Category Archives: Migration

My family the refugees

Zainab Safvi

Push and pull factors – the story of my family the refugees

Push and pull factors play huge roles in the motivation to migrate. Push factors are negative reasons for migrating from the homeland, and pull factors are positive influences in the new location that appeal to immigrants. These push and pull factors vary from political, environmental, and economical reasons (Rubenstein, 92).

Political push factors vary from slavery, to religious persecution. In the case of environmental factors, the geography of a location can be a push factor for one individual and a pull for another. Finally, the most common, economical factors persuade migrants to move to different locations. Many over-seas immigrants find themselves pulled into developed countries like the United States and Canada, hoping for better economic conditions (Rubenstein, 92-94).

Being of Pakistani, Chinese, and Vietnamese descent, I come from immigrants. My mother’s side of the family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam 35 years ago. Being the third generation, my grandmother loves to reminisce with me about the crazy journey immigrating to the U.S.

My grandmother left Vietnam because of communist oppression, terrible economic conditions, and hope for the American Dream. Being a woman, my grandmother was only allowed to attend school until the age of 12. She walked three miles through undeveloped terrain every day to get to school, drank river water and ate meager amounts of rice for lunch, and then trekked back through the Vietnamese jungles to come home to chores. In Vietnam my grandmother was considered somewhat wealthy, but by American standards she faced extreme poverty. On her birthday she received one egg as a present. My mother similarly dealt with the same economic circumstances, injustice of education, and third-world conditions of Vietnam. As a child, my mother was subjected to chores in a local marketplace to support my family. As a result, she was attacked by a wild turkey who pushed a vat of boiling water onto her legs, leaving her with third degree burns at the age of eight. When going to school my mother had to cross a dangerous river. Due to the unstable nature of her makeshift canoe, she fell in and almost drowned. Luckily, she caught onto a rock. Along with these push factors, the communist government in Vietnam was also a huge reason for my family’s immigration to America. My grandfather had fought alongside Americans in the Vietnam War. He found himself envying the freedom Americans had, the opportunities they spoke of, and soon my grandfather made it a goal of his to leave the country. My family as a whole realized that Vietnam was no longer a safe place and looked for a way to escape the communist country.

To make things short, after Americans gave up their occupation of Vietnam my family began to save gold in the walls of their house. They used the gold to build a boat. However, the boat could only be worked on at night due to fear of communist rule. Within a few months, goodbyes were said and 30 of my family members set sail with only moonlight to guide them. Once they had reached the middle of the ocean and were comfortably on their way to Freedom Land, the boat broke down due to a hole. Before the boat completely sank a Japanese oil tanker came to their rescue and picked them up. The Japanese brought my family to the nearest refugee camp in Indonesia. The Red Cross refugee camp hosted my family for two years until they were sponsored over by a small church in Chicago.

Works Cited

Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2014. Print.


Ways of Development.

Susana Gallegos

Geo -106.

 Human Geography

Alex Bullen

 Ways of Development

There are different key elements of human culture distributed across the globe. Some can because migration. Leading to a new development the key can be language and culture. These key elements will help us understand that by combining them they will create distribution around the word by the movement of people to different parts of the world, by communicating different ideas and ultimately by combining ideas it creates development. Migration is an important element that helps define the motives behind the distribution of languages.

People all over the world need modes of production, distribution, and consumption in order to provide food and other commodities needed on a daily basis. It might be that some places in the world some basic needs are not provided, hard to afford or obtain. People might be looking for the basic needs that maybe denied in their place of origin. These people will look for better opportunities and places where that opportunity to grow is available, and may also to immigrate to a land of greater opportunity. In fig. 2, it show depending on the economy doing in a place and how are people are also doing , they will go to a place where the progress is better, in this example is showing America. Fig. 2

By creating a way of distribution by migrating, the people will take their culture with them and integrate it in their new place of residency. In the article “About Human Development”, the writer Fernando Rojas states “Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live”. People should have the freedom to migrate to new ways of living.

