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Part 1: Reasons for Immigration

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Part1 Redlining

This segment introduces Marit Hoffman, of Norwegian heritage, and Valentina Timez, of Mexican heritage, and suggests how traditional foodways, such as the making of cultural staples like tortillas and lefse, can reveal cultural processes and values. Dan Banda imagines a food show as a good way to explore issues of cultural identity. Marit and Valentina talk about where their parents came from (Texas and Mexico for Valentina; Minnesota for Marit). For both Valentina and Marit, their ancestors' impulse for migration was the same: finding jobs.

Immigration is generally the result of what's become known as "push/pull factors." Push factors are circumstances that encourage people to leave their country of origin-overpopulation, poverty, social injustices, religious or other persecution, or factors related to war. Pull factors attract individuals to a new place, or to the possibility of a better life. Such factors can include the availability of land, better wages, the promise of social equity. As was the case in nineteenth century Wisconsin, many relatives or friends who had already come to the state encouraged others to follow them. Thus, in Wisconsin history we can see the process of chain migration, where extended families or villages eventually migrated, as initial immigrants founded communities where others could feel comfortable.

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Last Updated:
January 5, 2009

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