SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Cultural Assimilation

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Published on 20 Nov 2012
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Assimilation approach
o Survey found most people were for assimilation
o Contact between a new foreign minority and an established majority will lead, through a
series of stages, to an eventual merging of values, symbols, and identities
o Merging for a better future for their children
o Milton Gordon's different stages to assimilation
Cultural assimilation (the change of cultural patterns to those of the host society)
Structural assimilation (large scale entrance into cliques, clubs, and institutions of host
society)
Martial assimilation (large-scale intermarriage)
Identificational assimilation (development of sense of people hood based exclusively
on the host society)
Behavior receptional assimilation (absence of discrimination)
Civic assimilation (the absence of power conflict between the immigrant group and
the majority - ie. wouldn't be fighting the gov't for resources such as special treatment
for ______)
Criticisms
Historical evidence is against this approach, european immigrants 1890-
1914 did not follow the assumed stages, faced heavy discrimination and
prejudice (itlian&polish), rejected by the host society (the second
generation that learned the new way) and went back to their community
for support (because they could not assimilate structurally, they made
enclaves to defend themselves from discrimination) 2 reasons: beneficial
to keep immigrants weak and separate population to exploit (Capitalism).
Native workers saw the immigrants as new threats to their well being
(economically)
The model looks at immigration in NA society as a problem, new
immigrants disrupts the structure society -> assimilation = stability is
restored. Assumes they are the problem, contributions made by
immigrants is neglected ie the Chinese -> CPR
This approach does not look at how by "othering" certain groups nations
such as the US and CA affirm their anglo conformity, they were founded
by white ppl, a white nation
Assumes the NA culture and identity are of higher social status than
other cultures
This approach does not look at how racial discrimination can result in
blocked assimilation, block assimilation, they are dropping out from
alienation
The experiences of the post 1965 immigrants and their children show
that the old line assimilation model of cultural and social assimilation
moving in lockstep with socio-economic success is no longer correct, the
model doesn't match the experience of immigrants post 1965