2009 Study Tour to Chicago and Midwest

“Immigration and Ethnicity”

The tour will target the Upper Midwest of the United States for several reasons. This region was the destination of millions of immigrants from Europe, and especially its urban centers continue to attract immigrants from Latin American countries and Asia. In addition it reflects significant internal migration patterns of specific ethnic groups.

Immigration and the integration of minorities into societies has increasingly become a global issue, and it is high on the European Union’s agenda as well. Thus information on how other countries have been dealing with this question can provide us with both a heightened awareness of its urgency and with models how to cope with it. It is therefore no coincidence that we want to look at the United States, a traditional immigration country with a long record of successfully integrating many of its minorities.

We want to talk to researchers at several universities but also to representatives of ethnic groups, local social institutions, religious congregations, citizens’ initiatives, think tanks, interest groups, the media, religious and secular voluntary associations, and neighborhood organizations.

Chicago will be included as the hub of the Midwest and as the city that once was the fourth largest German city, and now continues to be the second largest Polish city after Warsaw. It also began to accommodate a large African American community during the great migration of African Americans to northern cities, and for several decades it has been attracting large numbers of Latinos. It is a perfect example of the multiracial and multicultural nature of American metropolitan centers, and hosts the famous School of Sociology at the University of Chicago that has been engaging in urban studies for more than a century.

In Madison, Wisconsin, institutions of the state university will be visited to inform us of the patterns of immigration and specifically rural persistence of ethnic traditions.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the city to study the experiences of urban Native Americans. The University of Minnesota also hosts the important collections of the Immigration History Research Center.

Read more about the Study Tour in our blog.