Gatherings in Diaspora brings together the latest chapters in the long-running chronicle of religion and immigration in the American experience. Today, as in the past, people migrating to the United States bring their religions with them, and their religious identities often mean more to them away from home, in their diaspora, than they did before.
This book explores and analyzes the diverse religious communities of post-1965 diasporas: Christians, Hews, Muslims, Hindus, Rastafarians, and practitioners of Vodou, from countries such as China, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Jamaica, Korea, and Mexico. The contributors explore how, to a greater or lesser extent, immigrants and their offspring adapt their religious institutions to American conditions, often interacting with religious communities already established. The religious institutions they build, adapt, remodel, and adopt become worlds unto themselves, congregations, where new relations are forged within the community -- between men and women, parents and children, recent arrival and those longer settled.
Family-related migration is moving to the center of political debates on migration, integration, and multiculturalism in Europe. Still, strands of academic research on family migrations and migrant families remain separate from—and sometimes ignorant of—each other. This volume seeks to bridge the disciplinary divide. Collectively, the authors address the need to better understand the diversity of family-related migration and its resulting family forms and practices, to question simplistic assumptions about migrant families in public discourse, to study family migration from a mix of disciplinary perspectives, and to acknowledge the state’s role in shaping family-related migration, practices, and lives.
All over Western Europe, the lot of many non-Western immigrants is one of marginalization, discrimination, and increasing segregation. In this bold and controversial book, Unni Wikan shows how an excessive respect for "their culture" has been part of the problem. Culture has become a new concept of race, sustaining ethnic identity politics that subvert human rights—especially for women and children. Fearful of being considered racist, state agencies have sacrificed freedom and equality in the name of culture.
Comparing her native Norway to Western Europe and the United States, Wikan focuses on people caught in turmoil, how institutions function, and the ways in which public opinion is shaped and state policies determined. Contradictions arise between policies of respect for minority cultures, welfare, and freedom, but the goal is the same: to create a society committed to both social justice and respect for human rights.
Writing with power and grace, Wikan makes a plea for a renewed moral vitality and human empathy that can pave the way for more effective social policies and create change.
The very question of “what do Jews think about the goyim” has fascinated Jews and Gentiles, anti-Semites and philo-Semites alike. Much has been written about immigrant Jews in nineteenth- and twentieth-century New York City, but Gil Ribak’s critical look at the origins of Jewish liberalism in America provides a more complicated and nuanced picture of the Americanization process.
Gentile New York examines these newcomers’ evolving feelings toward non-Jews through four critical decades in the American Jewish experience. Ribak considers how they perceived Gentiles in general as well as such different groups as “Yankees” (a common term for WASPs in many Yiddish sources), Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, and African Americans. As they discovered the complexity of America’s racial relations, the immigrants found themselves at odds with “white” American values or behavior and were drawn instead into cooperative relationships with other minorities. Sparked with many previously unknown anecdotes, quotations, and events, Ribak’s research relies on an impressive number of memoirs, autobiographies, novels, newspapers, and journals culled from both sides of the Atlantic.
Combining history, autobiography, and ethnography, Georges Woke Up Laughing provides a portrait of the Haitian experience of migration to the United States that illuminates the phenomenon of long-distance nationalism, the voicelessness of certain citizens, and the impotency of government in an increasingly globalized world. By presenting lively ruminations on his life as a Haitian immigrant, Georges Eugene Fouron—along with Nina Glick Schiller, whose own family history stems from Poland and Russia—captures the daily struggles for survival that bind together those who emigrate and those who stay behind. According to a long-standing myth, once emigrants leave their homelands—particularly if they emigrate to the United States—they sever old nationalistic ties, assimilate, and happily live the American dream. In fact, many migrants remain intimately and integrally tied to their ancestral homeland, sometimes even after they become legal citizens of another country. In Georges Woke Up Laughing the authors reveal the realities and dilemmas that underlie the efforts of long-distance nationalists to redefine citizenship, race, nationality, and political loyalty. Through discussions of the history and economics that link the United States with countries around the world, Glick Schiller and Fouron highlight the forces that shape emigrants’ experiences of government and citizenship and create a transborder citizenry. Arguing that governments of many countries today have almost no power to implement policies that will assist their citizens, the authors provide insights into the ongoing sociological, anthropological, and political effects of globalization. Georges Woke up Laughing will entertain and inform those who are concerned about the rights of people and the power of their governments within the globalizing economy.
“In my dream I was young and in Haiti with my friends, laughing, joking, and having a wonderful time. I was walking down the main street of my hometown of Aux Cayes. The sun was shining, the streets were clean, and the port was bustling with ships. At first I was laughing because of the feeling of happiness that stayed with me, even after I woke up. I tried to explain my wonderful dream to my wife, Rolande. Then I laughed again but this time not from joy. I had been dreaming of a Haiti that never was.”—from Georges Woke Up Laughing
Germans in Illinois
Miranda E. Wilkerson and Heather Richmond Southern Illinois University Press, 2019 Library of Congress F550.G3W55 2019 | Dewey Decimal 977.300431
This engaging history of one of the largest ethnic groups in Illinois explores the influence and experiences of German immigrants and their descendants from their arrival in the middle of the nineteenth century to their heritage identity today. Coauthors Miranda E. Wilkerson and Heather Richmond examine the primary reasons that Germans came to Illinois and describe how they adapted to life and distinguished themselves through a variety of occupations and community roles.