When taking culture from one place to another. Language is also linked with culture. Language is distributed around the globe by migration. Back then a way of distributing language was distributed around the world was by war or by the conquest of a new land, this imposed a new language, but many people kept their native language. Now a day it is very helpful to know another language. Most of the big companies will look for people that can speak a language that can connect them to a part of the world where they are interested in making business; leading to the distribution of ideas and new developments. According to John W. Berry, in his journal called Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures he states that:


“Acculturation comprehends those phenomena which result when groups of

Individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with

subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups under

this definition, acculturation is to be distinguished from culture change, of which it is

but one aspect, and assimilation, which is at times a phase of acculturation”


fig 3.

With culture and language the development of new ways of living will increase in different regions. Developments in different parts of the world are not always even. In some places poverty is extreme, and others are wealthy. Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live. The level of development is the process of improving the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge.

In conclusion elements of human distribution go hand in hand with culture, language; distribution of these is a combination of knowledge and trying to work together to create a better way of living in our world. We all have adopted, we are all immigrants in a country that haves help us develop as a person and a community where we all have developed acculturation.










Work Cited


Acculturation.” Ray-Ban. It’s Not Deciphering the GREek!, 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2013

Berry, John W. “Acculturation: Living Successfully in Two Cultures.” N.p., 10 July 2005. Web. 15 Oct.                             2013.

“Identity Designed.” MyCall. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

Rojas, Fernando. “About Human Development.” Human Development Project RSS. Measure of America               American, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.





Does Migrating Change People?

Susana Gallegos
Alex Bullen
Human Geography
December 2, 2013
            Does Migrating Change People?
            I was fifteen when my father got a job on the other side of the border, the United States. I was very comfortable living in Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico. I never really realized that moving to another country was going to impact my life as much as it has done. Migrating changed my lifestyle: culture and way of thinking. Migration has an impact on an individual, but would it impact an individual enough to change her life? In this essay I will explain my personal migration impact.
            The text book The Cultural Landscape, describes interregional migration as “The movement from one region of a country to another…Main type of interregional migration has been from rural to urban areas in search of jobs”. My father obtained a job as a Presbyterian pastor in South Carolina. I was still in high school in Agua Prieta. When my mother and father told me we were moving, I never thought of all the changes I was going to go through, not even when I was saying good bye to my friends.
            When I started high school in Greenville, SC I realized how different education was. First of all, throughout public schools in Mexico all the way through high school, students are required to wear uniforms. I knew before that in American high school you did not have to wear uniforms. Being able to wear “regular clothes” to school was fun, until I realized how much money my parents have to spend buying clothes for me to wear to school, more than they used to it in Mexico. According to Stacy Zeiger, in her article “Statistics in School Uniform” the author explains that wearing uniform has academic, behavioral, emotional and financial effects. Looking at the financial effects Stacy Zeigers mentions that uniforms can be expensive. I agree with the author. Yes uniforms can be expensive, but one can buy two and can last a year or longer, it ends up being more economic.
            Culture was shocking, especially moving to the South of the USA. Southerners seem to have their own kind of language, especially African-American people. The food was different, personally some of them were tasteless, but after a while I got use to some of it. Mexican food is rich in flavor, so it took some time to get use to the flavors of Southern food, which I learn to really enjoy it and to avoid grits.
            I have been in the United States for eight years now. I have got use to the language and the ways of living. I still celebrate the special holidays that are typically from Mexico, as well as the Americans. I still know who I am, but I am grateful to live in the United States. I miss my family and friends from Mexico, even thou they sometimes make fun of me because I am “Americanized” It does not matter. In a way I am a little more cultured in the border subject, and I am happy with that.
Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” Cultural Landscape.                                                      Harlow:Pearson Education Limited, 2014. Print.
Stacy Zeiger. “Statistics on School Uniforms.” LoveToKnow. N.p., n.d.                              Web. 02 Dec. 2013

Benefits of migrations.

