Starting this module, you will maintain a journal that will give you an opportunity to reflect on your reactions to the assigned readings and discussion each module. This ungraded assignment will also serve as a platform to prepare for the LASA assignments due in Modules 3 and 5.
This assignment will enable you to develop and express your growing understanding of the way groups have come together (or resisted coming together) in American history, which will help you gain a broader perspective on social issues and act as primary agents of socialization.
The Journal Assignment: Prediscussion
For your journal entry, reflect on the topics and concepts covered as part of the readings to this point and your reactions to these. What is familiar in the material and what is new based on what you have learned in this course? What poses a challenge to the way you have customarily thought about these concepts? What connections are you making to your own sense of what it means to be an American, an immigrant, or a citizen?
When writing your journal entry, you may use the following questions to prompt your ideas:
- What are your initial reactions to the topics discussed in the assigned readings? Did you experience any conflict with what you read in the assigned topics?
- What within the readings was new to you or seemed to strike a response? How did this reading change your perspective regarding the experience of this population?
- Did your participation in the discussion board with your classmates change your position or understanding of any of the issues? How so? What sorts of insights have you gained so far from discussing these topics with your peers?
- How do you think the assigned readings relate to the expression of nationhood or national identity? For example, have any of the readings or the discussions so far affected your sense of how Americans’ sense of their national identity came to be formed? How is American identity associated with ethnic group, gender, or race?
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