Immigration Portrayed as an Experience of Uprootedness and Transplantation

Immigration Portrayed as an Experience of Uprootedness and Transplantation

In Immigration Portrayed As an Experience of Uprootedness by Oscar Handlin the author begins his essay by stating that the immigrant movement started in the peasant heart of Europe. They were agriculturalists and for fifteen centuries “they were the back bone of a continent” (5). After explaining what peasant life was like Handlin claims that emigration caused the end of peasant life, and that the immigrants were subjected to many “shattering shocks” (6). On page six he continues to explain that for many peasants it was their first time away from home and things were unfamiliar and new for them. After centuries of leading the same or similar lifestyles as their ancestors, their migration to foreign lands was essentially them uprooting their families, moving away from their homeland, and establishing themselves in a new world.

In Immigration Portrayed As an Experience of Transplantation by John Bodnar, the author defines two American immigrant types. The first type of American immigrant is the worker. The second type of immigrant are those who hold positions whose goal was personal gain and leadership. He follows up claiming that immigrants coming up to America formed themselves into groups resembling the ‘working class’ and ‘middle class’ (7). Bondar then continues on to describe the differences between the two social classes, concluding that both “were part of a common system, but one was substantially more expansive, confident, and less circumscribed than the other” (8). Bondar concludes that immigrants were able to form their own culture which was nurtured from their own realities at the time, as well as resources at hand such as kinship networks, folklife, religion, socialism, and unions (8), to establish their lives and identity.

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