— [http://goo.gl/XTthkV] Irish— a minority group —living in the USA—, and their integration into mainstream society. _______________________Immigration



:: RT: Writing http://goo.gl/XTthkV an essay on a minority group —living in the USA—, and its integration into mainstream society: While 1) Irish immigrants struggled in the past to become well-adjusted in the United States society, 2) their integration was speeded up by undergoing biological assimilation, and 3) today they are integrated into mainstream society | #Essay #Immigration #Irish #English #StudyNotes #UniversityStudies #SocialStudies #CulturalStudies #Society #Culture #EthnicRelations #Ethnology #Americanization #Emigration #Immigrants #History #Ethnicity #Nationalism #IrishAmericans


Exam in Interdisciplinary course (combines both literature and cultural studies: UK/American Literature and UK/American Culture)

The Irish, who, at home, readily sympathize with the oppressed everywhere, are instantly taught when they step upon [American] soil to hate and despise the Negro.... Sir, the Irish-American will one day find out his mistake. - Frederick Douglass, May 10, 1853 -as quoted in Ignatiev, Noel. "How the Irish Became White." New York: Routledge, 1995.

The key themes here are: immigration, ideology, identity, ethnicity, social class and prejudice/discrimination.

Once seen as threats to mainstream society, Irish Americans have become an integral part of the American story. More than 40 million Americans claim Irish descent, and the culture and traditions of Ireland and Irish Americans have left an indelible mark on U.S. society.

Integration is a process wherein immigrant newcomers and the communities in which they settle — both the individuals and institutions — mutually adapt to one another. Integration is also an endpoint reached when individuals only minimally perceive themselves and others in ethnoracial and national terms, when these attributes have, at most, a negligible negative impact on opportunities and life chances. (Richard Alba and Victor Nee, "Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration." Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.)

*The term America is used in this essay to mean the United States of America.

Five-paragraph essay on Irish— a minority group —living in the USA—, and their integration into mainstream society; Interdisciplinary Course with Cultural Studies, Benjamin Madeira, PDF ::

Irish— a minority group —living in the USA—, and their integration into mainstream society, PDF - Official Website - BenjaminMadeira

Integration of the Irish in the American Society ::

Immigration has undoubtedly constituted a fundamental element of the United States of America. The composition of American society today goes beyond people derived from the finest of a few selected European countries (Alba and Nee, Kindle Locations 401-402; Crevecoeur 51). A large proportion of the American populace has in fact its roots traced to other parts of the world (Øien-Vikaune, Lesson 1, video: 00:33-50). On several occasions, the United States has been termed as the “melting pot” (Alba and Nee, Kindle Locations 401-402). Of course, this necessitates full integration and adjustments both among immigrants and their progeny. Furthermore, scholars acknowledge that the speed of integration and adjustment may vary within a new society whose members are from different countries and races (Ignatiev 43). When dealing with the contentious issue of examination or discussion on minorities, immigration or integration, one cannot relegate Irish immigrants to a sphere that does not impinge on their adjustment in the United States. While Irish immigrants struggled in the past to become well-adjusted in the United States society, a selective group of them speeded up their own integration; they underwent biological assimilation, and today, despite the heterogeneity of Irish Immigrants, the Irish population in general has over time become integrated into the mainstream United States society but still emulating Irish traditions.

Emigration from Ireland is not homogenous ::

While some critics may argue that emigration from Ireland was triggered by both famine in the nineteenth century, economic climate and oppression, one can also argue that emigration from Ireland is not a homogenous issue; immigration experiences for Irish people differed by gender and from one person to the other (Schwaninger 51; Salins 26; Øien-Vikaune, Lesson 1, video: 03:04-31; 05:21-06:59). For Meagher “[t]here may never be a last Irish immigrant as long as Ireland and the United States exist” (3). According to Meagher, Irish people living in the US today ought to be separated into two main groups; most of those who call themselves Irish "are either Protestant or had ancestors that were" (4). When general public refer to Irish, they are talking about those who emigrated during the nineteenth- and twentieth-century. However, "most of today’s self-identified Irish in America came here in the eighteenth century" (Meagher 4). Those first Irish immigrants –before, during and after Napoleonic Wars– moved to the United States in search of economic prosperity (Abed 90-91); the post-famine Irish found a way of escaping the significant oppression they suffered in the hands of the Britons while searching for prosperity as well (Øien-Vikaune, Lesson 1, video: 02:26-57; Ignatiev 2). On their arrival, all of them became a complex Irish community.

