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Assimilation, Ethnic Pluralism, and Transnationalism of Immigrants, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 604

Essay

Transnationalism is defined as a different term from migration, as it does involve crossing national borders on a constant basis. This results in pluralism and mixed assimilation. They are strongly connected to the home country and remittance is often present. However, the relationship of immigrants with the host and home countries is complicated. Many of the immigrants influence politics by lobbying in the host country as well as in their homeland.

GLOBALIZATION AND ASSIMILATION

Globalization has made assimilation and inclusion easier, however, the maintenance of plural and unique identities is also easier due to the technological advancements of communication. Many transnational immigrants consume news created in their homeland and keep in touch with organizations, as well as relatives. There are also diversity movements within immigrant groups, based on a strong ethnic identity, which does not fully reject the culture of the host country but is built upon a strong class, ethnic, national and professional sense of belonging. (Waters et al. 154)

Assimilation, due to the globalization process in the past decades has become easier and more straightforward. Second and third generations living in a host country still have their own national or ethnic identity, however, during their education they would have learned the history, traditions and culture of their new home: it is more relevant to them than the first generation’s. (Waters et al. 151)

TRANSNATIONAL IDENTITIES

Waters et al. (99) highlight the difference between identity and identification. Without understanding the process of labeling based on ethnic identities by the society, as well as self-identification, the research of transnational identities cannot be complete. (100) The expression of ethnic identities have several objects: feelings, culture, traditions and perceptions of the home country. (103)  Further, Waters et al. (151) state that the transnational identities of new immigrants is different from the first generation ethnic minority groups’. Old immigrants had stronger ties with the home country and the sense of belonging to the homeland was much more prevalent. Today, many transnational ethnic groups act as a “bridge” between their home countries and the United States. (155) This way they develop identification with two different nations or countries. The ties to the new country are stronger among new immigrants: they often make investments into companies, build a business in America or other host countries, create support groups for new immigrants and become involved in humanitarian, international collaboration projects. Second generation transnationalism is also different, (160), and the socialization of immigrants’ children depends on various factors, namely: assimilation attitudes of parents, socio-economic status, as well as relationships with other generations.

THE QUESTION OF PLURALISM

Marger (93) determines pluralism as the opposite of assimilation. The retention of culture, traditions and ethnic identity is preventing members to become an equal member of the main group. It is also determined as a type of differentiation movement of minority groups. It is, however, not a full separation from the culture and values of the host country. The author determines cultural and structural aspects of pluralism. Cultural pluralism is easy to understand; it is based on race, ethnic and cultural identity. However, structural pluralism might mean that one is a US resident but belongs to an ethnic community that is based on a unique identities. While the United States is an assimilationist country (98), socialization is still determined based on ethnic and cultural identities. It is also said that pluralism at the structural level is a result of involuntary socialization choices. (98)

Works Cited

Waters, Mary C., Reed Ueda, and Helen B. Marrow, eds. The New Americans: A Guide to Immigration Since 1965. Harvard University Press, 2007.

Marger, M. Race and Ethnic Relations. American and Global Perspectives. Cengage Learning. 8Th  Edition. 2009. Print.

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