The essays in Thomas Dublin’s book raise questions about individuals and their relationship to ethnic and national identity. For your final assignment, write an essay discussing your own ethnic identity and that of your ancestors (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles). How far back can you go to trace your ethnic roots? What aspects of ethnic culture (language, traditions, customs, and holidays) do you or your family preserve? To what extent have you and your family accepted Americanization? If you feel you are fully assimilated or are you more acculturated? What makes this so? In this context, what does it mean to be an American?
If you are an immigrant or an international student, explain how your experience in America has or has not been influenced by your interactions with the American society. Have you adopted new customs? How do you try to maintain the culture of your home nation while you are here?
After you have written about your experience then all students must compare and contrast your story to at least one of the essays presented in the Dublin book, Becoming American, Becoming Ethnic.
I am asking you to consider some two additional questions for this paper.
1. How do you think the student who wrote the essay you looked at in Becoming American, Becoming Ethnic decided who to talk to for their essay? How did you decide who to talk to for your part of the paper?
2. What connections do you see between your experience and the experience of the student in the essay you looked at in Becoming American, Becoming Ethnic?
This assignment is worth 140 points.
Essay Mechanics: The main focus of this assignment is to discuss the influence of ethnicity (and national identity) on your life. This assignment must be typed, double-spaced, carefully proofread, and be five pages in length. I encourage you to model your essays on the experiences of the students in the Dublin book, so you must show you used the book. You may also seek outside sources for this essay, including interviewing your parents, grandparents or other relatives. You can also draw upon your own experiences as a recent immigrant. Please write this answer using a proper, formal writing style suitable for a history paper.
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