Benefits of Migrations

People often suggest that migration is bad or completely out of control. Especially when you think about Mexico and the immigration issues accompanied with that situation—it is a problem. However, there are some positive sides to migration. For instance, it is normal for people to migrate to a more desirable place and move around to work. Also, outsiders have the ability to see things differently, and have more of a drive to succeed, considering they are not given the opportunity that most take for granite. In Silicon Valley, Google, Yahoo, and E-bay, were all “co-founded by immigrants, who arrived in America as children.” Having immigrants can help sustain the economy by giving the workforce more flexibility. Also, immigration creates more job vacancies, and new young workers to fill in the pension gap. (


This map represents the areas with the most migration.

Immigration in the United States.

Kishan Pachhai

Prof Alex Bullen

GEO 106-101



            People move from one country to another, usually with the aim of permanent settlement in the chosen country. People move for many different reasons such the need to flee their country because of an immediate threat to their health. In this instance, they are refugees as they seek safety in another country, new opportunities, a fresh start, freedom, and equal rights. Immigration is the human form of migration and it is as old as the first human group. People migrate even now due to causes like war and as a result of a bad government, but whatever the reason, immigration will never stop as long as one country has a better opportunity, resources and government that they can count on than the other. United States has attracted immigrants from all around the world. Europeans entering Ellis Island, while Chinese and other Asians entered into San Francisco. The U.S. has been a refuge of the world for a long time, with new opportunities and freedom for all. Millions around the world have found that migration to the U.S. is the only alternative to starvation, death and life full of hardship and suffering. With thousands of people coming from different parts of the nations, America has been a mixture of people, culture and hope.

Legal immigration in the U.S. has increased from 250,000 in the 1930s, to 2.5 Million in the 1950s, to 4.5 Million in the 1970s, and to 7.3 Million in the 1980s before resting at about 10 million in the 1990s.(chart 1-1) Since the 2000s, the migration in the U.S. has gone up to 1,000,000 per year of whom 600,000 are change of status who are already in the US according to top ten immigration facts. Immigration is in the headlines of the news as well with President Obama’s decision to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. Nor is it the headline of news, but immigration has brought the evolution of the industrial economy and the developments of American. The immigrants added their culture, traditions, food, and their holidays to those of the U.S.

Immigration gives the United States an economic edge in the world economy. Immigrants bring new ideas, entrepreneurial spirit to the U.S. economy, and provide business contacts to other markets, which have helped America’s ability to trade and invest profitably in the global economy per U.S. immigration facts. They also keep our economy flexible as immigrants do no push Americans out of jobs. Immigrants tend to fill jobs that Americans cannot or will not fill, mostly at high and low ends of skill level. They are represented in high-skilled fields such as medicine, physics, and computer science but also in lower-skilled sectors such as hotels & restaurants, domestic service, and light manufacturing. Without immigration, labor force would begin to shrink. The tourist industry would lose millions of foreign visitors, and American universities would lose hundreds of thousands of foreign students if the borders were closed.

Edited By: Susana, Jason, Oren

Map 1-1Image

Chart 1-1Image

Immigration data in flagImage

Work Cited

Frey, William F. “US Immigration Facts.” US Immigration Facts 1.2 (2007): n. pag. US Immigration Facts. 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

“Top Ten U.S. Immigration Facts.” Web log post. Revcom Top Ten US Immigration Facts Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Pop Culture & Globalization.

Araceli Garcia

The vast majority of new innovations and ideas that we encounter today have reached us through media including the internet, radio, television, and films. The groups of people who adapt these fast changing trends are known as the ‘popular culture’. The growing planes of communication and travel have made it possible to share ideas all over the world. The mountains and deserts that once made migrating impossible can no longer keep people from sharing their ideas, which is why we see things like Jeans and Mc Donald’s all over the world.

The advantage of assimilating to the popular culture is having the opportunity to interact and learn from people with different ideas and inspirations. This broadens our perception of the world and gives us a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity surrounding us.Pop culture may change due to influences from industrial technology. But it lacks the determination to preserve society in nature as it originated.

