One of the homework assignments in my Greek American class this semester (Spring 2021) was asking students the following:
1) What is an important topic of personal significance to you that you would like scholars of Greek America to explore? Why is this topic important (to you, or the country, or Greek America)? What questions should they be asking in their research of this topic?
2) Ask these scholars a question of your own choice. Please be creative and insightful, devote some time thinking seriously the questions you will be asking.
A topic I feel is an important one for research is the emotional toll immigrating to America as a Greek person can have on the mental health of Greek Americans. This topic is important to me because psychology is something I am very interested in, but the state of a person’s mental health also affects their daily life. There is a number of hardships associated with moving to a new country, especially when leaving behind family members is involved, and these hardships can easily take a toll on anyone's mental health. Some questions I feel would be of importance in this area are understanding what sorts of difficulties in the process of immigration have been most upsetting or stressful. Also, how these struggles may be impacting people's day to day lives, and if there is an outreach for help. The personal problems of singular Greek Americans are not talked about as much as the widespread issues, and I feel there should be more attention put towards the mental health of individual citizens. Individual questions could be about issues of current life in America, and how often they think about their problems with adjusting and how much of a stressor these worries are causing.
One question I have regarding Greek America is how much of the Greek culture remains in Greek American families through second, third, fourth, etc. generations of Greek Americans. How much of the culture remains as families get farther away from the original immigration? We have learned in class that many families have become less and less traditional as time goes on and children are often much less traditional than their Greek parents. Along with this I would like to know how they perceive this straying away from tradition will affect Greek American culture in the United States. Will Greek culture remain a large part of American society, or as Greek Americans become more Americanized will this start to change?