticed was the push for society to move away from this concept that America is a nation of immigrants and that American culture is a ‘melting pot’ noting that this provides an “inadequate and inaccurate stereotypes of immigrants and the United States” (pg7) which is then spread. 

Finally, in reading “Globalizing Migration Histories? Learning from Two Case Studies” by Bruno Ramirez I was able to look at the perspective that Ramirez took regarding the state of the migration studies field overtime of which he called for development. Beginning the writing with his weariness regarding the term “Globalization” set up my mindset that this would be a critical study of the state of the field. Ramirez looked at the difference regarding Canadian migration and Italian migration and criticized the fact that the Canadian migration is so often overlooked due to the fact that it was not “Global” or as he wished to term “worldwide” stated at the start of his work. Through these readings, I gained a sense that as most if not all fields of study immigration is still developing in a future sense as well as in the past and has given me a bit more framework when entering this semester.

One thought on “Week One Readings

  1. I had the same impression that this field of study is still developing further likely because of the various groups that have migrated and do migrate. I did not think about how the overlap of certain works in these essays may imply more limitations of information, but after reading this post, it does make me wonder if these works are potentially very influential in the traditional form of analysis or if they are the most concise in the problems that both essays discuss. Reading how these essays show academic disagreement shows a different view of this field of study, and how its forms of analysis have changed and continue to change.

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