ASB 202 week 7
Popular in Imm & Ethnic Relations in US
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This 31 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordan R on Sunday May 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASB 202 at Arizona State University taught by Estrada in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.
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Date Created: 05/22/16
Assimilation and Ethnic Pluralism/ Multiculturalism Warm-up Exercise ● In groups of 3, discuss the following questions and record them in your notes: 15 minute warm-up exercise ● 1. What does it meant to assimilate? 2. Who assimilates? 3. A person assimilates to what or to whom? 4. How do we measure assimilation? 5. Who decides what it means to be assimilated? Definition of Assimilation Assimilation=process in which minority immigrant groups come to adopt the dominant majority culture and become socially incorporated into majority society ● For a long time, assimilation was accepted as the best way for immigrants to become incorporated into American society In last several decades, we have shifted from an assimilation to an ethnic pluralism/multiculturalism ideology Ethnic pluralism/multiculturalism=immigrants/minorities do not have to fully culturally assimilate to become integrated into American society but can/should retain their cultural differences ● America has become an ethnically plural/multicultural society (where a multitude of different ethnic groups and cultures co-exist) ● Assimilation is no longer seen as a completely inevitable and desirable process How did we get from: Melting Pot TO Salad Bowl Or have we? ● our class is racially diverse?he classroom. Would you say that Who is American? ● Rep Luis Gutierrez (D-Illino●sSB1070 ● A measure that requires local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect to be in the United States illegally What Is Y our “Race” About The U.S. Census Bureau must adhere to the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards on race and ethnicity which guide the Census Bureau in classifying written responses to the race question: 1.White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. 2.Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. 3.American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment. 4.Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. 5.Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. 6.United States Census Race is… ● Socially constructed Not biologically fixed ● ● Asocial and historical process ● Adynamic and fluid concept ● Adialectical process (It requires a racialized “other”) ● Transformed by political struggle ● Performed The Concept of “Race” A race is a category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, often on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, eye shape, or other subjectively selected attributes (Feagin and Feagin, 2011). Historical Thinking About Race in the U.S. ● “Scientific” Explanations ● In the 19 and 20 centuries there were scientific justifications for treating people of other races differently. ● This led to “scientific” justifications for unequal distribution of wealth, power, and prestige. ● Race_The Power of an Illusion ● Race_The Power of an Illusion 2 Ethnicity An ethnic group is a collection of people distinguished, by others or by themselves, primarily on the basis of cultural or nationality characteristics (Feagin and Feagin, 2011). What is your ethnicity? Ethnicity (5 main characteristics) 1. Unique cultural traits • Language, clothing, holidays, religious practices. 2. A sense of community 3. A feeling of ethnocentrism 4. Ascribed membership from birth 5. The tendency to occupy a distinct geographic area. Examples ● Jewish Americans ● Irish Americans ● Italian Americans ● Russian Americans ● Hispanic or Latino ● Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South and Central American, Spanish culture or origin Zoe Saldana_ Dominican America Ferrera_ Honduran Parents Cameron Diaz_ Cuban Father “Ethnic options” vs. “Racial Options” (Gans 2007: 99) Assimilation Theory A process by which members of a subordinate racial and ethnic group become absorbed into the dominant cultural group. Dominant group: A racial or ethnic group that has greatest power and resources in a society (Feagin and Feagin, 2011) Subordinate Group: A group disadvantaged and subjected to unequal treatment and discrimination by the dominant group because of physical or cultural characteristics. Historically, African Americans and other persons of color have been considered to be subordinate-group members. Classical Assimilation Theory Robert Park (1926) Race Relations Cycle 1. Contact 2. Conflict 3. Accommodation 4. Assimilation Classical Assimilation Theory ● Chicago School of Sociology (1920s) ● S/E Europeans ● Warner and Srole (1945)- melting pot ● Ethnic distinctions fade over time ● Class is crucial ● “Boundary Crossing” (Alba and Nee pg. 131) Classical Assimilation Theory Milton Gordon- Assimilation in Milton Gordon’s Theory American Life (1964) Continued ● Multidimensional process 1. Acculturation ● 7 stages of assimilation 2. Structural assimilation 3. Civic assimilation ● Acculturation then 4. Identification assimilation structural assimilation 5. Attitude reception assimilation 6. Behavior reception assimilation 7. Marital assimilation Classical Assimilation Theory Glazer and Moynihan (1970) Beyond the Melting Pot ● ● Ethnic Pluralism ● Ethnic identities does not disappear among whites Contemporary Theories of Assimilation ● Herbert Gans (1979)- “Symbolic Ethnicity” White ethnicity is costless and optional ● ● No social costs ● Choice Does not hinder life chances ● ● “Boundary Shifting” (Alba and Nee pg. 131). “… how various disparaged immigration groups, such