Regional/Local Immigration History
This paper option allows students to explore in detail the immigration history within their local
community or region. The research for this paper will include research on the ethnic groups that
have immigrated to your local community (i.e. city, county, regional area such as “southern
California” – but not as large as an entire state). From this research, you should select one ethnic
group from your local community and research the immigration experiences of this group in detail.
In developing your paper, do not simply tell or summarize the immigrant group’s story. Instead, set
their history up (pre-immigration, arrival, settlement) within the specific socio-historical contexts
that you have been learning about in this class. Analyze how their experiences have contributed to
America’s cultural pluralism. In total, your paper should include a clear introduction identifying
which local or regional ethnic group’s immigration experiences you are examining and discuss three
separate points of the group’s experiences: 1) pre-immigration, 2) arrival, and 3) settlement. Your
paper should present a strong analysis of the group’s experiences informed by SOC500 course
materials and your own independent scholarly research.
Your paper should address the following points regarding a local immigrant group experience:
Discuss the historical set of factors within the country of origin, and emphasize the “push factors,”
which compel out migration.
Describe as well the “pull factors,” or those extant conditions within the United States which beckon
these immigrants to choose the United States as their destination.
What were the specific pull factors to your local community/region for this ethnic group?
Immigrants usually fill vacant economic niches, which open up at a specific historical moment.
Discuss the events or contexts in which this immigrant group fits into this niche.
Discuss as well any other groups competing for these jobs, and any methods, such as networking,
language and skills, which immigrants utilize to find and keep work.
Discuss the reception of this immigrant group to the U.S., this includes any rejection or acceptance
experiences, as well as resistances and accommodations made by this group to being outsiders.
Contextualize the immigrant group within a complex of cultural, economic and political conditions as
they make their lives in the United States.
Identify and apply an applicable sociological theory in your analysis
Use at least 3 scholarly sources (i.e. non-fiction books, peer-reviewed journal articles) to support
Additional Points to consider:
Note the social, political and economic ethos of the time.
Are there gender issues related to the group’s immigration patterns, such as concerns related to
marriage, child-rearing practices, family obligations, health concerns, etc.?
Is/was cultural adaptation or cultural assimilation a goal?
Paper Format and Submission Directions (applies to both paper topic options)
Your paper should be 8-10 page, double-spaced, not including cover page and references
For full credit, make sure to have proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar, and to properly
apply in-text APA format citations when integrating various sources into your paper.