The American dream and politics

Essay by chautinhtriCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

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Akinwumi, Akinbola E. “A New Kind of Entanglement? Immigrants, The ‘American Dream’ and the Politics of Belonging.” Geografiska Annaler Series B: Human Geography 88.2 (2006):249-253. Academic Search Complete. 22 Oct. 2007Akinbola E. Akinwumi is a Nigerian scholar with interests in global studies, cultural geography and the politics of development. He is a researcher at the Information Aid Network (IFANET), Ibadan, Nigeria. The author explores the immigrant motivation, justifications and particularities viewing middle-class immigrants in the USA and how do these people do or do not achieve the American Dream.

In his article, the author argues that America as a highly developed country generously responds to highly skilled immigrants than those of low-skilled immigrants or refugees. Being open to skilled immigrants may reduce the dependency on the government for social services or welfare programs. Even though the immigration issue has been a controversial subject and laws have become stricter towards immigrants, the immigrants still remain vital to the American economy.

To those who are coming to America, America represents hope of economic stability, higher education, and freedom of expression; the author describes this as a “desire to do well.”Despite being a multicultural country, the American society requires new comers to adapt and incorporate American values putting aside their own. In this case, immigration is a cultural process. Many immigrants have a difficult time changing their way of thinking, life style, and language in order to fit in to the American society. This assimilation can be signified by acculturation, language and homeownership. Homeownership is the most important part of Americanization, for it is an assurance for a longer stay and economic security. On the other hand, one needs to have descent knowledge of the language to be successful. Thirdly, the goal of an immigrant is not only to...