Americanism and Ethnicity: how ethnic minorities deal with the idea of mainstream Americanism

Essay by hsalahiCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2009

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

For many years, the dream of having a better life in America has been a powerful pull for people from all over the world. Unfortunately, there are consequences that most ethnic families go through once this dream has come true. One of those consequences is dealing with one's own ethnic identity in a land full of different cultures, traditions, and values. Moreover, the children of those families also face difficulties growing up ethnic in America as they try to retain their heritage, but at the same time, become Americanized and fit in with the American society.

However, what does it truly mean to be an American? Interestingly enough, there has been a lot of debate as well as research about this issue. Most people might suggest that having the U.S citizenship is the number one requisite. Others believe that speaking and writing English is important enough to define us as Americans.

Some think that in order for anybody to be an American, one must change to accommodate with the American ideas and traditions. Thus, as you can see, it is quite hard to find one single definition to Americanism in our society today, making it even harder for ethnic minorities to deal with their identities here in the United States.

I got to experience how tough it could be to deal with one's own ethnic identity in America by interacting with the Khuder family. When I lived in Michigan, I knew a friend named Ali Khuder that attended high school with me for three years. His family is from a Lebanese origin. His parents moved to the United States to escape the war that was going on in Lebanon hoping they could find a better living opportunity in the US. After he was born in Michigan, his father was...