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Immigration in the US - Essay Example

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Assimilation is defined as “a process of interpretation and fusion in which persons and groups acquire the memories, sentiments and attitudes of other persons and groups and, by sharing their experience and history, are incorporated with them in a common cultural life” (Alba…
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Immigration in the US
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Download file to see previous pages People have generally developed a negative perception about assimilation over the years. Assimilation has been largely viewed as a process of wearing a fake identity. Nevertheless, assimilation has played a fundamental role in the integration of ethnic minorities in the advanced societies. In this way, social assimilation enables the ethnic minorities to achieve cultural solidarity without having to compromise upon their indigenous cultural values and norms.
Pluralism, by definition is the inverse of assimilation. Ethnic pluralism is the term used for such circumstances that enable the ethnic minorities to keep their original values and sustain ethnic heterogeneity. Ethnic pluralism is misunderstood as a social process which isolates one ethnic group from the rest. A more rational way to define ethnic pluralism is definition of a particular group in a larger society. This is the reason why ethnic pluralism gives rise to a multiethnic society instead of distorting one large society into several small societies. Different ethnic groups are interlinked by the economic and political systems in the society. Although American society is by large an assimilationist society, yet pluralistic elements are quite evident at several levels in the structure of the society. Whether an individual is inclined towards assimilation or ethnic pluralism fundamentally depends upon his/her choice. People that prefer to hold ethnicity as the most prominent factor of identification are more of ethnic pluralists than assimilationists. Assimilation and ethnic pluralism resemble each other in that both entail numerous forms and dimensions. Several dimensions including the cultural and structural dimensions can be defined for both assimilation and ethnic pluralism. Differences among individual ethnic groups sustain in both social systems. Both assimilation and ethnic pluralism are variables for societies and groups and both occur at different ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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