This investigative assignment turned out to be an eye opener to me. For the interview I chose three people, who belonged to different cultural background. One of them was American female of around 30 years old; for the purpose of this report I will refer to this person as Kennie Johnson. Another one was a Mexican male of 25 years, Carlos Fustado, who spent most of his life in the United States. The last interviewee was a young Asian male, Dongjoon Lee. He is 19 years old, and has recently moved to the United States.
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Frankly speaking, it came to me as a surprise that all three persons whom I managed to interview, had a lot to say regarding the subject of our discussion, namely minorities and immigration. Basically, I only expected Dongjoon Lee to have any particular point of view regarding these issues, simply because he had a recent experience of moving to a totally new country and belonging to a minority in his new environment. Such expectations of mine were caused by a very simple factor. I myself would have very few words (if any) to say on the subject prior to taking this course. Though in some respect I may consider myself belonging to a minority, since I had experience of close communication with immigrants, and faced the experience of facing the problems related to immigration, I hardly considered these to be worthwhile serious consideration and gave them very little thought prior to working on this particular course.
Despite my expectations, Dongjoon Lee was the one, who had the least to say on the given issues. When asked about his associations for the word minority, he answered: I first of all think of the people, who have a different point of view in a community, a group or a team. I do understand that it is different for other people and when speaking of a minority we first of all mean the persons, who are different from the rest of the society by nationality, race, the language they speak, but for me personally, it is rather unpopular way of thinking, seeing things. Dongjoon Lee also told me, that his first association with the word immigration was his own family, as they had such a recent experience of moving to a new country and the experience of being immigrants. However, he said, that he very seldom addressed this issue in his thoughts. He did not feel as if he was an alien in the US, which may be because he was very familiar with the English language and American culture by the time he moved there.
Surprisingly, Kennie was the one, who admitted to pay much consideration to the concepts of minorities and immigration. She said, upon a short reflection, that the reason for this is the amount of attention, which is paid to these issues by American society. She thinks she was just brought up to care about such things. Her first association with the word minority was equality, as it is often being said how important it really is that the minorities should have equal rights and that they need to be protected against any form of discrimination. When hearing about immigrants she first of all thinks of poverty and hard physical labor. Though she realizes and admits those associations are artificial and belong to the category of stereotypes. She also said that she is doing her best to actually struggle against such stereotypes.
As for Carlos, his view of the problem was somewhat unexpected as well. As for minorities he said, that it is a non-existing problem, and that this issue is being paid too much attention to. When he hears the word minority he first of all associates it with TV programs, heavily discussing this issue. He says that formally being a minority, he does not feel himself as if he belonged to it or his interests were disregarded by the society. However, he has got quite something to say about American authorities that are much less friendly then the majority of regular people living in the state. He remembers having serious difficulties as a newly arrived person. He says that when hearing the word immigration he first of all associates it with hips of papers, which needed to be filled out and signed as well as the horror, he felt when imagining the consequences of failing to meet all the bureaucratic requirements. This association is what he will never get rid of and he believes that immigration would not have been a problem in the United States unless the authorities had made it such.
In general, I must admit, that the interviewing turned out to be quite a useful activity for me, as through their personal experience the interviewees managed to complement the knowledge I have received this course. I also managed to see the issues, discussed within this course under a different light. Now they are not just abstract theoretical concepts to me. They have obtained a number of new dimensions as well as gained practical meaning and importance. The figures of statistics on demographics and minorities have turned into actual living people with their personal feelings and their very true stories. The materials learnt have become much clearer. And this gives me the understanding of the field work and of more significant, larger scale investigative researches, which need to be undertaken in order to realize the larger part of the dimensions of the problem discussed within this course.