LBST 375 Urban Change and Ethnicity
(CRN 21328)

Spring 2005


M/W 2:30-3:45 PM, ACD304


Jorge G. Riquelme

Assistant Professor

Liberal Studies Department, CRA 6134

OH: M/W 5:30 – 6:30 PM

(or by appointment)

PH: (760) 750-8021



      The study of international migration is essential for understanding the formation and transformation of the United States. No country in the world has experienced so regularly and so significantly the challenges and opportunities that unfold in the settlement processes of newcomers into communities of established residents. According to the 2000 Population Census more than eleven percent of the country’s current population was born abroad—the highest since the1920s.

     Given the demographic significance of the foreign-born and the likelihood that US-bound immigration will continue unabated in the foreseeable future, ethnic membership in America will be constantly reshaped and, with it, the relationship between newcomers and established residents.


Course Objectives

  • Provide a historical overview of the flows of the various immigrants groups to the U.S.

  • Examine some of the key issues that define the settlement process in urban areas.

  • Compare immigration admissions and settlement policies.

  • Analyze key issues (e.g., employment, education, housing, etc.) that affect the relationship between newcomers and established residents in California, with a special reference to San Diego County.

  • Conduct an oral history interview with an immigrant.


Course Format and Requirements


Students are advised to complete the assigned readings prior to our class meetings and to participate in class discussions.


The recommended level of effort in out-of-class work for this course is the following: 2 ½ hours preparing for the assigned readings before each class session and 3 hours of research on your term paper each week. Total 9 hours per week of outside study/research related to this course. Students are urged to take advantage of the office hours offered by the instructor and to communicate with him as needed by phone and/or electronic mail.


Student performance will be evaluated on the basis of two in-class exams, two take-home exams, a research project and class participation. The weight of each is:


1.         Exams                                                  50% 

            a. Exam #1 (in class)              10 points

            b. Exam #2 (in class)              10 points

            c. Exam #3 (take-home)         10 points

            d. Final Exam (take-home)     20 points

2.         Research Project                                40%

            a. Background Information    10 points

            b. Interview Transcript           10 points

            c. Peer Review                        10 points

            d. Final Report                       10 points

3.         Class Participation                             10%



The grading scale to be used is the following: A ≥ 95; A- = 90-94; B+ = 87-89; B = 84-86; B- = 80-83; C+ = 77-79; C = 74-76; C- = 70-73; D+ = 65-69; D = 60-64; D-=50-59; F ≤ 49.


Students are encouraged to meet with the instructor during the assigned office hours (or by appointment) and to communicate with him, preferably, via e-mail or by phone.


Students are expected to check their campus email regularly, refer to course information on electronic reserves and the library website, and submit assignments as Microsoft Word attachments to email. For technological assistance, contact the Student Help Desk at (760) 750-6505 or KEL 2000.


Required Readings

Boyle, T. Coraghessan. 1996. The Tortilla Curtain. New York: Penguin Books.

Hart, Diane Walta. 1997. Undocumented in L.A.: An Immigrant’s Story. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc.

Portes, Alejandro and Ruben G. Rumbaut. 1996. Immigrant America: A Portrait. Berkeley: University of California Press.


LBST 375 Reserves: Available online as Electronic Reserves (E-Res) in the Library’s Website: Please note that the course webpage for LBST 375 is password -protected. To access the readings in the course webpage you must enter the following password: ask professor


Recommended Web Connections



Oral History Project


This course is designed to enhance students’ research and writing skills. The knowledge acquired in the classroom and through the assigned readings will be applied to a research project on a specific newcomer population in America.


For your research project you will conduct an oral history interview and analyze different aspects of the migration process, including: (a) the origins of migration; (b) the stability of the process over time; and (c) the patterns of settlement.


Following James Hoopes, oral history refers to ‘the collecting of any individual’s spoken memories of his[/her] life, of people he[/she] has known, and events he[/she] has witnesses or participated in. [1]


Sarah Boyer stated that in doing oral histories of ordinary people, we discover extraordinary lives.[2] This is particularly relevant for those whom Eric Wolfe referred to as ‘the people without history.’


Finally, “Oral history is not merely a haphazard conversation that is recorded on tape. It is the creation of a constructed historical narrative based on an individual’s recollections of a lifetime. Although oral history interviewing can be done by practically anyone, it is not as simple as picking up a tape recorder and talking to someone. A lot of research and preparation should go into the process. Oral history can yield fascinating and very complex stories, but your success is largely dependent on how well you prepare for your interview.”[3]


The oral history project that you will be working on during the semester includes the following tasks: (1) Selection of Narrator or Interviewee; (2) Background Information; (3) The Interview Process; (4) Creating an Oral History Transcript; (5) First Draft of Report; (6) Student Peer Review; and, (7) Final Report.



