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SOC400: Race and Ethnicity in the USA: Biography of an Immigrant Project

Course Assignment


Welcome to the NU Library course guide for SOC 400 - Race and Ethnicity in the USA. This guide is designed to help students find resources to complete the Biography of an Immigrant Project

While you are welcome to use course materials, you must consult a minimum of three scholarly sources (external peer-reviewed journal articles, government documents, or chapters from other scholarly books*) published in 2012 or after to help you provide more in-depth analysis. Older references are fine as additional references, as some texts are classics, but you must have three newer ones. Failure to use at least three scholarly peer-reviewed sources published in 2012 or after will result in a substantial docking of your grade. (*University press books; serious ‘trade’ books written for a scholarly audience such as Sage, Basic Books, etc. Check with me if you need help with this.)

While this guide will provide you with support to complete the research aspects of your assignment, please address all questions regarding content, formatting, and grading to your instructor.

For more information and library resources, see the Sociology Guide.

Your Librarian

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Tammy Ivins
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Possible Topics

The below questions (coordinated to the interview questions) might be fruitful research topics to enhance your understanding of your interviewee’s immigration experience. (See student samples in Course Resources of how students accomplished this.)

Possible topics to learn more about (you do not need to investigate all of these).

  • What were/are the major causes of immigration to the U.S. by members of this nation group? Consider when your subject immigrated when you do the research.

  • What were the peak years for immigration of this group to the USA? Why?

  • What are the biggest challenges members of this group experience in the U.S.?

  • Have recent US laws or international events impacted this group in the USA? For example: If your subject is from Mexico, major developments in Arizona law have had serious consequences for Mexican Americans and other peoples from Latin America. If your subject is from an Arab Middle Eastern nation, wars, terror, and political events have had a serious impact on cultural attitudes toward immigration from some nations.

  • How has the group been received by the dominant U.S. population?

  • How have they adjusted to life in the USA?

  • What is their typical educational attainment?

  • What kinds of jobs, careers and professions do they typically enter?

❕ Research Tips ❕

When searching for information, think about the who, what, where, when, why, and/or how. You can incorporate these into your search to narrow down your results.

Here are some examples of things you can include in your search:

  1. Their background, such as who they are or where they come from (e.g. Russian Americans, Japanese Americans)
  2. How they moved (e.g. immigration, emigration, refugee)
  3. Why they moved (e.g. issues in their home country)
  4. Struggles they faced (e.g. oppression, discrimination, racism, integration, assimilation, identity)

These are just some examples. Your questions and the answers you receive will help you form your research strategy.

Research Best Bets

Key Background Resources

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