Some customs and values are isolated from the rest of the world and spread only through migration, script, and trade. These groups of people are known to participate in ‘folk culture’, and display a distinct uniqueness in their music, architecture, and language. Folk culture is a concentrated area of traditions and characters inspired by nature’s beauty(Rubenstein).  A drawback of isolation would be the existence of ethnocentrism, in which a group of people look at the world from a single cultural vantage point, leading to the possible belief that they are superior to all other cultures. We have,however, forced folk culture to follow new beliefs and customs through forced migration and diffusion. Slaves for example, were forcefully removed from Africa and taken to Europe, North America, and South America. Their only choice was to follow the ongoing flow of the new culture if they wanted a chance at exchanging and understanding information. Diffusion, whether it be natural or forced can create a ‘shared cultural context’ so that people may identify with each other and actively participate in a group due to shared similarities(Rubenstein).

On the other hand, it may also lead to acculturation. This is when smaller or weaker culture adopts to the customs, beliefs, and language of the dominant culture. We then begin to see a loss of unique languages that are overshadowed by English. Along with that comes the adaptation of habits and influence of different perceptions, therefore changing the cultural norms that were originally imposed.   Pop culture is making its way into new territory as the advancement of the media continues to grow, but may be limited by cultural acceptance as well. There is a ‘permeable barrier’ in place when only pieces of an idea are allowed to spread. The internet for example, is a controversial idea that is strictly censored in other countries such as Turkmenistan and Vietnam. They may not ban the internet as a whole but allow only a few websites to be accessible. These countries for example, closely  monitor emails and control what content is released on blogs(“Top 10”). People in these countries are unable to share their open opinions and thoughts and may be punished for doing so. It gives us a better understanding of the freedoms that we may take for granted in our own culture.

( culture icons)

( Example of folk culture

Work Cited

Rubenstein, James M.. The cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 20011. Print.

“Top 10 Countries that Censor the Internet.” ListVerse. N.p., 2 Oct. 2010. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

Edited by: Pricilla, Jacob, Susana

Acculturation into a new culture.

Araceli Garcia

Very few people enjoy stepping out of their comfort zone. So it would seem appropriate for those people to live in and around the things that are routinely similar and recognizable. The states, cities, and neighborhoods we chose to live in therefore play an important role in identifying people’s lifestyles. Different factors may however  push or pull people into a new location due to financial, religious, or political difficulties. The U.S. is known for its multiculturalism, welcoming folks from all over the world who have struggled with such factors in their country of origin. What most of us are not aware of however, is the distress that people undergo as they attempt to assimilate to a completely new culture.

Acculturation is the process of learning and adapting to new behaviors. Studies provide a layout of stages that people go through as they accustom themselves to the U.S. specifically. The studies agree that most immigrants are primarily satisfied to be in a different country because so many aspects are unique, new, and exciting (Bradbury).. I on the other hand have never seen or heard of such enthusiasm probably due to the fact that migrating did not include the entire family. Both friends and family agree that their first impression was the complete opposite. Everyday was a countdown to the day they would get to leave. Their first stay here elicited fear, anxiety, and mistrust towards others- a phenomenon known as “culture shock”(“Culture Shock”), which results from the transitioning of one culture to another. The frustration arises from the significant contrast in language,  routine, and unknown faces (Ellers). Most of these people have come from small scale towns with a population large enough to have no excuse to forget anyone’s name. Everyone is part of the same religion, share the same values and expectations, and all speak the same language.

Migrating to the U.S. therefore not only has a toll on the person physically, but psychologically as well. New customs may cause confusion and could be the reason for immediate judgement. Gestures are certainly different and contribute for the misunderstanding of other people’s generosity for rudeness. The customary routine and strict notion of time and due dates also seem all too overwhelming in comparison to the self-directed work days back home.

The time it takes to assimilate and accept the new culture’s ideas all depend on the individual’s perception and judgement of new ideas. Adapting to the new culture is not the end of the battle however. People who find themselves visiting back and forth also find themselves putting a lot of effort into fitting in. Both cultures do not quite see that person the same anymore because the ‘default’ norms have shifted to satisfy both cultures. This idea is expressed by the term “culture shedding” which is describes the behavior change as a result of combining your own norms to the other cultures norms(“What is Acculturation”).