Class Program and Schedule





Week 1



Class #1:         Introduction



Week 2

Demographic Profile


Class #2:         The Stock of Foreign-born and the Flow of Newcomers



Readings:          Schmidley, A. Diane. 2003. The Foreign-Born Population in the United States: March 2002. (Current Population Reports, P20-539). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. ( [Recommended]


                        U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2004.  2003 Yearbook of the Immigration Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. (



Text Box: Class #3:          Library Research Workshop with Melanie Chu: Background Information







Week 3

Historical Overview


Class #4:         The “First Wave”: 1880s-1920s



Reading:           LBST 375 RESERVES, Archdeacon, Thomas J. 1983. Becoming American: An Ethnic History. New York: The Free Press. [Chapter 5: “The New Immigration, 1890-1930.” Pp. 112-142]



Class #5:         The “Second Wave”: Post-1965



Reading:           LBST 375 RESERVES, Waldinger, Roger and Jennifer Lee. 2001. “New Immigrants in Urban America.” Pp. 30-79 in Strangers at the Gates: New Immigrants in Urban America, by Roger Waldinger, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Week 4

Conceptual Framework


Class #6:         Origins and Destinations



Reading:           PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 1: Introduction: Who They Are and Why They Come (pp. 1-27): 27pp.

PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 2: Moving: Patterns of Immigrant Settlement and Spatial Mobility (pp. 28-56): 29pp.


Class #7:         Modes of Incorporation


Reading:           LBST 375 RESERVES, Portes, Alejandro and Jozsef Böröcz. 1989. “Contemporary Immigration: Theoretical Perspectives on Its Determinants and Modes of Incorporation.” International Migration Review, 23 (Fall): 606-630.


Week 5



Class #8:        

(02/14/05)                                                                                                    Exam #1


Text Box: Class #9:          The Interview Process 










Week 6

Economic Participation



Class #10:       Immigrants and the Labor Market



Reading:           PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 3: Making It in America: Occupational and Economic Adaptation (pp. 57-92): 36pp.


Class #11:       Immigrants and the Labor Market



Video:              “Echando Raices/Taking Root: Immigrant and Refugee Communities in California, Texas, and Iowa.” (2002): 60 mins.

Submit via e-mail (by 11:59 PM) to:







Week 7

Political Participation


Class #12:       Ethnic Politics



Reading:           PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 4: From Immigrants to Ethnics: Identity, Citizenship, and Political Participation (pp. 94-140): 48pp.


Class #13:       Ethnic Politics


Video:              TBA

Week 8

The Social Distance


Class #14:       Alienation and Acculturation



Reading:           PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 5: A Foreign World: Immigration, Mental Health, and Acculturation (pp.155-191): 37pp.



Class #15:       Alienation and Acculturation



Video:              “The Price You Pay.” (1982): 30 mins.

Week 9

Education and Children of Immigrants


Class #16:       Language Acquisition and Academic Achievement



Reading:           PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 6: Learning the Ropes: Language and Education (pp.192-231): 40pp.


Class #17:       Segmented Assimilation



Reading:           PORTES AND RUMBAUT, Chapter 7: Growing Up American: The New Second Generation (pp.232-268): 37pp.


Week 10



Class #18:      

(03/21/05)                                                                                                    Exam  #2


Text Box: Class #19:        Creating an Oral History Transcript  







Week 11

Spring Break





Week 12

Oral Histories I


Class #20:       Empathy



Readings:          HART,  Foreword and Introduction (pp. ix-xxviii): 19pp.


Submit via e-mail (by 11:59 PM) to:





Class #21:       ‘A farewell party is when you’re never going to come back’



Readings:          HART, Chapters 1-5 (pp. 1-73):  73pp.


Week 13

Oral Histories II


Class #22        ‘I had imposed my own expectations on them’



Readings:          HART, Chapters 6-9 (pp. 75-112):  38pp.


Class #23:       From war to war



Readings:          HART, Chapters 10 and Epilogue (pp. 113-136):  24pp.


Exam  #3: Take Home, Due 04/18/05






Week 14

‘Illegal Aliens’ and Californians


Class #24:       We asked for workers and we got people instead



Reading:           LBST 375 RESERVES, Little Hoover Commission. 2002. We The People: Helping Newcomers Become Californians. [Executive Summary].


Class #25:      



Reading:           PART I: “Arroyo Blanco” Boyle, T.C. 1995. The Tortilla Curtain.


Submit hard copy in class









Newcomers and Established Residents


Class #26:       San Diego County (I)



Submit in class





Class #27:      



Reading:           PART II: “El Tenksgeevee” Boyle, T.C. 1995. The Tortilla Curtain.


Week 16

Changing Relations


Class #28:       San Diego County (II)



Video:              “Uneasy Neighbors.” (1989): 35 mins.

Game:              “A Week in the Life of a Migrant Worker”

Class #29:       Final Report Due


Reading:           PART III: “Socorro” Boyle, T.C. 1995. The Tortilla Curtain.


Week 17



Wednesday:   Final Exam



Final Exam must be submitted to instructor in Craven Hall 6134 between 1:45-3:45 PM



[1] See p.7 in Hoopes, James. 1987. Oral History: An Introduction for Students. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

[2] See Boyer, Sarah S. 2002. “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives.” Oral History Review, 29(2): 1-2.

[3] See p. 3 in Japanese American National Museum. 1999. “Capturing Stories: An Oral History Guide.” Los Angeles.