Accessing “My American Girls: A Dominican Story”:
1. Following Gordon (see below), what is assimilation? Why is it important 1) for the host society and 2) for the immigrant population?
2. For a case study, choose a family household that is within 2 generations of emigrating to the U.S. (i.e., the oldest members can be born here of immigrant parents). Ask the following questions: Where did they come from? [be as specific as possible] Why did they leave? When did they arrive? What determined where they settled? Did they arrive as a family or in a “chain”? What resources, or “capital(s)”, did they bring with them that shaped the direction and pace of their assimilation?
3. Use interviews and observation to determine the extent of assimilation, paying attention to generational differences. Assess for major types or stages of assimilation: a) cultural (including educational), b) social (including residential), c) identificational, and d) marital. Because assimilation is a process that entails interrelated “stages”, it is imperative to address differences between generations.
4. Is there still meaningful ethnic persistence (i.e., partial assimilation) in regard to culture, social relationships, and marital choice? Does this slow or even oppose assimilation?
5. Is there evidence of a “new” ethnicity (e.g., Latinos, Desi, Chicano) that limits assimilation?
6. How typical is this family’s experience for the ethnic group in the city or metropolitan region? Note and explain any discrepancies.
7. With your case study in mind, is there political resistance to the group’s assimilation? Is the group assimilating in a position of inequality and subordination?