Event Title

Effects of Assimilation among Second-Generation Immigrants in the United States

Session Title

Inclusion and Community

Faculty Mentor

Anna Igou, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of World Languages and Cultures

Location

WEST 217

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:45 PM

Description

This documentary film will investigate linguistic and cultural assimilation of second-generation immigrants in the United States. I have observed that many individuals born to immigrant parents have either chosen not to, or been denied the option to learn the native language of their parents’ countries of origin. In a 2002 study, Richard Alba theorized that by the third generation, the native language is predominantly replaced by English within the home. In Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by Richard Rodriguez, the author shares feelings of guilt associated with linguistic and cultural acculturation. I want to see if this assimilation into American culture has affected individuals’ relationships to their families. Have they had difficulties, or been unable to communicate with their relatives or close family? Do they have regrets, or are they content with their inability to speak their parents’ native languages? I will be asking these questions of several Winthrop students who come from first-generation families and do not speak their parents’ native tongues. This project will allow me to uncover the complex nature of some of these students’ individual experiences, and bring a greater understanding to the effects of American linguistic and cultural assimilation on second-generation immigrants.

Course Assignment

FREN 360 – Igou and Burmeister

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Apr 12th, 12:45 PM

Effects of Assimilation among Second-Generation Immigrants in the United States

WEST 217

This documentary film will investigate linguistic and cultural assimilation of second-generation immigrants in the United States. I have observed that many individuals born to immigrant parents have either chosen not to, or been denied the option to learn the native language of their parents’ countries of origin. In a 2002 study, Richard Alba theorized that by the third generation, the native language is predominantly replaced by English within the home. In Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by Richard Rodriguez, the author shares feelings of guilt associated with linguistic and cultural acculturation. I want to see if this assimilation into American culture has affected individuals’ relationships to their families. Have they had difficulties, or been unable to communicate with their relatives or close family? Do they have regrets, or are they content with their inability to speak their parents’ native languages? I will be asking these questions of several Winthrop students who come from first-generation families and do not speak their parents’ native tongues. This project will allow me to uncover the complex nature of some of these students’ individual experiences, and bring a greater understanding to the effects of American linguistic and cultural assimilation on second-generation immigrants.