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The American Dream And Politics Essay

2459 words - 10 pages

Akinwumi, Akinbola E. “A New Kind of Entanglement? Immigrants, The ‘American Dream’ and the Politics of Belonging.” Geografiska Annaler Series B: Human Geography 88.2 (2006):249-253. Academic Search Complete. 22 Oct. 2007Akinbola E. Akinwumi is a Nigerian scholar with interests in global studies, cultural geography and the politics of development. He is a researcher at the Information Aid Network (IFANET), Ibadan, Nigeria. The author explores the immigrant motivation, justifications and particularities viewing middle-class immigrants in the USA and how do these people do or do not achieve the American Dream.In his article, the author argues that America as a highly ...view middle of the document...

Thirdly, the goal of an immigrant is not only to be a resident but to become a citizen. Citizenship “is most certainly the most significant dimension of assimilation outside the intermarriage.”The author notes that the main reason for people being against immigration is because they believe immigrants are taking their native rights, bringing inflexible competition for resources, putting strains on taxation and public benefit programs. But, the author argues that the American society enjoys far more benefits by having immigrants than what it gives back to the immigrants through welfare programs.Despite the idea of America as a land of opportunities there are many who are stuck in “wonderland” hoping for a better future; but the reality is that not all immigrants attain the American dream.Chen Xianzhong, Byron. “My American Dream.” Chinese Studies in History 37.1 (2003): 92-96. Academic Search Complete. 22 Oct. 2007 .The speech by Byron Xianzhong Chen took place at the Inaugural meeting of the Society for the Study of the History of Chinese with an American. The speaker emphasizes the difficulties of being a student in the United States by sharing his personal life story. He came to America from Taiwan to pursue his degree. Like most of the immigrants he wanted to live a better life. In order to get a degree Byron went through barriers such as lack of money and language. Unfortunately, that is a requirement for a stable job that paid well.The speaker notes that in order to survive in America as a successful student, or worker one needs to have a high knowledge of the language. But, like most Chinese immigrants, he discovered that certain degrees such as journalism are far more difficult. No matter how good one’s English is, his or her skills of listening, speaking and writing will lag behind those American students.The lack of money is another issue common among immigrants. When they come to America, they sell everything or borrow money from somebody. That money is merely enough to either cover a security deposit to come to America or to survive for a short time. Unable to pay tuition the speaker tried to find a job with limited English. His paid little and had bad working conditions. Similar to the speaker, immigrants are willing to do any kind of job known as “dirty jobs” in order to survive. The employers usually take advantage by paying less and giving longer hours. Most immigrants encounter health problems because of these bad working conditions. One point that the speaker brings up is not to lose focus and do the best to achieve one’s goals. He says, “I believe that in this (American) society, although it is certainly hard to find a suitable job, there are many opportunities.”The speaker believes that finding jobs does not have to do anything with racial discrimination. While studying or working in America one can be rejected not because of skin color, but not getting along with...

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