The promise of cheap land and fertile soil in rural areas and emerging industries in cities attracted three major waves of German-speaking immigrants to Illinois in search of freedom and economic opportunities. Before long the state was dotted with German churches, schools, cultural institutions, and place names. German churches served not only as meeting places but also as a means of keeping language and culture alive. Names of Illinois cities and towns of German origin include New Baden, Darmstadt, Bismarck, and Hamburg. In Chicago, many streets, parks, and buildings bear German names, including Altgeld Street, Germania Place, Humboldt Park, and Goethe Elementary School. Some of the most lively and ubiquitous organizations, such as Sängerbunde, or singer societies, and the Turnverein, or Turner Society, also preserved a bit of the Fatherland.
Exploring the complex and ever-evolving German American identity in the growing diversity of Illinois’s linguistic and ethnic landscape, this book contextualizes their experiences and corrects widely held assumptions about assimilation and cultural identity. Federal census data, photographs, lively biographical sketches, and newly created maps bring the complex story of German immigration to life. The generously illustrated volume also features detailed notes, suggestions for further reading, and an annotated list of books, journal articles, and other sources of information.
Germans in Michigan
Jeremy W. Kilar Michigan State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress F575.G3K45 2002 | Dewey Decimal 305.8310774
Germans are the largest ancestral group in Michigan, representing over 2.6 million descendants or 22% of the state’s population. Yet, unlike other immigrant groups, Germans have not retained their linguistic and cultural traditions as part of a distinct ethnic identity. The Bavarian villages of Frankenmuth and Gaylord stand as testaments to the once proud and vigorous German communities that dotted both rural and urban Michigan landscapes. Jeremy W. Kilar explores the social forces that transformed Germans from inward-looking immigrants to citizens in the cultural mainstream. Germans in Michigan is a story of assimilation and renewal and as such reveals the complexities of Americanization and immigration as social forces.
The racial and ethnic composition of Philadelphia continues to diversify as a new wave of immigrants—largely from Asia and Latin America—reshape the city’s demographic landscape. Moreover, in a globalized economy, immigration is the key to a city’s survival and competitiveness. The contributors to Global Philadelphia examine how Philadelphia has affected its immigrants’ lives, and how these immigrants, in turn, have shaped Philadelphia.
Providing a detailed historical, ethnographic, and sociological look at Philadelphia’s immigrant communities, this volume examines the social and economic dynamics of various ethnic populations. Significantly, the contributors make comparisons to and connections between the traditional immigrant groups—Germans, Italians, the Irish, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Chinese—and newer arrivals, such as Cambodians, Haitians, Indians, Mexicans, and African immigrants of various nationalities.
While their experiences vary, Global Philadelphia focuses on some of the critical features that face all immigrant groups—intra-group diversity, the role of institutions, and ties to the homeland. Taken together, these essays provide a richer understanding of the processes and implications of contemporary immigration to the area.
The Good Oak
Martin Etchart University of Nevada Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3605.T38G66 2005 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Thirteen-year-old Matt Echbar is angry at the world. His widowed father is too busy for him, and his grandfather is an embarrassment, an unschooled Basque shepherd whose language and customs are completely alien to Matt’s all-American lifestyle. Things get worse when the grandfather steals a flock of sheep and dragoons Matt into helping him drive them to a secret camp in the Arizona mountains. The ensuing adventure is one of the most compelling and delightful coming-of-age novels in recent fiction. As Matt and his aitatxi, accompanied by their two faithful sheepdogs, drive the flock across the burgeoning suburbs of Phoenix and into the remote mountains, the boy learns the ancient skills of the sheepherder and discovers the unexpected wisdom that has given his Old Country grandfather the strength and patience of a sturdy oak. By the time the journey reaches its fateful conclusion, Matt has developed a new bond with the old man and has learned that true manhood includes accepting one’s heritage.
The Grand Gennaro
Belluscio, Steven Rutgers University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3523.A659G73 2009 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
An illiterate Calabrian in southern Italy owes money to his church and mayor. He skips town for the bustling streets of New York. Meeting an old friend, a fellow immigrant, he thanks him for help getting settled, and then steals his money. With a new parcel of wealth, he materializes from a small-time laborer into a big-time entrepreneur, soon becoming the tyrant of the local Italian American community. By pluck, luck, and unscrupulous business practices, this cunning character "makes America." There are riches, pleasure, and the beautiful Carmela. Then trouble. Comeuppance. Ambush. Revenge.Twenty-first century popular culture? Not at all.
The Grand Gennaro, a riveting saga set at the turn of the last century in Italian American Harlem, reflects on how youthful acts of cruelty and desperation follow many to the grave. A classic in the truest sense, this operatic narrative is alive once again, addressing the question: How does one become an "American"?