Week Four Assignment: Biography Of An Immigrant Project You need a cover page, with your name, course number, and the assignment name. You also need a form

Week Four Assignment: Biography Of An Immigrant Project You need a cover page, with your name, course number, and the assignment name. You also need a formal title for your Biography of an Immigrant. See samples under course resources. You need a cover page, with your name, course number, and the assignment name. You also need a

formal title for your Biography of an Immigrant. See samples under course resources.

A. There are three components to this project.

1. Interview an immigrant to the USA, i.e., an individual who was not born in the USA but
rather moved to the USA from another country. In your Bibliography, write a reference

for the interview, noting the name of the person, date of the interview, and whether the

interview was by email, phone, or in person (or some combination). If you met in person,

write where and the date.

2. Do scholarly research to enhance the answers provided by your interviewee. While the
main source of information for this assignment is the answers provided by your

immigrant subject, the scholarly research aspect will allow you to expand upon the
answers provided by the interviewee. For example, your subject answers questions about

reasons for existing the country of origin. To learn more, you read peer-reviewed

scholarship about why emigration was occurring at that time in the birth-origin country.

NU Spectrum Library has prepared a link to assist you with this assignment. (See Section

D). Library link for our class: http://nu.libguides.com/soc500.

3. Write a 5-7-page paper, excluding cover page and bibliography. While you will not be
penalized for a writing a paper over 5 pages, you will be penalized for one under 5

pages. Student samples are housed in Course Resources.

B. Immigrant Interviewee Selection: Two options (you cannot interview yourself):

First Option: An immigrant to the USA who was/is your ancestor or relative (including

spouse, in-laws, a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle cousin, etc.) If available, family

histories, letters, diaries, genealogies, photographs, scrapbooks, etc. are useful. You may to

need to interview other family members who are knowledgeable about your subject, and, if

possible, use on-line data from genealogical or heritage sites (e.g., Latter Day Saints, Ellis

Island Immigration and Naturalization, Ancestry.com)


Second Option: An immigrant to the USA who is not your relative (e.g., neighbor,

friend, friend’s mother, co-worker, etc.) As with option one, consider available resources.

C. Interview Questions: Ask your respondent all of the below questions. Provide as much

detail as possible in your answers. Use relevant course concepts and/or theories stressed in

lecture/meeting notes and the readings in your essay. This is a formal essay so do not number

your paragraphs.

1. Where and when was the individual born? From where did the individual emigrate?

2. Why did the person emigrate to the USA? (e.g., economic opportunity, political freedom,
religious freedom, family reunification, escape from military conscription, the lure of the

American Dream.)

3. According to your subject, what was life like in the ‘old country?’


4. Why did the USA allow the individual to enter the country? (e.g., political or religious
asylum, family reunification, in demand occupation clearance, Green Card Lottery


5. Consult US Census Table 2: in Blackboard). Did he or she arrive in the USA during a
peak period of immigration for his or her ethnic group? If so, have your subject explain

what was going on in the country of origin that fostered immigration of so many


6. By what means of travel and what point of entry did the immigrant arrive in the USA? Is
this a usual entry site for group?

7. Did the individual arrive with other family members or friends? Did he or she join other
family members already residing in the USA? If so, who?

8. Where did the individual initially settle? Why that location? Where did he or she finally
settle? Why that location?

9. What resources did the person possess that assisted with the move to the USA (e.g.,
money, education, job opportunity, family waiting here, etc.)? How so?

10. Upon arrival to the USA, and in later years, how was the immigrant treated by other
Americans and by other immigrants? Welcomed, encounter prejudice, discriminated

against? By whom? If the person claims there was no discrimination, probe deeper. If no

discrimination, consider the following. Did he or she settle in an ethnically homogenous

neighborhood with people of the same ethnic or racial origin, or in a city or region of the

USA known for valuing diversity? Is it a cultural norm of the person’s country of origin

not to complain about such treatment? Is the person from a group whose ethnicity is

easily assimilated and that has a history of being valued in the USA?

11. Explain what personal characteristics and aspects of the US value system made the
person well-suited or ill-suited for American life? Individualism, materialism, ambition,

optimism, success, freedom of expression, self-improvement, equality, equal access and

opportunity, progress, conquering and taming nature, etc.

12. Using the course concepts of assimilation, cultural pluralism, and ethnic identity to assist
you in your analysis, discuss to what degree the individual assimilated to an American

identity. Did he or she embrace cultural pluralism and preserve or shed old world cultural

attitudes and practices or not? Discuss.

13. Did the individual eventually bring other family members from country of origin? When?
Why? (The US Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 favors family reunification).

14. Is the individual a naturalized US citizen or on that path? If not, why not? Discuss.

15. Have recent US politics, laws, and/ or international events impacted the status of this
group in the USA?

D. Scholarly Research for the Paper: Useful library link tailored to our class:


The below questions (coordinated to the interview questions above) might be fruitful research

topics to enhance your understanding of your interviewee’s immigration experience. (See

student samples in Course Resources of how students accomplished this.) While you are

welcome to use Takaki and other course materials (cite them!), you must consult a minimum of

three external peer reviewed journal articles, government documents, or chapters from

other scholarly books*, published in 2010 or after, to help you provide more in-depth

analysis. Older references are fine as additional references, as some texts are classics, but you

must have three newer ones. Failure to use at least three scholarly peer-reviewed sources

published in 2010 or after will result in a substantial docking of your grade. (*University press

books; serious ‘trade’ books written for a scholarly audience such as Sage, Basic Books, etc.

Check with me if you need help with this.) Use APA or MLA citation and reference system.)

Possible topics to learn more about (you do not need to investigate all of these).

• What were/are the major causes of immigration to the U.S. by members of this nation
group? Consider when your subject immigrated when you do the research.

• What were the peak years for immigration of this group to the USA? Why?

• What are the biggest challenges members of this group experience in the U.S.?

• Have recent US laws or international events impacted this group in the USA? For
example: If your subject is from Mexico, major developments in Arizona law have had

serious consequences for Mexican Americans and other peoples from Latin America. If

your subject is from an Arab Middle Eastern nation, wars, terror, and political events

have had a serious impact on cultural attitudes toward immigration from some nations.

• How has the group been received by the dominant U.S. population?

• How have they adjusted to life in the USA?

• What is their typical educational attainment?

• What kinds of jobs, careers and professions do they typically enter?


A. There are three components to this project.
B. Immigrant Interviewee Selection: Two options (you cannot interview yourself):

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