as the Irish and the eastern European Jews, made themselves acceptable as “whites” in the U.S. radical order: a radical group in the group’s position” (Alba and Nee 2007: 131) ● Read Gans 2007: bottom of page 100 Problems with the Concept of Cultural Assimilation Associated with cultural homogenization/coercive eradication of ethnic minority cultures (loss of immigrant cultural diversity/heritage) Unclear what the dominant, majority American culture is to which immigrants are supposed to assimilate (so diverse and constantly changing) Is unilinear (one way) process where immigrants assimilate to majority culture, which does not change (remains same) Cultural assimilation is not happening as quickly and smoothly as before Cultural Assimilation Immigrants who culturally assimilate experience more socioeconomic mobility There are negative psychological consequences to cultural assimilation Studies have shown that immigrants who culturally assimilate experience higher levels of stress and even mental problems ● Their psychological adjustment is harder because they experience more stress trying to conform to majority cultural pressures and becoming socially accepted ● They may also become alienated from/stigmatized by their own immigrant group ● They may also cult assimilating/adopting majority society’s prejudices about immigrants/minorities, including those about their own ethnic group (➔ethnic self- hate) Alba and Nee’s redefinition of assimilation: Assimilation is not a process in which the minority group loses its own culture and ● adopts majority culture, but a reduction of ethnic/cultural differences between two groups Ethnic Pluralism/Multiculturalism Most Americans today probably prefer ideology of ethnic pluralism/ multiculturalism Are assimilation and ethnic pluralism opposed? ● Ethnic pluralism still assumes immigrants will and should assimilate to majority culture, but that immigrant cultural differences persist (not eradicated) Two types of ethnically plural/multicultural societies 1. Different persisting ethnic/immigrant cultures can remain separate to some extent (Canadian multiculturalism) 2. A dominant majority culture (“Anglo/white” or “American culture”) is supposed to be shared/assimilated by all, but the persistence of ethnic minority subcultures is allowed (American model) Assimilation as Inevitable? Cultural assimilation is an inevitable process that eventually occurs, especially by the second generation ● Often does not fully occur among first generation immigrants ● Vast majority of second generation descendants (children of immigrants) assimilate Language is the best indicator of cultural assimilation ● Immigrants often don’t fully linguistically assimilate (aren’t fluent English speakers and remain much better at native language) ● By the second generation, descendants of immigrants are fluent in English and are losing native language skills, and by the third generation, they are mono-lingual English speakers There is ethnic persistence (maintenance of cultural differences) into the second/third generations, but often only symbolic ethnic cultural differences (food, festivities, etc.) Factors Influencing Rate of Cultural Assimilation Why do certain immigrant groups/individuals culturally assimilate faster, whereas others maintain their cultural differences more? ● Immigrants who live in isolated ethnic enclaves/communities assimilate slower than those who live in mainstream American communities ● Immigrants who maintain transnational connections/ties to their sending countries (homelands) tend to assimilate slower ● Immigrants who are high-skilled/professional assimilate faster than those who are unskilled ● Immigrants who face more ethnic discrimination from majority society tend to assimilate less than those who don’t Three Types of Assimilation Cultural assimilation=adoption of dominant majority culture by immigrants/minorities (“acculturation”) Social assimilation=incorporation of immigrants/minorities into society’s dominant institutions (socioeconomic success) (“structural assimilation”) Identity assimilation=immigrants adopt an identity as a member of majority society (“100% American”) instead of identifying with an ethnic/ immigrant minority group Three Types of Assimilation Relationship between cultural and social assimilation ● If immigrants don’t become socially assimilated/incorporated into majority society but remain socially marginalized, they will not culturally assimilate ● If immigrants don’t first culturally assimilate, it’s hard to become socially assimilated (become socioeconomically successful by being accepted/incorporated into majority society) ● However, in ethnically diverse, tolerant multicultural societies, immigrants and their descendants can retain some cultural differences and still be socially accepted and socioeconomically successful Identity assimilation is final and most complete form of assimilation Assimilation versus Ethnic Pluralism/Persistence? Shouldn’t dichotomize cultural assimilation versus ethnic pluralism as if they are mutually exclusive opposites (immigrants/minorities can do both) ● Many immigrants and minorities culturally assimilate in public but inside the privacy of their homes, they maintain their immigrant cultural heritage ● Good number of second generation descendants of immigrants become bi-lingual/ bi-cultural=assimilate to both American culture and also native culture of immigrant parents ● “Boundary Blurring” “Blurring entails the ambiguity of a boundary with respect to some set of individuals. This could mean that they are seen simultaneously as members of the groups on both sides of the boundary or that sometimes they appear to be members of one and at other times members of the other” (Alba and Nee 2007: 131). Video ● 10/14 ● Which Way Home 31