Discussion Questions

  1. What is the social history of eating at the table? How has this behavior changed due to social circumstances? Do you see any benefit to this trend? Why or why not? Do you participate in this tradition on a regular basis? Why or why not? What does it look like when you eat dinner at home on a typical night? Are there any social events where your family eats together? Explain. How is placement at the table determined by gender? How might dinner behaviors vary due to race and social class? Provide specific examples.
  2. Find someone in your community who immigrated to the United States from another country. If you are an immigrant, find another community member to interview, from a different place. Ask them the following questions: (1) where did they immigrate from, (2) why did they immigrate, (3) what was the process of immigrating to the United States like, (4) what has the process of acculturation been like, and (5) do they have any regrets regarding their decision to leave their home country for the United States. Carefully document their responses. What did you know about immigration before this interview? Did their responses confirm or refute your ideas related to immigration before the interview? Why or why not? How did this process of immigrating disrupt their family?
  3. What practices did the US government engage in to force Native Americans to assimilate to American culture? What were their motivations? Does this trend continue? Explain. How might this affect the Native American culture in the eyes of Native Americans and non-indigenous Americans alike? Explain.