Episode 206 - Dr. David Gerber: The Continuing Relevance of Immigration History

Monday, January 02, 2017, 8:31:33 AM

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In this episode, Dr. David Gerber applies a lens of immigration history in the United States and helps us understand the reticence to reform our immigration policy and laws. He highlights how the popular narrative we have about immigrants and refugees stands in sharp contrast to what is really happening in our society.

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Average Rating: 5stars  excellent , Sunday, February 05, 2017

By Elizabeth Marie :


It was particularly interesting to hear Dr. Gerber discuss the idea that there are two governing ideologies that the public subscribes to about the history of the United States and that neither are what inform policy about immigration. The first, he explains, is an anglo -nationalism and the second is the belief in the melting pot. The former ascribes to the idea that America has always been anglo-saxon at its core, and that other cultures, when they have come, have had to accommodate to this core culture. The latter believes that the states have always been made up of the variety of cultures that America formed and shaped itself around, not the other way around. While both parties have thought through their ideologies well, it is economy that drives immigration policy not their thoughts. As long as immigrants fuel our economy, they will have a place in the United States. Dr. Gerber neither affirms this is as a good thing nor rejects this as a bad thing, but simply states it as fact. People and their ideas are unfortunately far less valuable too society than they often think.

Today more then ever, it seems we must consider what is real and what is not real about what we have heard about immigrants. This podcast uses history to trace the way in which immigration has taken shape, reminding us that history repeats itself unless something is done to intervene. Though a historian, Dr. Gerber is able to speak to social workers as advocates or policy makers. This podcasts begs the social worker to take a more active role in informing their clients what grassroots changes are worth. As an individual interested in policy change, this podcast was both informative and motivating!


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Average Rating: 5stars  understanding immigration yesterday in light of today is essential, Tuesday, January 31, 2017

By WNB99 :

In this brand new era of Trump immigration, we have no idea what the short and long-term future of immigration is. This podcast is a necessary step back into the United States’ history of immigration, and how it has impacted society today. I truly believe the information in this podcast is vital information today.
As a former American History teacher, one of my favorite areas of study was immigration; and listening to Dr. Gerber was like listening to one of my old classroom discussions.
Dr. Gerber’s discussion of notions of superiority as a reason for modern-day decedents of immigration was fantastically insightful. Then, as he discussed the role of immigrants and refugees rejuvenating areas of urban decay, I found myself completely enraptured.
If I were still teaching history, I would definitely play this podcast for my students. Frequently, as a city schoolteacher, my classroom would be filled with refugees and immigrant students- and I believe that would add so much to the classroom dialogue.
Furthermore, as a social worker, if I were working with a refugee population, or were considering working with a refugee population, this podcast should be considered mandatory listening.

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