This course is discontinued

NORAM4581 – The American Immigration Society

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course attempts to show how important immigration and ethnic realities have been and still are for the development and understanding of American society. The United States is the classic immigration society, a mixture of cultures representing millions of immigrants who have contributed their different languages, religions, customs, and attitudes. The course focuses on white ethnic groups in the U.S. and their European backgrounds, and tries to develop the students' ability to think comparatively about different groups of people. Both the syllabus literature and the lectures will explore and give historical interpretations of the assimilation process, as it has its origins in and has influenced the great multiplicity of old world cultures that are represented in America. The course takes for granted that "the melting pot" has not worked and that it will be impossible, in the foreseeable future as well, to create a homogeneous American society. American history can only be adequately understood if one takes into account the dynamics and the drama that are created through such interaction between different groups of people, and the mixture of national traditions, prejudice, and rivalry that is played out between them. It is forces such as these that have made the uniquely American social, cultural, and political landscape.

Learning outcome

Students are meant to acquire a broad-based understanding of the role that immigration and ethnic realties have played (and still play) in the United States. Thus the course will adopt both a historical and a contemporary perspective on these issues.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course can be taken as the first course.

Recommended previous knowledge

The course assumes a good proficiency in written and oral English.

Overlapping courses

This course overlaps with NORAM2501 – The American Immigration Society (discontinued).


The course will consist of a two-hour seminar group throughout the semester, totaling 28 hours of teaching. In the middle of the semester, there will be a one-week break to be used for independent study and essay-writing. The course requires obligatory attendance (80%).


The students must hand in a term paper (10 pages) at a set date by the end of the course. A draft must be presented orally during the term. The term paper will be graded from A to E (pass) and F (fail).

Facts about this course




This course has been cancelled at master level.


This course has been cancelled at master level.

Teaching language