Immigrant readings #2

In the first reading we are given a closer look at how migrants must assimilate into a society built on the color of one’s skin. The essay described that some of the main building blocks in identity formation stemmed from race, ethnicity, nativity, class and gender. These factors allow for retention and change in a multicultural society. This essay specifically looked at Ethiopians in the Washington area; this group forms the largest group among African immigrants during the 1990’s. 25% of this population are Singer or other, in terms of the Washington Primary Metropolitan Area 22% of the U.S. Ethiopians reside in this area. It was discussed that the “Ability to identify with and feel at home in a host country was an important part in the assimilation of migrant families. I felt this spoke volumes because as a host country outside of providing asylum not much else is done to support these groups in the long run and most of the time many of them end up struggling. In contrast, certain immigrant groups can reach “upward mobility” and assimilation as a part of the white middle class, an example of this might be Chinese or Kareans. For those children of poor minorities of color it was noted that they were at a greater risk of downward socioeconomic assimilation. A term that brings up symbolic ethnicity, which is described as the voluntaristic adoption of identities. The essay makes sure to differentiate the strong culture practiced by the ethiopians as opposed to other groups that temporarily adopt ethnic labels in order to have some defining characteristic. 

This reading was a great insight into the gendered disparities that many honduran migrants and other immigrants face. The major takeaways from me were the reason why these groups migrate, the mental drive of these women and the autonomy that comes with this strenuous process. It is first important to understand the different reasons for people in the groups to come to the U.S. The essay described that for men the main reason is feeling pressure to provide for their families. For women however, it becomes slightly more complex, women tend to migrate in order to to take care of their families, yet they might also experience domestic abuse, divorce, or abandonment of the spouse entirely. This means migrants have no one to take care of or provide for the family sometimes. It becomes increasingly difficult when there is a wage gap between men and women. Women make significantly less than men migrant workers per week with men making close to US$615 while women only make around  US$382. Those that come to work in the U.S. begin remittance for their families back home. Unfortunately, while the remitter can specify what the money’s for at the end of the day the money is handled however the beneficiaries chose. Yet, many women reported having autonomy and having a better sense to choose their own path.

The last essay mimics some of what was mentioned in last week’s discussion. Many Indian Migrants that come here from their home country are very skilled and sometimes have degrees. Unfortunately being an immigrant comes with its challenges even for the most educated. However the takeaway from this reading was their ability to maneuver through public and private spaces. Asian Indian migrants maintain a relatively high socioeconomic status. Being taught many american concepts helps them get ahead instead of them coming to the US with no knowledge of the language or schooling.

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