:: RT: Why some immigrants struggle to become integrated into society?
|| #Racism #RacialPrejudice #IntegrationTheory Multiculturalism; ethnic minorities; state policies; Western Europe, Acculturation, Integration, Assimilation, #Immigration #USA #UK #GreatBritain #UniversityStudies #StudyNotes #CulturalStudies | Examples of areas where integration can be a challenge are for instance 'race or ethnicity, socio-economics or class, cultural and political impact, and religion'. Drawing your own conclusions based on figures, models, history and current situations is exactly what students need to aim for in academic writing.
When dealing with the contentious issue of reducing particular differences between newcomers and natives, and removing obstacles for second generation migrant offspring in society, one cannot relegate individual and national identity, and racial prejudice to a sphere that does not impinge on immigrants and their offspring, if natives and the new inhabitants are to coexist in a tolerant intellectual climate. As stated by Ane Øien-Vikaune: “Any examination or discussion on minorities, immigration or integration will ultimately lead to discussion on race and racial prejudice,” which continue to be factors in social and political debates in the US and the UK (2015, Lesson 2, video: 00:45). Furthermore, should immigrants be 100 percent American, British, without clinging to some of their native culture? Integration into a new Western society can be very or less problematic depending on where immigrants originally come from. In general, immigrants who come from Western societies whose governments are driven by liberal democratic principles integrate themselves in a better and faster way into another Western society, especially if those newcomers have Caucasian characteristics.
Some immigrants, lacking the Caucasian characteristics, feel that some of the receiving countries provide them with a feeding ground of interaction, but find out that back that interaction there is also hidden a ‘gradual fusion’, which many of them do not wish to be endowed with. In some cases Western policies have been adopted with the view that society should best converge to some pre-determined life-style (“assimilation”, “fusion”, “the assimilationist integration model”), described as “Americanization” or “Anglo-conformity”, in the US, where they believe that all nation’s members should “share a common national culture, including common values, ideals of excellence, moral beliefs and social practices” (Healey & O'Brien, 2014, p. 45; Parekh, Bhikhu, 2000, pp.197-199; Øien-Vikaune, 2015, Lesson 2, video: 20:47), rather than policies that have been adopted with the perspective of convergence to an endogenous, average life-style (“integration", “social cohesion”, “pluralist integration model”) that leads to uniformity, which is the case in many European countries. In order for an immigrant to become integrated into a society, interaction or participation in local communities is a paramount aspect in human sociality and the State needs to be committed to actively grant foreigners access to equal rights and opportunities locals already have. Now, ‘gradual fusion’ or metamorphosis should be every individual’s decision. Newcomers should choose whether they want injection of regular doses of local culture or not (Parekh, Bhikhu, 2000, p. 197; Øien-Vikaune, 2015, Lesson 2, video: 24:09). Expecting immigrant and minority groups to undergo an assimilation process, in which they emulate local traditions or embrace “national identity”, meaning ‘they internalize national symbols’, as a pre-condition to acceptance into a new society, is not an essential ingredient to become integrated in a plural society. This process of assimilation, giving up their heritage, is what some immigrants struggle with; they want to remain strongly connected to their identity (Entzinger & Biezeveld, 2003, p. 6).
“Identity” is a topic of wide variety, but can be defined for this purpose as ‘their understanding of who they are, what they want to be recognized as.’ The concept of individual identity is non-static, it changes all the time, and immigrants struggle with an evolving identity within themselves. Immigrants’ struggle within them is about whether they have to be impervious to outside influence, giving up their own values that constitute their identity, such as converse in native vernacular, profess their religion or exercise their rights to secular views, gourmandize native food, to name a few. (Bloom, William, 1990, p. 52; Fearon, James D., 1999, pp. 4-6).
Some Western governments have a policy of ambiguity on immigrant integration matters, one of them is on the linguistic level. When immigrants do their best to become integrated into their new home countries, they are subjected to blatant or subtle forms of racism, comments based on their biological characteristics. Carol Thatcher referred to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a tennis player, as looking like a ‘Golliwog.’ Tsonga’s father is from Congo. The debate raged in the UK as to whether this was truly offensive or not? General speaking, there are politically correct terms when referring to ‘ethnic’ minorities, in Europe, but it is also true that there exist ‘soft racial epithets’, although people argue they are only joking. For some this might be entertaining, but those racist attitudes and stereotypes influence political decision-making and are factors that further complicate integration of newcomers (Woolley, Simon, 2010).
To summarize, some immigrants altercate with the new forces that draw them towards the 'national identity', which some of them are reluctant to be part of; they refuse to shed all vestiges of their cultural heritage (Parekh, Bhikhu, 2000, 197). Immigrants calibrate their 'identity' by wondering if they are truthful recognized as autonomous individuals, in the new society, despite their diversity. Some immigrants struggle to become integrated into a new society because of marginalization, based on their biological characteristics, cultural values, religion, and sometimes, language. In addition, migrant and minority groups are associated with crime, poor educational achievement, as well as reliance on social welfare. The State has the responsibility to not let them and their progeny be denizens of an inferior social ghetto. This requires the receiving countries' understanding of integration as a two-way process; "The existing community needs to change in order to recognize its minorities" (Øien-Vikaune, 2015, Lesson 2, video: 24:09). It is a process of mutual accommodation between migrants and the receiving society. "[...] minorities have a right to maintain and transmit their ways of life, and denying it to them is both indefensible and likely to provoke resistance." (Parekh, Bhikhu, 2000, 197).
•  Entzinger, Han and Renske Biezeveld, 2003: Benchmarking in Immigrant Integration, Rotterdam: ERCOMER. Study carried out for the European Commission, DG Justice and Home Affairs, August 2003.
•  Bloom, William, 1990. “Personal Identity, National Identity, and International Relations”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
•  Fearon, James D., 1999. “What is identity?” Stanford University.
•  Healey, Joseph F. & Eileen O'Brien, 2014. “Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change”. SAGE Publications.
•  Parekh, Bhikhu C., 2000. “Rethinking Multiculturalism” in: The Political Structure of Multicultural Society
•  Woolley, Simon, 2010. Compendium: “Racism has shades of grey”. The Guardian. 5 July.
•  Øien-Vikaune, Ane, Take Credit, 2015, Lesson 2. “Cultural Studies Unit 2: Race, and integration theory”. Web. Retrieved on January 2015 from (video: min: 00:45)
(APA) Madeira, Benjamin (2015). "Why some immigrants struggle to become integrated into society?"
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J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, by means of essays written in letter form, also called epistles, greatly influenced “the assimilationist integration model” (“assimilation”, “fusion”), rather than “the pluralist integration model” (“integration," “social cohesion”) concerning immigrants, in the United States [of what an American is] ("Letter III: What is an American?"), during the entire twentieth century.ResponderEliminar