Sociological Analysis

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As America continues to add ingrediants to its melting pot, a large portion of what makes America as diverse and culturally pluralistic as it is today is Russian Americans. They have become part of American society, not just recently but over many years. Their experiences of past forces has shaped their experience since coming to America. Demographic stastics and population trends show that Russian Americans have become a large group of todays ethnic society. Russian immigrants have come to America in steady waves for the past three centuries. It started with fur traders who crossed the Bering Strait in the 1700. The first Russian settlers in America were fur traders who crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska in the mid eighteenth century. Fur traders began to cross the strait to secure land for fur trading. Alaska soon became a frontier society with explorers searching for fur and gold (Gorman). Members of persecuted religions such as the Molokan and Orthodox crossed the strait to escape government oppression in Russia. These people converted many Eskimos to their religions, and started small communities in Alaska. The migration stopped, however, in 1867, when Russia sold Alaska to the United States (Gorman). From 1880 to 1914, there was a new wave of Russian immigrants coming to America. This included poor peasants and persecuted Jews. In 1870, a period of "Russification" began. The Russian government implemented a policy to try to stamp out different ethnic groups within the country. Basic rights were taken away from many peoples, including the Jews. Violence became a major problem resulting in many deaths. These conditions led to a huge influx of Russian Jewish immigrants to America (Gorman). In the past thirty years, a new ethnic group of Soviet Jews has joined America's "melting pot." These immigrants live on the eastern seaboard and have even formed their own communities in New York City. They have risen from a difficult past and are...
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