Complex Irish people on American soil ::

Without question, Irish people on American soil make a complex picture which is difficult to categorize; even historians are still attempting to make sense of the history of Irish Americans. Today, political scientists cannot explain how the Irish achieved such economic success and political power despite the fact that they had been such outsiders, and had been such rejected group in society (Wagner, video 46:30-47:19). However, there is an Irish group that one can pin down. During one of the racist periods of nineteenth-century US, there was an Irish group compound of men and women who were among the fiercest enemies of black American slaves (Meagher 5). Ironically, those Irish immigrants, under the English Penal Laws, in 1695, had undergone the same experience as American slaves underwent (Ignatiev 34-39; Abed 17, 24; Parnell, 1808, 1-226; Parnell, 1825, 1-159). In the initial years of immigration, the Irish married Asians or blacks slaves in most places where they settled in large numbers, where they also were in the same class competing for similar jobs (Wagner, video 26:08-57; 37:55-38:24; Meagher 5). However, in spite of their history of being oppressed in a tyrannical land, and their fight for rights and freedom (Ignatiev 34-36), and even the consistent pleas to support abolitionists (Ignatiev 6-29), the Irish immigrants realized that they could effectively gain acceptance by the mainstream society as good citizens through cooperating in the persistent oppression of African Americans (Ignatiev 110-111).

Caucasian characteristics ::

Integration into a new Western society can be very or less problematic depending on where immigrants originally come from. In general, immigrants who come from Western societies whose governments are driven by liberal democratic principles integrate themselves in a better and faster way into another Western society, especially if those newcomers have Caucasian characteristics. These Irish immigrants struggled to become integrated into the mainstream society because of marginalization, based on their cultural values, economic status and religious beliefs but first and foremost due to their biological characteristics (Wagner, 39:12-47). As a matter of fact, the Irish immigrants were perceived as a separate race (Øien-Vikaune, Lesson 2, video: 3:10-3:38). In the antebellum period, the Irish were usually regarded as “niggers turned inside out [and blacks as] smoked Irish” (Ignatiev 41-42) and several others racial epithets.

Total cultural assimilation requires biological assimilation ::

British-Indian political philosopher Bhikhu Parekh (198) writes that assimilation would not be a promise for wholesome acceptance into the society and that total cultural assimilation requires biological assimilation. This comes out clearly in the case of the Irish. Those fiercest enemies of black American slaves, who did not have Caucasians features, adopted a pragmatic stance; those nineteenth-century Irish underwent a biological assimilation in the United States (Alba and Nee, Kindle Location 1760-1766). The interaction between Irish and blacks did not last long as the former realized the advantages that came with intermarrying with other members of the dominant societies rather than the African Americans who were seen as the underdogs in American society (Ignatiev 49). When deciding on whether they had to be impervious to outside influence, giving up their own values that constituted their identity, Irish married beyond their own ethnic group; they found spouses from among other Caucasians, and stopped intermarrying with other Catholics and American slaves (Alba and Nee, Kindle Location 1760-1766). This is an early version of what has since become known as Anglo-conformity, described as “Americanization”, in the US, the expectation that all nation’s members should “share a common national culture, including common values, ideals of excellence, moral beliefs and social practices” while simultaneously disgorging their own cultural heritage (Healey & O'Brien 45; Parekh 197-199; Øien-Vikaune, Lesson 2, video: 20:47).

The assimilationist integration model ::

In adopting some of the native-born’s prejudices toward blacks, Irish adopted the assimilationist integration model as described by Parekh: “In the assimilationist view the choice before minorities is simple. If they wish to become part of society and be treated like the rest of their fellow-citizens, they should assimilate. If they insist on retaining their separate cultures, they should not complain if they are viewed as outsiders and subjected to discriminatory treatment” (197). The early articulation of the melting pot conception of assimilation expressed by the French-born J. Hector St. John Crevecoeur has a very contemporary ring: "He is an American, who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys [...]”(Crevecoeur 54). After several generations, as their Caucasian features became clear, the Irish finally moved up the socioeconomic ladder, as stated by Peter Salins, they elevated their status “primarily because of the whiteness of their skins” (27); now there was no big color difference between native-born Americans, known as nativists, and these Irish.

