Response to assimilation as experienced by the characters in Gish Jen’s short story “In the American Society.”
ASSIMILATION AND IDENTITY
This assignment grants you the opportunity to enter into the ongoing debate regarding the concept of assimilation and its implications. This topic requires you to consider your own understanding and position within the debate through an analysis of Gish Jen’s “In the American Society.” While Paper 1 asked you to engage a single secondary source (Crèvecoeur) while analyzing a literary text (your exhibit source), this paper assignment will ask you to engage more deeply in your argument by acknowledging and responding to at least two secondary sources (from among Crèvecoeur, Glazer, and Alba & Nee). You will continue to implement the introduction structure of common ground > problem > claim, with an increased focus on a statement of the significance (“so what?”). You will also strengthen your argument by acknowledging and responding to alternate points of view (counterarguments/naysayers).
In 1100-1300 words (roughly 4-6 pages), you are to develop an argument in response to the problem of assimilation as experienced by the characters in Gish Jen’s short story “In the American Society.” The varied (and, at times, conflicting) treatments of assimilation in at least two secondary sources(see the back of this page) will help you add dimension to your argument. In what ways do the Changs reveal a desire to reject the old in favor of the new? In what ways to they resist assimilation? What role does power play in the assimilation process (consider power from money, from being a part of the ethnic majority, etc.)? In what ways do the representatives of the ethnic majority (dominant culture) in the story change (or not) as a result of incorporating the ethnic minority? Through your analysis of the role of assimilation throughout the story, you will ultimately come to your own conclusions about the process. In the conclusion of your paper, you will be expected to formulate responses to the following crucial questions:How do you define “assimilation” and to what extent is it possible?