Intercultural Communication

Course Website for Tunghai FLLD Seminar

Archive for the ‘immigration’ Category

Article on “hyphenated” labels for ethnic groups

Posted by thuicc on August 27, 2008

Saw this article via H-USA, an e-mail list I’m a member of:

Does the institutionalized usage of hyphenated-nationalities help, hurt, or distract a country from more pertinent issues?

America is a country of immigrants.

One side of the American street prides itself on not seeing the person as a combination of ancestral ethnicities but, instead, each individual becomes a culmination of their life experiences.

The other side of the American street takes pride in the achievements of their ancestors and believe their ancestor’s struggles, sacrifices and oppressions are intrinsic to who they are and how America treats/sees them.

This boulevard of contrasting views pervades most aspects of American social laws and policies. Almost every social issue faced by our judicial and/or legislative bodies, on national, state and local levels, have an ethnic/racial purpose or impact and we spend inordinate amounts of time debating, protesting, defending, and balancing these facets.

There is the beginnings of a new movement within our country to re-think the use of ethnic qualifiers to the American nationality. African-American, Hispanic-American, or
your-ethnicity-goes-here-DASH-American is of questionable benefit to the nation’s social fabric and, debatably of course, does more harm to national unity than good.  This same debate was part of the nation’s conversation at the turn of the 20th century when it was the German-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Polish-Americans that qualified their nationality.

In many aspects, where America goes, so goes the world.  Before any other country steps into this pit of social identities, there are some questions the people of that country should ponder:

  1. Are institutionalized hyphenated-nationalities  good for a country’s unity and socio-mentality or is it an institutionalized contradiction to the term “nationality”?
  2. Can you belong to more than one country and, if so, what happens when the two countries have conflicting policies?
  3. Can you maintain the cultures and customs of your ancestral homelands while still assimilating fully into your birth country?
  4. Does the use of hyphenated-nationalities proclaim an aversion to the idea of assimilation?
  5. Is the use of the hyphenated qualification a two edged sword that cuts both ways?  In other words, can you expect your country to treat you different because of your hyphenation but treat you the same despite your hyphenation?

What are the ideas of migration researchers in these points? What influence does the use of hyphenated labels by migration researchers have?

William Myrick Thomas

What do you think? Is the author addressing an important point? Check out the website and see what you think. (Note: I don’t necessarily agree with him myself…)

Posted in cultural classifications, identity, immigration, race, United States, websites | 2 Comments »

The place of married un-kuwaiti women in Kuwait

Posted by sydneylee on October 29, 2006

Hi, I am Sydney.After reading the Wikipedia about Kuwait, I have a question about the place of married un-Kuwaiti women in
Kuwait. A guy mentioned “
many Kuwaiti men were married to females from
Philippines.” I think that’s an interesting point. Taiwan has the same phenomenon that more and more Taiwanese men would like to marry girls from Vietnam and
Philippines than Taiwanese girls. We call them “Foreign Bride” (I don’t like this name very well). Anyway,some believe that most of these men have bad financial situations, so that they have to find wives from other countries. Others think that it is the growing of feminism which makes Taiwanese women become dominate in family and society, which makes Taiwanese men try to marry tender wives from Southeast countries. So I am curious about the reason of why Kuwaiti marry women from Philippines, and how these women are treated in

Posted in immigration, Kuwait, race, sexuality, Taiwan | 2 Comments »

US population passes 300 million

Posted by thuicc on October 18, 2006

Below are links to two articles about the US population’s recent estimated rise to/above 300 million. As they both mention, immigration is one of the key factors behind the relatively quick jump from 200 million in 1967 (the year before yours truly was born) and 2006.

As the articles also mention, immigration is one of the hot political issues in this election year in the United States.

Posted in immigration, media, United States, websites | Comments Off on US population passes 300 million

Immigration and race in the United States

Posted by thuicc on April 7, 2006

There’s a post over at the Savage Minds anthropology blog that discusses some issues related to the idea that the United States is an immigrant’s dream. Kerim Friedman (who teaches at National Donghua University) argues that

The reason immigrants tend to do well in America is not because America is a more welcoming society, but because we already have a permanent racial underclass in our African American population! (And, to some extent, Latinos and Native Americans as well.)

He contrasts this situation to European countries where the underclass is made up of immigrants. There are a lot of interesting comments in response to Friedman’s post, including some discussion over the idea that a lot of immigrants in the U.S. (particularly undocumented immigrants–what many people call “illegal immigrants”) do work that American’s don’t want to do. As Ozma writes,

This argument—that undocumented immigrants do work that “no one else wants” or “no one else is available to perform” masks both extant forms of institutional discrimination AND the fact that undocumented immigrants are hired to perform work under abusive conditions rather than hired to perform work for which no other workers are available. Their desirability as workers is not about general scarcity—it is about specific forms of exploitation.

(I would argue that this is similar to the situation of foreign laborers in Taiwan.) Anyway, we will discuss this in the fall when the course begins and we get into issues of subcultures and minority groups.

Posted in immigration, race, Taiwan, United States | Comments Off on Immigration and race in the United States

Two BBC articles about the Chinese diaspora

Posted by thuicc on June 16, 2005

Here and here.

Posted in immigration, websites | Comments Off on Two BBC articles about the Chinese diaspora

News story on Japanese immigrants in New York City

Posted by thuicc on January 31, 2005

There’s an interesting story in the Taipei Times on the intercultural experiences of some Japanese who have moved to NYC. Check it out.

Posted in identity, immigration, websites | Comments Off on News story on Japanese immigrants in New York City