Choose two of the following four questions and write essays based on them. Each short essay should not be more than two/three pages (doubled-spaced).
1) Discuss what the history of immigration to the United States indicates about the nature of race/racism and/or ethnic groups, discrimination and prejudice, and ethnic hierarchies (as covered in the Race and Ethnicity in the United States class/readings) and how they change over time. Instead of just briefly summarizing U.S. immigration history, make sure you are applying the concepts discussed in the Race and Ethnicity class to understand aspects of US immigration history.
2) Among the four ethnic groups that we have studied for this part of the course (White Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, or Hispanic/Latino Americans), which do you think is the most important for understanding race and ethnic relations in the United States? Explain why you think this particular ethnic group is the most important or interesting by comparing it to another ethnic group we have studied that you think is less important or interesting. You can argue for the relative importance of these ethnic groups in terms of their impact on American society, their position in the U.S. racial hierarchy, their socioeconomic status, assimilation patterns, internal diversity, the amount of discrimination/stereotyping they experience, or simply because you find the ethnic characteristics of one group to be more interesting than the other (you do not have to cover all these issues, but instead, select a few).
3) The differences in the average socioeconomic status and upward mobility of second generation immigrant minorities can be explained by many factors, such as the socioeconomic status of their immigrant parents, different levels of ethnic/racial discrimination, immigration policies/political contexts of reception (whether their parents were undocumented immigrants or legal immigrants), and their different rates of cultural assimilation. Indicate which of these you believe is the most important and second most important factors and briefly illustrate using Asian Americans or Hispanic/Latino Americans as an example of a second generation immigrant-descent minority.
4) Compare the average socioeconomic status and success of Asian Americans with Hispanic/Latino Americans. Explain the differences in the average socioeconomic attainment of these two ethnic groups by referring to the factors that influence the socioeconomic status and upward mobility of second generation immigrant minorities. These are: the socioeconomic status of their immigrant parents, different levels of ethnic/racial discrimination, immigration policies/political contexts of reception (whether their parents were undocumented immigrants or legal immigrants), and their different rates of cultural assimilation.