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Ethnicity in America - Book Report/Review Example

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Jon Gjerde's book titled Major Problems in American Immigration and Ethnic History is a story of a society determined to rise out of the dredges of the disadvantages of diversity so as to achieve unity in all its quarters as it strives to retain its right to be different…
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Ethnicity in America
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Download file to see previous pages The primary documents of this book describe the United States of America as a salad bowl for its cultural and social structure, owing to the fact that it is basically made up of immigrants pursuing the "Great American Dream". These immigrants fall into a variety of groups and minorities struggling to keep their basic identity intact and yet, contribute to the American mosaic of cultures and minorities. (Gjerde, 1998. Pp 288 to 290 )1
When on the discussion of minorities, it would be incomplete without a mention of Asian and Middle Eastern Immigrants. This group has emerged as on of the largest and most sizable immigrants to the United States of America. According to national figures and statistics, every fourth person in New York alone belongs to India or some country around it. While Asia widely refers to Middle Eastern states as well as countries like India, Pakistan, China, Japan and other South East Asian states, it is quite clear that the cultures are poles apart. (Gjerde, 1998. Pp 275 to 290)2
A notable factor of this chapter that has to do with the broad definitions of these areas is the fact that it takes the Middle East and the rest of Asia i.e. when it says "other Asian immigrants", separately. That should suffice as a clear demarcation for the rest of the paper. In the course of these chapters by Hanley - Lopez, the authors seek to educate the readers by starting out with facts that have to do with understanding the topical and current nature of the experiences of these people as compared to their black and other European counterparts. (Gjerde, 1998. Pp 275 to 290)
Since most of these peoples found themselves migrating to the United States since the 1924 Immigration Act, their basic trait is that they are comparatively unusual and still very "non - Western". This Act demonstrated the true spirit of citizenship through a focus on the definition of ethnicity. (Gjerde, 1998. Pp 291 to 305) Further, while many have been able to achieve a respectable social status, a majority of them have minimal participation with native-born U.S. residents owing to their cultural differences. These differences, like those of the groups who have come to settle down in America way before them, will be resolved only over time - i.e., when they have spent considerable time in America to bear generations that will be essentially American in times to come. The 1924 Immigration Act was a culmination of the melting pot syndrome through the definition of various ethnic groups. This new law was involved with various provisions that were influenced by the segregation of the society into European and Non European settlers. (Gjerde, 1998. Pp 291 to 305)
In this Act, there is an understanding of how the structural conditions in the home countries have come about to reshape the ethnic identity and attitudes among these immigrants. The people being discussed here - whether from the Middle East or any other Asian country - are known to be conservative and full of a variety of customs and rituals in their daily lives. According to the author's studies, these people, while not ready to entirely let go of their basic lifestyles that were in turn primarily governed by the geographical areas they have recently come from; are nevertheless ready to carve a niche and embrace a newfound sense of identity for themselves. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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