Becoming American, Becoming Ethnic: College Students Explore Their Roots / Edition 1

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More than at any time since the 1920s the issues of immigration and ethnicity have become central to discussions of American society and identity. Becoming American, Becoming Ethnic addresses this contemporary debate, bringing together essays written over the past eighteen years by college students exploring their ethnic roots--from the experiences of their forbears to the place of ethnicity in their lives.

The students range from descendants of Europeans whose families immigrated several generations ago to Asian and Latin American immigrants of more recent decades to African Americans and Hispanics--some have more than one ethnic heritage to grapple with, while others have migrated from one place to another within the United States. Together their voices create a dialogue about the interplay of ethnic traditions and values with American culture.

These are moving personal reflections on the continuities and changes in the ethnic experience in the United States and on the evolving meaning of ethnicity over time and across generations. Despite vocal concerns in recent years about ethnic divisiveness, these student writings show how much many young Americans share even in their differences.

About the Author:

Thomas Dublin, professor of history at the State University of New York at Binghamton, has taught courses on immigration and ethnicity for nearly 20 years. He has published several books, most recently Immigrant Voices: New Lives in America, 1773-1986 and Transforming Women's Work: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566394390
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: Critical Perspectives On the Past Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Life after Terceira 15
Coming to Terms with My Heritage 20
The Family History of a Fourth-Generation Pole 29
My Paternal Forebears 38
The Loss of My Family's Ethnic Ties and the Strengthening of Their American Identities 45
What's a Tyrolean? The Immigration of Mario Leonardi to America 52
Turetzky Family Assimilation: From Grandparents to Father to Me 62
Changing Worlds: The Immigration Experiences of My Paternal Grandparents 68
Roots Paper 75
A Family History 82
My Austrian-Italian Ethnicity 85
East Side Story: What West Side Story Left Out 92
Three Generations in America 102
Where I Stand and Why 108
A Challenge of Loyalty 115
A Bicultural Experience 125
My Family History 130
Being an Other 135
Discovering My Ethnic Roots 143
The Experiences of My Parents in Italy and America 149
Getting to Know My Parents So That I May Know Who I Am 158
Finding Home 163
The Assimilation Problems of My Family in America 171
The Oreo Cookie: Black on the Outside, White on the Inside 183
Should I or Shouldn't I? 187
My Experience with Immigration/Assimilation in America 193
Leaving Home 198
Being Indian in America: My Ethnic Roots and Me 206
My Immigrant Experience 213
Triple Identity: My Experience as an Immigrant in America 217
Two Poems 224
Afterword 229
Appendix: Sample Roots Paper Topic 235
Notes on Contributors 237
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