To acculturate is to lose some aspects of your old culture to accept and be accepted by the new one. This means changing pieces of your own identity; which may not be noticeable to the individual until someone else points it out. It may seem like an easy task to travel to another piece of land, but the challenge lies in the integration of different lifestyles.

Edited by: Susana, Kishan, Jason




Works Cited

Bradbury, Dr. Lorin. “The Delta Discovery – The real news for the real people.” Stages   of Acculturation. The Delta Discovery Inc, 25 Apr. 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

“Culture Shock and Acculturation in Self-Directed Target Language Learning in an Authentic Target Language Environment.” ERIC – Culture Shock and Acculturation in Self-Directed Target Language Learning in an Authentic Target Language Environment., English Teacher: An International Journal, 2000., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

Ellers, Elizabeth. “Univision Communications .” Univision Acculturation Is Not A One Way Street . Univision Communications Inc, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.

  “What is Acculturation?.” HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

Where people are living now.

Emily Flora

Alex Bullen

Human Geography

Nov 26, 2013

Where people are living now

When people where first migrating to the newly colonized United States, they chose where to live based on what was available at the time.  Things like where water was, if there was a reliable food source or fertile land to grow crops. Now in present day people are migrating on different reasons such as job opportunities, better lifestyle, and even just to leave from where they are.

Job opportunities have a major impact on where a person is likely to live. If a country has more job opportunities than a person who is living in a third world country like Central America. There have been a surprising number of people are moving to the United states of America for this reason. In the documentary Wetback, the directors followed several people from Central America, migrating illegally to get to America because of the job opportunities that are made more available than in their home country. If a country has little to no jobs, people are more willing to move somewhere even if it means leaving everyone you know behind. Not only people in Central America but other third world countries are also leaving for better jobs. People are leaving first world countries for better jobs in other countries such as Europe, Asia and South America. With more job outside a person’s current country people are leaving their country and going to new ones more often than before.

In America, it is very expensive to live a good life with a big house and all the extra stuff that we believe is necessary. In other countries like Europe and Asia the cost of living is lower, possibly because of the old world life style. In Italy for instance they don’t have huge living spaces, so the rent of an apartment is cheaper because why pay extra for space you don’t need. This style of smaller apartments and living spaces is not only common in Italy but throughout Europe. With the cost of living cheaper than living in other countries, people are migrating because the cost of living is cheaper, and can get more for their money. Not only is the costs of living lower in other countries but the common life style is better, meaning it’s a simpler kind of life style. Causing people to want to live in a country that is cheaper to live in people are more than willing to leave their own country..

Not all the reasons people leave their country are for money related issues, often times they leave just to do so. For instance people leave their country just to see the world and to gain experience. This is common with young people like college students who just got out of school and want to go out and see the world before they settle down and start their career. Some people even leave just to be able to see the world and get cultured and even to see how other people live in comparison to their own lives. Meaning people don’t always leave for a big popular city like London or Paris to live, sometimes it’s to a small village in Africa to gain the perspective that you don’t need everything in the world to be happy.

People leave a country for several reasons; however, in recent years people are leaving the country for different reasons such as more job opportunities, a better life style, and just to live somewhere else. The reasons why people decide to leave a country and leave all their friends and family, have changed throughout the years. We do no longer need to live close to necessities like food and water, but we are now able to decide to live based on what we want.

Work Cited

“American Migration [Interactive Map].” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.

Peck, Don. “The Atlantic.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic, 19 June 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. <;.

Snyder, Michael. “Why Are So Many People Choosing To Leave The United States Permanently?” The Economic Collapse. The Economic Collapse, 11 Aug. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <;.

Photos: Map. Blog Spot, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. <;.

Mulberry Street Little Italy Apartment. N.d. Photograph. Jan. 2013. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.

South African Lion. N.d. Photograph. Cultural Embrace. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. <;.

Reviewed by:

Jennah Reiman

Shae Koualchick

Alex Gerwig