Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chapter 15 " The Road to Refugee Resettlement", Dianna Shandy

In this ethnography, the author gives us mainly who are the refugees, and, what their techniques of adaptation into new cultural environments are.
However, I could still indentify myself and my family path through what is to be an immigrant. My dad’s family moved from Italy to France when my dad was two. The opportunities that France offered at that time were much more interesting for my grandfather than the ones that Italy gave.
My grandfather wanted to live in France to give t his wife and his two sons the chance to be educated, to have a better life and to be able to build a future, even if he knew that he will have to work hard.
Coming from a very small village of Italy of 150 habitants who speak local dialect and where most of the work is done in farms and fields, my grandfather switched to become a worker in French manufactures. My dad’s family did not escape a danger as refugees would do, but they wanted to escape the common future of working as a farmer, that the village gave to them. Taking with him his family, he knew that these brutal changes would be a difficult task to accomplish, especially when none of them spoke French. Moreover, during this time while immigrant workers were needed into factories, they were still considered as not desirables.
Not only my dad, who was still young at that time, but also my grandmother and my grandfather had to learn a new language: French. They did not know anything about the place where they were about to live in nor what their future would be. When my grandfather started to work, he was not the only immigrant worker. Indeed, specific dormitories town were created to receive these immigrants and their families. Italians, Germans, Polishes and others were living together and trying to communicate as best as they can.
My grandmother, who never wanted to move to France, had difficulties to adapt herself and to create relationships with other immigrants. I must say that she is still struggling sometimes to speak French and even if it has been more than twenty years that they live in a new neighborhood, she did not create friendships with neighbors. Feeling to have been uprooting, my grandmother wishes she could go back in her village. Dianna Shandy said in the ethnography “trying to maintain their original ethnic group identity” (p159, conclusion); I think that is exactly what my grandmother was trying to do. When my grandfather made his choice, he knew that the adaptation to the cultural environment would be either adaptive or maladaptive but for him the try worth it.
Now fifty years after their immigrations, both my grandparents and my dad still have the Italian passport as they refused to give it up for the French one. My grandmother indentifies herself as being an Italian immigrant but never considered having something French within herself. My grandfather, who is retired since a long time, apparently does not regret his choice as nothing will make him go back to the village. My dad, who speaks both Italian and French, also thinks about himself as an Italian immigrant, but for whom the change of cultural environment was definitely benefic. My grandfather accomplished what he wanted: he offered to his family a better future and the opportunity to his sons to have an education.
Finally, I could also consider myself as an immigrant, as I moved from France to New-York in the hope to have a different life than the one in France. I do not yet if my choice was a good one but I truly think that a huge part of people nowadays could be considered as being immigrant.
However, immigration has been a taboo topic by being perceived as a fear to have against the immigrant. Unfortunately, governments do not see the benefits and the valuable resources that it creates within a country. Mainly, I could consider myself as a part-immigrant because for the moment nothing allows me to stay in New York City after graduating.
Shandy, Dianna.. "The Road to Refugee Resettlement." Conformity and Conflict. 4th edition. Pearson Education Inc. 2008. pp.151 - 160

1 comment:

  1. Love this: "governments do not see the benefits and the valuable resources that it creates within a country." So true. This is a wonderful essay. All that is missing is editing. It's in your speaking voice which works for a blog post. But as an assignment, you needed grammar check. The sentences are conceived from your non-English linguistics and some words are misspelled. Always spell-and grammar check. It makes a WORLD of difference to your reader, my dear. Communication is a two-way street. You want to be as expressive as this essay is (and it really is) AND you want to have your American reader get what you have to communicate without having to think something is odd here. You are so close to popping in this domain. Being able to express yourself is key and must proceed that next step.