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ERIC Number: EJ1171324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1081-4760
From Michel Foucault to Mario Puzo: Using an Interdisciplinary Approach to Understand Urban Immigration Then and Now
Pecorella, Robert F.
Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies, n34 p52-78 2016
This article reports on the efforts of a political science professor teaching a multidisciplinary course focused on New York City to develop an interdisciplinary class project designed to lead students to an appreciation of the immigrant experience in the United States "From Ellis Island to JFK" (Foner, 2000). The particular interdisciplinary project that the article describes employs work from philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and political science in an effort to help students grasp more fully the often contentious and always complex process of immigrant acculturation from traditional cultures to life in a modern capitalist society. The project culminates with students considering how the narrative in Mario Puzo's novel "The Fortunate Pilgrim," which chronicles the fortunes of an early 20th century Italian immigrant family in New York, reflects the academic work covered previously in class and whether the story line applies more generally to the experiences of recent immigrants to the United States. It is notable that the venue within which this class occurs, St. John's University, has had as part of its larger mission for nearly 150 years the education of first-generation college students. This mission is a particularly telling one in a classroom peopled with first-generation Muslim immigrants as well as fifth or sixth generation descendants of the southern and eastern European immigrants of the turn of the last century.
Association for Interdisciplinary Studies. Oakland University, Macomb County, 44575 Garfield Road Building UC2 Suite 103, Clinton Township, MI 48038. Tel: 586-263-6098; Fax: 586-263-6261; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A