In Mathew Jacobson’s More “Trans-,” Less “National”, the author explores the notion of “transnationalism” in immigration history. Before Jacobson gets into the notion of “transnational” in immigration history, he refers to Oscar Handlin’s The Uprooted. The author states that The Uprooted is what made him conclude that “immigrants were American history.” He goes on to say that Handlin had help “establish a durable nationalist framework from which the field has only unevenly and haltingly emerged.” In the passages the author talks about Handlin, his style of writing indicates his admiration for Handlin. Jacobson then talks about John F. Kennedy’s 1958, A Nation of Immigrants, to demonstrate the “romanization” of immigration. The author also uses the reclaiming of Ellis Island as a “lavish public and state-sponsored celebrations of immigration.” to demonstrate the American public’s newfound interest in immigration. A remembrance that leads to two distinct themes of national identity. One of which Jacobson describes as “a “nation of immigrants,” to construct “America” solely through…incoming European steerage passenger…to redraw a line around the exclusive white “we” of “we the people” …also claiming inclusivity under the aegis of commonly held ‘liberty.’” The author uses the equivalency of the “economy” of Wal-Mart to that of Sweden to demonstrate the notion of “transnational.” He means that the “globalization” of the past allows us to perceive “with new clarity a contest of sorts between the nation-state and the multinational corporation, contending modes of aggregation and power…” After reading Jacobson’s article, I learned how the globalization perspective of immigration history clearly demonstrates a political construct of the immigration experience.
In Bruno Ramirez’s Globalizing Migration Histories? Learning from Two Case Studies, the author explores a global perspective of migration. A more modern understanding of migration as decolonization. Ramirez note that globalization as a “space of particular migration movements that originated from a given region or country that …became worldwide.” He also states that the “globalization of migration histories may also be the result of a ‘historiographical process.’” By this he means that historiographical process that “migration movements originating from a particular country, and branching off through continents and beyond, need to be view as more than their sum total…must be understood as …world history.” Ramirez uses migration cases studies from Italy and Canada to display this notion of globalizing migration. From the Italian case, the author shows globalizing migration through the global range of Italian migration. He uses Patrizia Audenino’s chapter from The Italian Diaspora: Migration across the Globe, as an example of the global range of Italian migration. He states that “Audenino focused on a number of towns in the Italian Alps valleys …concluded that, indeed, ‘valley men spread around the globe.’” From the Canadian case, the author argues that Canadian migration was a regional movement. Ramirez states that “Canadians migrated to U.S. districts within specific continental regions, and…the movement never branched out beyond the United Sates.” The author then goes on to say that because of “ regional character of this movement …a variety of cultural circuits that crossed the border in both directions.” Ramirez uses Quebec’s theater troupes criss-crossing and performing in New England as an example of this cultural diffusion between Canada and the US. I thought Ramirez’s article was very interesting. I never knew there was such a cultural impact from Canadian regional migration in America.