Immigration and Assimilation

Immigration and Assimilation - Sarah Brodsky 18514113...

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Sarah Brodsky: 18514113 Sociology 3AC 12/1/06 Immigration and Assimilation Most Asian Americans and European Americans immigrated to the United States around the same time as one another and often experienced the same challenges as each other despite the fact that European immigrants were allowed to integrate themselves into society while Asian immigrants were not. There were many opportunities and challenges created for both Asian and European racial and cultural groups through representations of race and the laws that supported them. Both groups suffered similar initial hardships. The most common hardship between the European and Asian immigrants was the stereotyping that both groups had to face. Stereotypes, such as the Japanese being “lazy, dishonest, and untrustworthy” (Schaefer, 341) and Jews being greedy and “obsessed with money” (Schaefer, 361) shaped the view that Europeans and Asians were the other. Stereotypes ostracized immigrants and helped assure that immigrants would remain subordinate. According to Steinberg, both immigrant groups also suffered economic strife, “admitted to the United States because of a demand for cheap unskilled labor, immigrants found themselves at or near the bottom of the social and economic ladder” (Steinberg, 238). Europeans and Asians were forced into low-paying jobs that nobody wanted to take and had trouble establishing themselves economically. This economic struggle kept both groups at the lower end of society and created furthered difficulties for those immigrants wishing to establish themselves in the United States. Upon arrival to the United States, both Asian and European immigrants were looked upon as “non-white” people who were unfit for society. Legislation, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which, according to Schaefer, “outlawed Chinese immigration for 10 years… [and] explicitly denied naturalization rights to the Chinese in
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the United States” (Schaefer, 98), and Executive Order 9066, where “all people on the West Coast of at least one-eighth Japanese ancestry were taken to assembly centers for
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course SOC 3AC taught by Professor Wilson during the Fall '06 term at Berkeley.

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Immigration and Assimilation - Sarah Brodsky 18514113...

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