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Assimilation:. the process of inclusion through which newcomers become full members of another group or society. Does America have an assimilation problem? Debate. Theory of the cycle of race relations.

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  • the process of inclusion through which newcomers become full members of another group or society. Does America have an assimilation problem?
  • Debate
theory of the cycle of race relations
Theory of the cycle of race relations
  • Park (1939) formulated a cycle of race relations theory that focused on four stages: contact, competition, accommodation and eventual assimilation.
  • During the contact stage the racial groups gain momentum,
  • thereby competing for land and social dominance and
  • in the accommodation stage, ethnic ties disappear, leading to eventual assimilation.
The theory of race relations cycle can be applied to people and cultures anywhere. The process is irreversible, although racial barriers (obstacles) may slow the assimilation process of some groups like the blacks.
Du Bois (1903)-- statement strengthens the preceding analysis “one ever feels his twoness,--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings in one dark body.”
gordon s theory of assimilation sub processes
Gordon’s Theory of Assimilation Sub-processes:
  • Milton M. Gordon (1964) proposed 4 main sub-processes of assimilation:1. Cultural assimilation:
  • (a) by substitution e.g., Irish Americans or
  • (b) Assimilation by addition: means the subordinate group will take some cultural aspects of the dominant group, e.g., Hispanics (Latinos)
2. Secondary structural assimilation: equal status relationship in the “public” sphere,
  • Example: dominant and subordinate groups in the work environment. Occurs more rapidly than primary.
  • Variables: education, employment, income and housing (residential segregation )
  • Equality of opportunity (equal chance) vs. Equality of condition (probability of success)
3. Primary structural assimilation refers to close, personal relationships, e.g., social clubs, families, etc.
  • 4. Marital assimilation: intermarriage.
Basic assumption: the sub-processes do not identify distinct and inevitable stages of assimilation for instance a group may assimilate culturally without necessarily proceeding through the other sub-processes
3 ideologies of assimilation
3 ideologies of assimilation:
  • 1. Anglo-conformity model: basic assumption: complete assimilation of the minority group into the Anglo patterns of culture, etc.
  • Most widely accepted ideology—colonial period
  • 13 colonies—northeastern states
  • English as common language—unityEthnocentric—values & customs—modified Englishman
2. Melting-pot ideology: basic assumption: belief that the culture and society of each ethnic group should be blended with the culture and society of the host group to produce a new and different culture and society. This ideology lost favor with the rise of political liberalism in the 1960s.
3.Cultural pluralism: Horace Kallen (1915), Jewish philosopher, argued that members of every American ethnic group should be free to participate in all of the society’s major institutions while simultaneously retaining or elaborating their own ethnic heritage.
Basic assumption: a salad bowl analogy, i.e., each ingredient in the salad retains its distinct flavor but adds a new essence to the salad. The ideology can work best in New York, California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and some of the Southern states.