Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

a blog

Blog # 3

April 26th, 2011 · 4 Comments

In the “Hispanic Challenge”, Samuel P. Huntington writes about the influence of the inflow of Hispanic immigration and how it “threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages.” As Huntington brought to knowledge that there are Latinos who have not assimilated yet to the U.S culture this brings the division Samuel writes about. As the U.S is seen as multiethnic and multiracial by Americans it seems to me as though the assimilation must be made between every ethnic and racial group. Enclaves keep people of the same culture and background together creating an environment which brings one close to home. An example of this in New York is Flushing, Queens where once there, signs and advertisements are in Chinese. The language is everywhere and it might be hard to get around if you do not know the language as I once experienced some one searching frantically for some one who speaks English. Besides the negative side of immigration Huntington describes the positive side of it. One important fact was that it would place a major threat  on the country’s cultural and political integrity if the Mexican immigration subdued as it is one of the largests.

“The ABCs of Chinese Americans” brought to my knowledge the terms FOB and ABC which are Chinese immigrants who are “fresh off the boat” and the “American born Chinese”.  Helen Peng tells us how in Flushing it is very easy to tell the difference between these two groups. FOB’s wear bright colors and spit a lot whereas ABCs wear American brand clothing such as American Eagle. There is conflict between the new and old immigrants as the young generation have assimilated to American culture while the old immigrants keep their mannerisms and way of life from back home. This makes me look at people in Flushing differently because maybe I can now distinguish the difference between the two.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1    anthonymunozjr // Apr 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    The advertisement signs have been tackled by local politicians. Dan Halloran, a member of the New York City council , one of the five republicans, (there’s 46 democrats) writes that signs should be implement to promote a sense of community,

    “But this is only a short-term solution to an immediate problem. We should be spending less money on translations and laws that burden or hurt small businesses.

    Instead of translating signs, we need to invest in teaching immigrants the English language. This would save us millions in the long run, and help immigrants succeed here in New York.”

  • 2    Prof. Hala // Apr 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I like how you linked the two pieces together by pointing to Flushing as an example of the kind of immigrant “enclave” Huntington finds so threatening, at least with respect to Mexicans, if not Chinese.

    And thanks for linking this to current political/legislative debates, Anthony — very helpful.

  • 3    msheridan100 // May 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I agree with Anthony’s comment. Instead of complaining about how Latino’s will not assimilate into American culture, why not do something about it? Many people come here not knowing a word of English, and may be embarrassed to ask for help. They feel more comfortable in their own communities, where they rarely have to venture into ‘American’ culture. I feel that any newcomer, no matter what country they are from, would do the same. It is not a crime to live within your comfort zone. However, I do think it would be more beneficial to install more programs that would teach English to new immigrants, whether they be Latino, European, or Asian. Throughout the years, assimilating into one of the biggest factors of America- the English language- while still retaining customs and traditions from the old country is what has made this country as diverse and cohesive as it is today.

  • 4    peterjun // May 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I also agree with Anthony’s comment. In communities such as Flushing, i have to admit it is more beneficial to know how to speak korean or chinese than english. I wouldnt say english is phased out but the terms “chinatown” and “koreatown” are real stereotypes on the type of community it has become.

You must log in to post a comment.