Conclusion ::

Thus, the Irish world on American soil is a messy business; it is more complicated than simply mechanically affirming and reaffirming that the Irish are fully assimilated in the United States of America. While some of Irish men and women have fought hard to successfully achieve what they were unable in Europe, others, ironically, realized that their integration in the American society depended primarily on taking a pragmatic stance; giving African Americans a wide berth and supporting the whites in oppressing them. In general, while celebrating their adaptation in American society, most of Irish immigrants and their offspring show vestiges of their cultural heritage (Parekh 197), especially their religion beliefs and their folkloric traditions (Wagner, video 1:18:50-1:23:16). When answering on whether Irish became assimilated, Alba and Nee argue that [a]ssimilation is not a static or unchanging concept; [...] [furthermore] [c]onceptions of the American mainstream likewise have changed as immigration has contributed to the growing diversity of ethnic and racial groups that inhabit the United States" (Kindle Location 306-307). Meagher agrees that "any ethnic group like Irish Americans is dynamic—it changes—" (6). Thus, as of 2000 “more than 35 million Americans identified themselves as being of Irish ancestors (Øien-Vikaune, Lesson 1, video: 07:12-35). Alba and Nee argue that “[t]he descendants may choose to celebrate their ethnic identity and cultural roots, but their ethnicity has greatly diminished as an ascriptive trait that decisively shapes life chances” (Kindle Locations 11-12). Nevertheless, American historian, Marcus Lee Hansen, the son of Danish immigrants, concludes that ethnicity is preserved among immigrants; it is true that it weakens in the minds of their children but it returns reverberating through the veins of their grandchildren because "[w]hat the son wishes to forget, the grandson wishes to remember" (qtd. in Alba and Nee, Kindle Locations 421-422).





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01 The Irish in America: Long Journey Home: The Great Hunger (VHSclassic90s) ::




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02 The Irish in America: Long Journey Home: All Across America (VHSclassic90s) :




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03 The Irish in America: Long Journey Home: Up From City Streets (VHSclassic90s) :




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WORKS CITED — REFERENCES : FURTHER READING:

• [1] Abed, Antsar A. Irish immigration to the United States of America 1815-1850. Dissertation. Ph.D of Art in Modern History. Warsaw: Faculty of History, University of Warsaw. 2014. Print.
This dissertation concerns the history and the causes of the Irish emigration to the United States in the first half of the 19th century. Author, using British Irish, and to lesser extent also American primary sources.


• [2] Alba, Richard D, and Victor Nee. Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2003. Ebook, Kindle Edition. ISBN: 9780674020115
In this age of multicultural democracy, the idea of assimilation--that the social distance separating immigrants and their children from the mainstream of American society closes over time--seems outdated and, in some forms, even offensive. But as Richard Alba and Victor Nee show in the first systematic treatment of assimilation since the mid-1960s, it continues to shape the immigrant experience, even though the geography of immigration has shifted from Europe to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Institutional changes, from civil rights legislation to immigration law, have provided a more favorable environment for nonwhite immigrants and their children than in the past. Assimilation is still driven, in claim, by the decisions of immigrants and the second generation to improve their social and material circumstances in America. But they also show that immigrants, historically and today, have profoundly changed our mainstream society and culture in the process of becoming Americans. Surveying a variety of domains--language, socioeconomic attachments, residential patterns, and intermarriage--they demonstrate the continuing importance of assimilation in American life. And they predict that it will blur the boundaries among the major, racially defined populations, as nonwhites and Hispanics are increasingly incorporated into the mainstream. Of special interest is, for this essay, the chapter about "Racial Distinctiveness of New Immigrant Groups."


• [3] Crevecoeur J. Hector St. John de. Letters from an American Farmer. New York: Fox, Duffield and Company. (1904 [1782]). Print. Pp. 48-91.

• [4] Healey, Joseph F. & ‎Eileen O'Brien. Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change. 2014. SAGE Publications. Print.

• [5] Ignatiev, Noel. How the Irish Became White. New York: Routledge, 1995. Print. ISBN: 0415913845
How the Irish Became White explodes a number of myths surrounding race in our society. Focusing on how the Irish were assimilated as "whites" in America, Noel Ignatiev uncovers the roots of conflict between Irish Americans and African Americans and draws a powerful connection between Irish "success" in nineteenth-century American society and their embrace of white supremacy.


• [6] Kuper, Leo. “Plural Societies” in Guibernau, Montserrat and Rex, John (eds.): The Ethnicity Reader, Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2001. Print. ISBN: 0745619223
The Ethnicity Reader presents a highly accessible introduction to the study of ethnicity by providing an original approach to nationalism, multiculturalism and migration.


