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SOC218 Assimilation Lecture

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University of Toronto St. George
Eric Fong

AssimilationIntroductionTheoretical importancePolicy ImplicationsAssimilation is an American termAssimilationOne of the major concepts of understanding of group dynamics and immigrant adaptation proposed by Sociologists in ChicagoTheoretical FrameworkMost elusive concept employed in the study of race and ethnic relationsGeneral understanding a wide range of ethnic changes and generally with implied direction towards greater homogeneityRobert E ParkSuggested stage of race relation cycle contacts competition accommodation assimilation1Contacts Superficial when first meet someonegreetings are superficial and explorative in nature1CompetitionFrom the contacts bw host people and the migrantsEconomic and cultural competition Think of society as ecology animals competed with limited resources When new group comes in the equilibrium in the society will be disturbedstarts to competeMainly compete for economic resources and cultural ways to distribute resourcesThis is a brief stage A bit like the Gain Theory1AccommodationTry to accommodate each others needs Unstable conditionAdjustment by a migrating group to a new social situation 1AssimilationA process of interpenetration and fusion in which persons and groups acquire the memories sentiments and attitudes of other persons or groups and by sharing their experience and history are incorporated with them in a common cultural lifeInevitable leading from contact to assimilationevery group will have to go through this process Ex immigrants from Vietnam will be integrated into the Canadian societyShibutani and Kwan Assimilation as reducing ethnic stratificationno longer about the groups coming together but how much they reduce the differences between groups ex reduction of the Asian group with other groupsTheir educational attainment income occupationfrom one generation to the next do these groups lower their differences in these aspectsEcological basis of ethic stratificationHabitat competition and natural selection
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