Assimilation: classical perspectives
- theoretical importance
- what is social integration?
- is it about cultural adaptation?
- is it about equality in housing, earnings?
- theoretical framework
- most elusive concept employed in the study of race and ethnic relations
- general understanding: a wide range of ethnic changes and generally with im-
plied direction towards greater ‘homogeneity’.
- robert E. park
- stage of race relation cycle contacts, competition, accommodation, assimilation
- robert park and his colleague suggests that to understand the society, we
should take a human ecology approach. incorporate the idea of ecology from bi-
ology to understand society.
- borrow from the ecological model
- similar to the animal kingdom, we have limited resources, have alot of in-
dividuals in a habitat, we fight with each other for survival. similar to ani-
- if we continue to fight, we need energy and alot of resources to
survive (wasting resources)
- we have to accommodate each other to make use of re-
- we don’t need to study cultural values, we can make as-
sumptions simply based on the group size and their interac-
- 1. contacts:
- extremely important to know what is going on for individuals
- need to look at the contacts (from human ecology)
- superficial and explorative in nature
- 2. competition:
- groups compete due to limited resources - from the contacts between host people and the migrants
- economic and cultural competition
- when new members enter, it disrupts the equilibrium.
- 2 dimensions
- economic (job competition, for survival)
- cultural (those who control the cultural have the ways and means
to distribute the resources - important competition)
- 3. accommodation:
- unstable condition
- groups try to figure out ways to distribute resources, trying to accommodate
- adjustment by a migrating group to a new social situation.
- 4. assimilation
- assimilation is a process of interpenetration and fusion in which persons and
groups acquire the memories, sentiments, and attitudes of other other persons
or groups, and by sharing their experience and history, are incorporated with
them in a common cultural life.
- it is not very clear
- because, don’t know whether if youre indicating a person or group.
- a person can be integrated but the group itself may not so well integrat-
- what level of integration are you referring to?
- memories, sentiments?
- are you talking about cultural dimension, social dimension
- incorporate common cultural life?
- what common cultural life include?
- robert park introduce that race relation is not a static process but assimilation is un-
- suggests that it is inevitably leading from contact to assimilation.
- all migrants have to go through this phase.
- e.g. some groups may have migrated in to a society for a long period of time but still
continue their special traditions etc.
- hence indicates that not all groups is necessarily to go through full integration. -shibutani
- was a student of robert park
- 2nd generation asian american
- changed human ecology approach
- published concept of assimilation
- milton gordon
- dimension of assimilation
- suggest that when you want to understand assimilation
- you have to look at the 7 dimensions of assimilation
- 1. cultural assimilation: language, all immigrants have to go through cultural as-
similation, or the rest of dimensions wont occur.
- important to measure assimilation.
- also use cultural practices
- 2. structural assimilation: ethnic residential integration
- when immigrants enter, they like to live together
- however gradually, they move out from their ethnic neighborhood and mix
with the host neighborhoods.
- another is participation in various organizations, different work industries.
- do they do well in education, etc.
- friendship choice is able to know the structural network of individuals.
- if most of friends is diverse, the person is well integrated.
- marital assimilation
- look at intermarriage rate
- 3. identification assimilation
- ethnic identification
- 4. civic assimilation
- political participation
- 5. behavioral receptional assimilation
- the encounter of negative actions because of ethnic background.
← ← 3 possible outcomes of assimilation
i. giving up immigrant’s culture in favor of the behaviors and values of the anglo-
saxon core groups
1. assumptions: in favor of anglo-saxon institutions, disapproval of ethnic com-