Racial and Ethnic Groups

Topics: United States, Caribbean, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 5 (1638 words) Published: December 14, 2013


New In America

SOC/262

Overview
The United States is known as the “Melting Pot” of the world. This is because of the many different cultures that arrived from many different countries. All in hopes of the “American Dream.” In this paper we will focus on the African migration and the Asian migration to the U.S. We will examine why these two groups decided to migrate to the U.S. and in what geographical areas they settled. We will then analyze and explain what influences other ethnic or racial groups had on each other, if any, once they migrated. We will also evaluate the power-conflict theory and how it applies to African and Asian groups. Furthermore, we will explain how the concept of multiculturalism might be applied to the two groups of focus. In conclusion, we will provide examples of these groups customs, beliefs, and values have-or-have not- become incorporated into American.

Migration
The African migration dates back to the 1600s. Dutch and French companies dominated the importation of African people at that time. England joined the trade as well in the 1600s. Local African societies were raided by Europeans and who took people by force. Greed and fear played a role in African coastal rulers’ involvement in the trade. These rulers succumbed to the European Slave-trade becoming the go-betweens, serving European Slave traders. The enslavement was motivated by cheap the potential of cheap labor on farms and plantations across America (Feagin, 2011). Africans settled mostly in the Southern States of N. America where most of the conservatives held plantations. According to historians from the mid-1600s to the 1850s, there is an estimate of 10-15million slaves imported to the Western Hemisphere. Most were taken to the West Indies and South America, and only 5 percent were brought directly to North America (Feagin, 2011). Asian Migration There is a variety of Asian cultures in the U.S. today. However, the very first Asian culture to settle in the North America were Filipino around 1750, they settled in what later would be Louisiana. Around 1840, the British and Spanish brought over “coolies” from China, India, and Philippines to make up for the shortage of slaves from Africa. They settled them in the Islands in the Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador and other South American countries (Le, C.N. 2013). The first big rush of Asian migration to the U.S. came during the Gold Rush in mid 1800s. Asian (mainly Chinese) people were lured by the promise of Gold riches and return home rich. They were settling in what is now known as California. One of the most important factors as to why the Chinese would leave China was economic hardship in their country (Le, C.N. 2013). Racial & Ethnic Influence

Chinese were the primary Asian group migrating to the U.S. Nevertheless, there were already misconceptions about the Chinese culture before they even arrived. People did not understand their customs, and therefore; they were stereotyped. Most of the time their lifestyle was described as exotic and sinister. There was Sinophobe’s, which is a fear of anything associated with China ( Feagin, 2011, Chapt. 4).Europeans appealed to the racist theory of fearing foreign genes and germs. It is easy to say that the Asian culture had little to zero influence on other cultures during the time of migration. One can say that the motivation behind having Asian-Chinese migration was due to economic growth for the United States. When the U.S. was in need of hard labor with cheap pay. The Western culture had significant influence on the Chinese culture. From clothes, food, speech, and Western medicine. Many of those customs had to be left behind in order to assimilate to an already hostile and competitive environment. The Chinese people had to become accustomed to the Western ways of conducting business, food and so forth. To this day, there is an effort by the Asian culture to be “more” Westernized. Many Asian...

References: Feagin, J. & Feagin, C. (2011). Racial and ethnic relations (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall.
Le, C.N. (2013). "The First Asian Americans" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. Retrieved from: http://www.asian-nation.org/first.shtml
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