Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This research study used a content analysis technique to assess the portrayal of the European who emigrated to the United States from Europe between the years of 1832 and 1932. Portrayals were found in 15 works of historical fiction written for children or young adults and published after 1950 in the United States.

Descriptive occurrences in each book were examined for the realistic portrayal of the immigrant experience in six general areas: (1) the Americanization process, (2) the educational experience of the immigrant, (3) employment opportunities, (4) family relations, (5) conditions encountered during the emigration process, and (6) reasons for emigrating. Twenty-two hypotheses were developed relating to these six general areas: only 2 of these hypotheses were accepted and 20 rejected.

In the 15 books chosen for this study, the portrayal of the European immigrant was not particularly realistic. While most of the characters in these books struggle with the same concerns that the real immigrants did in the time period, these experiences are often watered down or omitted. The makeup of the population used, the availability of books containing as main character the European who emigrated between 1832 and 1932, and the structure of the frequency checklist used in the study were some factors which affected the study's findings.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Library Science

First Advisor

Leah Hiland


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iii, 59 pages)