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Immigrant assimilation Essay

Immigrant assimilation is a well known process in which a group of immigrations change their culture in order to adapt with the dominant society, which are the native people of a certain country. In the United States, this process had been widespread since the early 1800s, where immigrants gradually become similiar with natives. There are two kinds of assimilations. The first one is that immigrants are becoming more similar over time in norms, and behaviors, while the second one , the racialor ethnic disadvantage model states that mostly black immigrants or other races that are discriminated have no chance to assimilate. An example of this model is discrimination to job opportunities. There were three theoretical explanation referring to assimilation. In 1845 Ralph Emerson referred to assimilitaion as the main idea for imigrants of changing themselves in an equal way, because not only the europians, but also the other races can contribute to the new formed citizens. Mead and Kwan studied a person’s treatment in society for what he truly is and not categorizing people in racial minorities.

Robert Park interpretated assimilitation as a process in which people share experiences together and in this way help the immigrants to be part of the american mainstream life. He viewed this process as the end of the stage of race cycle. After World War 1, he and Thomas, after some studies of immigrants in Chicago,explained that it will be easier if immigrant groups were left to make this process happen slowly and not being forced to change because of the feeling discriminated. It has been proved that people were more efficient this way, and assimilation shows inwhat direction are these people actually moving or changing.

The third theory shows Gordon’s points of view. He explained assimilation through acculuration, which according to him is a one way process where the minority integrates with the majority. He also focused on the generational change because he noticed that the first generation of people that were born somewhere else in the world were less assimilated than the second one, their children. The measurable aspects of assimilation are socioeconomic status, spatial concentration, language attainment, and intermarriage. The first one refers to education, wealth, and occupation. The second one is defined by residential patterns, while the third one indicated their first language, and the last one is defined by race or ethnicity.

I agree on Gordon’s statement about the generation change and the segmented assimilation theory which focuses on the notion that people adapt in different ways with their life in the United States, depending on their social and economic factors. Immigrants come from diverse backgrounds, and their children known as second generation immigrants, have another experience regarding cultural conflict compared to their parents and that of mainstream american society. These second generation immigrants seem to assimilate into society easier. Three major groups including Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans make up the population of second generation immigrants in the United States. Latinos have resulted really successful in businesses in LA and Miami, and a lot of new students are enrolled in schools. In contrast to their parents, second generation Hispanics are more likely to intermarry with members of other racial groups.

The second generation immigrants of African Americans seem to be more aware of racial discrimination. In addition, the assimilation into black society and black culture in the U.S. by these children is hindered by their parents’ oppositional stance to American black culture, contributing to identity conflict. A considering percentage of the Asian population in the U.S. can be categorized as a second generation immigrants. Again, we can see the segmented assimilation theory in practice here because the cultural assimilation of second generation Asians is diverse, where many are highly educated, which results that asians have achieved a lot and consist on middle class families. The second generation of immigrants are truly part of the society and should not be considered foreign. In conlusion, immigrant assimilation is a complex process in which immigrants not only fully integrate themselves into a new country, but also lose a lot of aspects of their native cultures.

The most common route to economic well-being for the young adults is to join the mainstream. This meticulously researched project shows that immigrant youths in fact fare better than both their parents and their native counterparts. This second generation advantage reflects the systematic differences between immigrant and native groups For example, adult children of immigrants are more likely to live at home in multigenerational households than native bourns. Moreover, the presence of extended family members could allow for more working adults to pool income together, and thus make more resources available per child.


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