Mini Investigation Ideas

Migration in America
The United States is one of the most advanced countries in the world, yet we are afflicted with natural disasters and other calamities that displace people like any other country. Where do these people go? What do they do? As a possible mini investigation, I would like to look at how different disasters in the nation's history have displaced people. A possible book to read would be The Grapes of Wrath.

So, I don't have a solid mini-investigations idea yet. But I guess I wanted to rant for a minute here. I really pushed for this idea because I thought the possibilities were really endless. I want to see people tracking deer up at the top of Sayre. I want people to put micro chips in water bottles and throw them in the sewers and see where they end up in a week. I want people taking random buses to random places and journaling how it felt, physically and emotionally. I want people to track cultures. Hell, I want someone to try to illegally immigrate somewhere. Why not? Don't just think of things to study, think of things to DO. I think that's what will put us bar none over the rest of what others try to study. Just a thought.

in response to "Migration in America"
I'm interested in also looking into foreign governments, upheavals, and conflicts in relation to migration. Fairly vague, but could be neat.


Better Thoughts

Through the discussion board we've had talks about classifying migration. I guess it's been a direct dialogue as in "What is Migration" versus "What is Not". I think through this we've seen intention and non intentional. In the same way, we've seen how migration can cause a complete physical movement (people, animals, etc.) as well as one that requires an exchange of sorts (ideas, being in two places, or multiple places at once). But if we believe in the migration of ideas, when does migration end? Or in this matter, when does it complete. Did the idea that the Earth was round migrate until we all believed it? Or is that idea still "migrating" into our minds as we are taught it in school. Or does migration require a certain geographical "mapping" to be classified? If that is the case, can we geographically map ideas?

Enough ranting. I think a good idea would be a study of just what "migration" may be, and attempting to develop some type of classification system for it. This may not even be possible. But at the same time, I think failing at an attempt may give us a clearer understanding and help clear up redundancies concerning our ideas on migration.


I think this might be a large enough issue to consider it as something we could all look at together - an investigation, rather than a mini investigation, or someone's investigation. -Kathleen

That's totally possible. I didn't make an Invesetigations Major Theme Topic Area on the board so I just posted it here. ~Rob

I am thinking of looking at the city from start to [what many are speculating to be it's] finish.
This came about as I was pondering the ideas and realities of rural-to-urban migration and labor-motivated migration (here I'm referring to both those migrants who take it upon themselves to move to where the work is and the practice of paying passage and settlement fees for laborers as a manner of placing them in debt/loyalty to the company, {see, also: Ford's paternalism in regards to immigrants and efforts to Americanize them}). I don't have any readings to suggest, yet, I was just hoping to see if there would be any interest in this kind of thing.
Obviously, we could look at another city - but with the way the economic downturn has impacted Detroit (which was already somewhat depressed) and new plans to convert large swaths of the city into farmland, I thought it was a unique modern example where we could look at the rise and fall of a city.

New Orleans
Huzzah! A way to expand my thoughts about large movements of Americans and your (Kathleen's) idea about Detroit, is to look at what has happened to New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, the US was presented with a rare opportunity to reinvent from the ground up, a major city. However, many people never came back to New Orleans even though the city has changed dramatically. Many of the poorer neighborhoods have not come back to their pre-hurricane levels and it would be interesting to investigate what happened to those people, how they have coped, what they did. Those people didn't just disappear, they went somewhere. They also took the culture of New Orleans with them, which if anyone has ever been there is quite interesting.

General Intra-American (United States) Migration
So this seems to be a thing some of us (alright, Aaron and I) are interested in. In addition to the cases of Detroit and New Orleans, it might be interesting to look at rural-to-urban migrations (including the mass movement of the Appalachian peoples) as well as urban-to-suburban/rural migrations (I'm thinking mainly post-WW2/"white flight" here, but obviously there are other cases). Also, people migrating for religious reasons might be fun to look at in an American context (the obvious case here would be Mormons, but I'm sure there are others).
Throw in your thoughts, please!

Moving away from the US, I have been reading a lot about Islam and the current clash of civilizations going on between Islamic and western life. It would be neat to study the spread of Islam and the implications that it has across the world. Many people (at least in the US and to some extent, Europe) feel that Islam spreading is probably a bad thing. I would like to study the history of how Islam has spread from the Arabian peninsula outwards to cover a substantial portion of the world and its population. There are many good books about this subject out there and it would be worth studying in this post 9/11 world of ours.

In response to Aaron's interest in studying Islam, is your quest to study the spread of the religion? Or the spread of terrorism? The two are not synonymous. Both would be interesting, but I would like to make sure you're not blurring the lines there. Not to be the wiki police or anything. You know what I mean.

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