Culture Assimilation 1) Definition of the topic: In the article The Importance of ‘Community’ in the Process of Immigrant Assimilation. ” International Migration Review by Joseph P. Fitzpatrick it explains how there is two steps to assimilating which are, cultural assimilation and social assimilation. It defines cultural assimilation as “adapting to values, norms, and expectations” (6). Immigrants change their personal beliefs and adapt to a new lifestyle. After culturally assimilating it says immigrants, socially assimilate, which is described as leaving a culture and being accepted into another culture.
With this said, an immigrant first changes their values and then they are accepted into a group. There is controversial issues about whether if a immigrant changes their lifestyle, are they actually going to be accepted or not. It ties in community with assimilation explaining how community is a important factor of assimilating. A community surrounds a person with people they can relate to and provides security and confidence. Having a community gives a person the comfort feeling of assimilating with a group and not alone which makes the transition of assimilating easier for an immigrant.
Cultural Assimilation is defined as letting go of your own culture such as leaving traditions, customs, language, beliefs and etc behind. So that one can interact with natives new customs. Assimilating into a new society is not only adapting into the culture but its adapting into a new lifestyle that one chooses to belong too. When an immigrant migrants in order to be accept by society the migrant must change their views and way of lifestyle. As an example the American is accustomed to be in a hurry at all times.
The American is always running around with many duties waiting to be finished as a rushed community the American way does not allow the American to interact with family as much as a immigrant might do with his or her family. In particular, the Mexican has the ability to maintain their duties but also have the time to come home and dine with their family unlike the American who all the member have a different time schedule in which they can not sit together and dine as a family. The American family must eat at their own given time when they have a chance to sit and enjoy a meal.
The migrant has the option of whether or not they want to assimilate. However, for their own convenience they do assimilate in order to have a better interaction and acceptance into the new community that they have migrated to. 2) Historical background: Personally in this lesson, I was very glad to eventually come to know what I had been curious about for quite a long time, from the immigrants’ standpoint, they were also not necessarily willing to assimilate fully to mainstream culture. They came here for better living condition, not for being Americanized with no discernment.
It’s definitely natural for immigrants becoming selective when they confront foreign culture. And especially they tend to retain cultural practices that are particularly associated with family traditions and other ethnic institutions. This durability of ethnic affiliation can be seen even more pronouncedly among Asian and Latin American immigrants. We can easily confirm these non-European immigrants have successfully participated in and contributed to American society while simultaneously retaining their ethnic affiliation. I strongly believe that assimilating into a new way of living is not difficult at all.
What is difficult to accept is that you leave behind what shaped you before without realizing it at all. Without having the intentions of assimilation however you’re surroundings are causing you to change without notice. As a personal experience working in a Japanese restaurant my ways of living gave a slight change without notice. A habit that I know have which I never practiced before was bowing every time I thank someone. Before I would simply give a smile and verbally thank them. Now I have caught myself bowing as I give thanks.
I would never practice this habit until I started working at the Japanese restaurant I work in. My surrounding who are majority Asian all bow as they give thanks . Those weren’t the only things that I kept soon learned to catch myself doing. The way I was always eating only Mexican food changed when I started to work there. Having only 15-25 minutes breaks would give me time to eat but only things that I could get my hands on quickly. Thus leading me to order myself meals that I would order for the customers and trying food that I had never tried before.
I know enjoy sushi along with other different plates. Finally one thing that I thought I’d never find my self to grow accustom to would be the smell of so much fish, a key ingredient to over 85% of our menu. Now fish is merely a simple wake up morning scent to me at the start of my shift. 3) Key concepts (keywords): Within Cultural assimilation comes some special keywords. Assimilation is related to difference, change, and adaption. A Cultural adapting into a new environment is a normal step in migrating.
Assimilation is also related to migration those migrating make a change for a better living, so they adapt to their surroundings to have a better living. Melting pot is a metaphor used to compare to culture assimilation. They are compared because it is believed that culture assimilation is suppose to be like a melting pot, all the cultures and ethnic groups are suppose to blend together and be one. It is also used as the American melting pot, there is a specific way Americans want immigrants who come into the United States to mold and transform into a certain way with the argument that immigrants will fit into society.
Even though this ideal “melting pot” is suppose to occur with immigrants in the United States, people are not becoming one group. Everyone has their own culture and assimilates differently than others and even though there is not just one group or culture in the United States it does not mean the country will fall a part. Every culture adds and contributes to the country in its own way, this does not hurt the economy it just changes it and change will always happen as years go by. 4) major authors or contributors ) Seminal resources related to the topic 6) Current Issues about the topic: Forms of assimilation include behavioral assimilation, known as acculturation, and structural or socioeconomic assimilation. Acculturation occurs when a member of the ethnic minority adopts the cultural norms and values of the dominant group. Instances of acculturation include learning the language of the host country or acquiring citizenship. Hence, immigrants discard their own traditions and beliefs and embrace the culture and identity of their new country.
One current issue about cultural assimilation is how immigrants are seen as newcomers, and how they are just a burden to the United States because they are not adapting to the country. Now that it has been centuries since immigrants have came to the United States it is shown how immigrants have adapted to the United States culture and contributed. The overall controversial issue is if immigrants are suppose to leave their culture and adapt to a new culture or, are Americans suppose to accept that immigrants are not going to assimilate completely the American way.
As well as, immigrants should be accepted for what benefits they bring to the United States and not be forced to assimilate in one way. The United States is a nation of immigrants and how this is shaping and changing the United States culture and it will continue to change. Bibliography Fitzpatrick, Joseph P. “The Importance of ‘Community’ in the Process of Immigrant Assimilation. ” International Migration Review 1. 1 (1966): 5-16. Miller, John J. “Assimilation Enriches America’s Melting Pot. ” Insight on the News, 10. 40 (1994): 20.
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