• [7] Meagher, Timothy J.. Columbia Guide to Irish American History. 2005. Columbia University Press. Print. ISBN: 1423733983
In this age of multicultural democracy, the idea of assimilation--that the social distance separating immigrants and their children from the mainstream of American society closes over time--seems outdated and, in some forms, even offensive. But as Richard Alba and Victor Nee show in the first systematic treatment of assimilation since the mid-1960s, it continues to shape the immigrant experience, even though the geography of immigration has shifted from Europe to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Institutional changes, from civil rights legislation to immigration law, have provided a more favorable environment for nonwhite immigrants and their children than in the past. Assimilation is still driven, in claim, by the decisions of immigrants and the second generation to improve their social and material circumstances in America. But they also show that immigrants, historically and today, have profoundly changed our mainstream society and culture in the process of becoming Americans. Surveying a variety of domains--language, socioeconomic attachments, residential patterns, and intermarriage--they demonstrate the continuing importance of assimilation in American life. And they predict that it will blur the boundaries among the major, racially defined populations, as nonwhites and Hispanics are increasingly incorporated into the mainstream.


• [8] Modood, Tariq. Remaking multiculturalism after 7/7. Open Democracy, 29(7). 2005. Web. Retrieved on May 2015 from https://goo.gl/5xT42r

• [9] Parekh, Bhikhu C. “Rethinking Multiculturalism : cultural diversity and political theory” in: Chapter 7: The Political Structure of Multicultural Society. 2000. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. Print. ISBN: 0674004361
By an academic, for academics, using academic argument forms, and with an academics meanness of spirit.


• [10] Parnell, Henry. A History of the Penal Laws Against the Irish Catholics: From the Treaty of Limerick to the Union. Dublin: H. Fitzpatrick, 4, Capel-Street, 1808. Web. Retrieved on May 2015 from https://goo.gl/2PLw3t
A History of the Penal Laws Against the Irish Catholics. Original material.


• [11] Parnell, Henry, and Henry Brooke Parnell Congleton. A History of the Penal Laws Against the Irish Catholics: From the Year 1689, To the Union. 1825. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees , Orme, Brown, and Green. Web. Web. Retrieved on May 2015 from https://goo.gl/tsj0hO
A History of the Penal Laws Against the Irish Catholics. Original material.


• [12] Rex, John. "The concept of a multicultural society“ in Guibernau, Montserrat and Rex, John (eds.): The Ethnicity reader, Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2001. Print. ISBN: 0745619223
The Ethnicity Reader presents a highly accessible introduction to the study of ethnicity by providing an original approach to nationalism, multiculturalism and migration.


• [13] Salins, Peter D. Assimilation, American Style. New York: Basic Books, 1997. Print. ISBN: 0465098177
The past few years have witnessed an intensification of anti-immigration sentiment in America.

• [14] Schwaninger, Julia. “Analysing Colm Tóibín’s Novel Brooklyn and Selected Short Stories of Mothers and Sons for the Purposes of Teaching in the EFL Classroom.” 2011. Web. March 2015. http://goo.gl/oo6U5W

• [15] Wagner, Paul; Kerby Miller, Paul Wagner. Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America. PBS: 1995. Video. Web. Retrieved on May 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM4UWh9EwKA
This documentary chronicles the 200-year history and experiences of Irish-American immigrants. The film is comprised of a blend of still photographs, drawings, and on location re-creations. It also includes the personal stories of many famous Irish-Americans including modern actors Aidan Quinn and Liam Neeson. The film also includes interviews with historians and commentators. Narrated by Kelly McGillis.


• [16] Øien-Vikaune, Ane. Cultural Studies Unit 1: Immigration history. Take Credit, NTNU: Lesson 1, 2015. Web. Retrieved on Jan 2015 from (Video) https://goo.gl/IPNH8D and (PDF) https://goo.gl/D6Uqp2

——— Cultural Studies Unit 2: Race, and integration theory. Take Credit, NTNU: Lesson 2, 2015. Web. Retrieved on Feb 2015 from (Video) https://goo.gl/B8dZOM and (PDF) https://goo.gl/j0kSZN

——— Cultural Studies Unit 4: Cultural and political impact. Take Credit, NTNU: Lesson 4, 2015. Web. Retrieved on Feb 2015 from (Video) https://goo.gl/8gcDzz and (PDF) https://goo.gl/WFQ27q

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