Assimilation Reading Questions

After absorbing this week’s readings and other content, publish a post on one of the following topics:

  1. Think about whether there have been times when you have felt pressured to be more (or less) “American.” When and in what setting did you feel this pressure? How was it exerted? What did “American” actually mean in this situation? Add an image or a link to your post that illustrates or relates to your story.
  2. Another question you might answer is where you think similar pressures to assimilate in ethnic and racial terms can be seen in contemporary popular culture. The US music and film industries, for example, have been frequently criticized for either encouraging artists to be less ethnically or racially “different” or for favoring white musicians (Elvis, Madonna, Vanilla Ice, Justin Bieber) who appropriate black or ethnic musical styles and repackage them in racially unthreatening terms. Are Anglo-centrism or coerced assimilation part of contemporary American popular culture?
  3. Americanization is still alive and well, even in this nation of immigrants, and even in cities like New York. Take a look at this news article from a few years ago about an attempt to regulate signage in Flushing, Queens. Take a stance in favor or against this initiative and argue for it. Or, make an argument for modifying the policy, perhaps by adjusting the percentage of signage that must be in English.

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