This assignment asks you to analyse and critically evaluate what you have learned about the mainstream idea of assimilation (AKA the melting pot idea) from readings by and about several ethnic groups in the U.S. Your sources are two or three reading/documentaries: choose one reading from each section below.
Takaki, R. 1993. “Emigrants from Erin: Ethnicity and Class within White America.” Pp. 139-165, in A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York City: Back Bay Books.
Chang, Gordon. 2010. “Eternally Foreign: Asian Americans, History and Race.” Pp. 216-233, in Doing Race, edited by H.R. Markus and P.M.L. Moya. New York City: W.W. Norton.
Big Sky Pictures. 2014. Montana Mosaic: Indian Boarding Schools. Helena, MT: Montana Film Office.
Douglas, Ron. 2009. Unseen Tears: The Native American Boarding School Experience in Western New York. Buffalo, NY: Native American Community Serivces.
Plus choose one:
IBé. 2016. “Trouble in Mind: To Be Black is Blue in America.” Pp. 69-80 in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by Sun Yung Sing. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Press.
Phi, Bao. 2016. “Brutal.” Pp. 69-80 in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by Sun Yung Sing. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Press.
Semati, Mehdi. 2010. “Islamophobia, Culture and Race in the Age of Empire.” Cultural Studies 24(2): 256-275.
Vazques, J. 2011. “Whiter is Better: Discrimination in Everyday Life.” Pp. 127-162 in Mexican Americans Across Generations: Immigrant Families, Racial Realities. New York City: New York University Press.
NOTE: For Vazques, you can discuss 127-135 for this essay.
Construct a 3 – 3.5 page essay, structured as follows:
Title page suggestive of your main idea (formatted according to department guidelines).
Introduction (one half page): Provide a brief introduction to the classic/mainstream concept of assimilation and how it will be evaluated in light of the materials you have chosen. Include in this paragraph a controlling idea or a thesis statement.
Body of paper (1.5 pages):
-Summarize each source (half a page per source). Your summary will give the key points of the source. Brief supporting quotes are optional.
-Compare and contrast the sources (up to one page): What is similar and different about the experiences of race/ethnicity in the U.S. for each cultural group studied?
Conclusion/Implications (up to one half page): Synthesize the main ideas in a discussion of some of these points: what you learned from these sources, what is significant about the works, what broader themes or issues they relate to, what questions they raise, what critiques of assimilation emerge from the works.
References: cite each source.
Be sure to:
Structure your 3-3.5 page essay as shown above.
This is a formal writing assignment. Follow the departmental stylesheet AND use ASA formating.
Revise and edit your essay with attention to each element of the essay structure, as well as to sentence construction, correct referencing and punctuation.
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