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Sociology of Immigration, Part 1

Subject Social Studies — Immigration
Grade Level PreK, Kindergarten, Grades 1-12, Adult Education
Resource Type
Attributes English-Language Learners (ELL)
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Attribution Non-commercial NoDerivative

CC (BY-NC-ND)

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Lorna Rivera, PhD, introduces classic sociological frameworks and theories for understanding what happens when immigrants come to a new society. She discusses factors that affect the inclusion of immigrants and stages of assimilation and acculturation. In the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Rivera cites some immigration statistics and trends. For up-to-date immigration quick statistics and fact sheets, visit The Immigrant Learning Center's website

Thought questions for educators:

  1. Dr. Rivera names a number of factors that affect the inclusion of immigrants, such as whether people enter the United States voluntarily or involuntarily, the racial identification of the group, the size of the immigrant group, the similarity between the culture of the majority group and minority group, and the timing of the group's entry. Think about some immigrant students in your class or school. How might these factors affect their experiences in the community and in the school?
  2. Dr. Rivera identifies stages of assimilation. Newcomers often first have a sense of hope and excitement, followed by feelings of disenchantment, a period of resolution, and then relative deprivation, or an awareness of the discrepancies between their expectations and lived experience. Assimilation and acculturation also involve changes to the immigrant's sense of identify. What are some ways teachers can support students who are experiencing these different stages? 

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Sociology of Immigration Part 1, by Lorna Rivera, PhD
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