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Part 1: Immigration as National Narrative PowerPoint Presentation
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Part 1: Immigration as National Narrative

Part 1: Immigration as National Narrative

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Part 1: Immigration as National Narrative

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  1. Personal Connections General Musings Part 1: Immigration as National Narrative

  2. “Germans Emigrate”: Harper’s Weekly, 1874

  3. Erlach, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland

  4. Immigration Ship “Westphalia” after refitting in 1878

  5. Castle Garden, exterior around 1871, interior around 1865

  6. Oldenburg imBundesstaat Indiana, USA

  7. German Population Distribution, 1872 Darkest areas = more than 15 per square mile

  8. Oldenburg Cincinnati

  9. Indiana German Place Names: Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Darmstadt, Metz, Munster, Steubenville, Otterbein… Side Note: Johann Georg Rapp (1757-1847) Harmonist Society Pietistic, Communal Harmony (now New Harmony), Indiana 1814-1824

  10. German House “Athenaeum” in Indianapolis

  11. In the last half century, the German identity and affiliations with things German in the USA has become uncoupled from Germany. Few speak German “Kitchification” has reduced German culture to banal Stereotypes: Oldenburg, USA: Freudenfest Popular film and television associate Germany with WWII General provincial orientation http://www.freudenfest.com/

  12. Part 2: REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK • USA alienating; everything big and vulgar • Stereotypes magnified • Alienation from friends and family • Continually negatively comparing USA with Germany • Fantasizing about returning, even living in Germany • Magnify all the good things about Germany • Gradual readjustment, but never fully

  13. Career that involves continual visits to Germany • Repeated reverse culture shock, although milder • Continual German-USA intercultural awareness • Still a slight tendency to idealize Germany • better food and drink • much better cultural opportunities • general social consciousness and sympathy for fellow citizens and for foreigners • general sense of doing good (environment, etc.) • more educated • healthier lifestyle

  14. Anti-intellectual: • populist distrust of authority and egalitarian rejection of elitism • rhetoric invokes “freedom” • liberal education viewed as impractical and non-productive, associated with “leisure class” • worker heroes • low regard for teachers, especially in higher education • other, not like us • considered a tradition in the USA from colonial times: anti-nobility, immigrant populations = peasant, working class

  15. Thomas Jefferson (3): "Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." Abraham Lincoln (16): "What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of those may be turned against our liberties, without making us weaker or stronger for the struggle." James A. Garfield (20): "We stand to-day upon an eminence which overlooks a hundred years of national life — a century crowded with perils, but crowned with the triumphs of liberty and law.”

  16. Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Governments can err, presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that Divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted on different scales. Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." John F. Kennedy: "The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

  17. Part 3: Everyone is Working Class, Everyone is Middle Class • professor, member of a union: academics considered “rank and file”, a term normally used for factory workers in a union • political language: “working Americans” • cultural ideal: property and lifestyle evenly distributed across professions • three avoided subjects of conversation: politics, money, religion

  18. SIDENOTE: one of the clearest windows into the culture: television commercials • latest in music, design, taste, collective desires and fears • intensely concentrated drama and art: 30-90 seconds • intensity relies on symbolic associations shared by largest number of people • intended to elicit emotional responses: sentimental or “fun”* • establish identification through shared fantasies • buy clothes, be beautiful like model • drink beverage, feel young and fresh • use computer, become powerful • demographics *For example: http://www.gmi.org/products/books/american-cultural-baggage/ten-commandments/