Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a dominant group or assume the values, behaviors, and beliefs of another group. A conceptualization describes cultural assimilation as similar to acculturation while another merely considers the former as one of the latter's phases. Assimilation could also involve the so-called additive acculturation wherein, instead of replacing the ancestral culture, an individual expands their existing cultural repertoire.
Cultural assimilation may involve either a quick or a gradual change depending on circumstances of the group. Full assimilation occurs when members of a society become indistinguishable from those of the dominant group.
Whether it is desirable for a given group to assimilate is often disputed by both members of the group and those of the dominant society. Cultural assimilation does not guarantee social alikeness. Geographical and other natural barriers between cultures, even if created by the dominant culture, may be culturally different.Cultural assimilation can happen either spontaneously or forcibly (see forced assimilation). A culture can spontaneously adopt a different culture. Also, older, richer, or otherwise more dominant cultures can forcibly absorb subordinate cultures.
The term “assimilation” is often used with regard to not only indigenous groups but also immigrants settled in a new land. A new culture and new attitudes toward the origin culture are obtained through contact and communication. Assimilation assumes that a relatively-tenuous culture gets to be united to one unified culture. That process happens by contact and accommodation between each culture. The current definition of assimilation is usually used to refer to immigrants, but in multiculturalism, cultural assimilation can happen all over the world and within varying social contexts and is not limited to specific areas. For example, a shared language gives people the chance to study and work internationally, without being limited to the same cultural group. People from different countries contribute to diversity and form the "global culture" which means the culture combined by the elements from different countries. That "global culture" can be seen as a part of assimilation, which causes cultures from different areas to affect one another.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Canadian government began a campaign to forcibly assimilate Aboriginals. The government consolidated power over Aboriginal land through treaties and the use of force, eventually isolating indigenous people to reserves. Marriage practices and spiritual ceremonies were banned, and spiritual leaders were imprisoned. Additionally, the Canadian government instituted an extensive residential school system to assimilate children. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded that this effort was violent enough to amount to cultural genocide. The schools actively worked to alienate children from their cultural roots. Students were prohibited from speaking their native languages, were regularly abused, and were arranged marriages by the government after their graduation. The explicit goal of the Canadian government was to completely assimilate the Aboriginals into European culture and destroy all traces of their native history.
In January 2019, newly elected Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro has stripped the indigenous affairs agency FUNAI of the responsibility to identify and demarcate indigenous lands. He argued that those territories have very tiny isolated populations and proposed to integrate them into the larger Brazilian society. According to the Survival International, "Taking responsibility for indigenous land demarcation away from FUNAI, the Indian affairs department, and giving it to the Agriculture Ministry is virtually a declaration of open warfare against Brazil’s tribal peoples."
Immigrant assimilation is a complex process in which immigrants not only fully integrate themselves into a new country but also lose aspects, perhaps even all of their heritage. Social scientists rely on four primary benchmarks to assess immigrant assimilation: socioeconomic status, geographic distribution, second language attainment, and intermarriage. William A.V. Clark defines immigrant assimilation as "a way of understanding the social dynamics of American society and that it is the process that occurs spontaneously and often unintended in the course of interaction between majority and minority groups."
There has been little to no existing research or evidence that demonstrates whether and how immigrant’s mobility gains—assimilating to a dominant country such as language ability, socioeconomic status etc.— causes changes in the perception of those who were born in the dominant country. This essential type of research provides information on how immigrants are accepted into dominant countries. In the article by Ariela Schachter titled “From “different” to “similar”: an experimental approach to understanding assimilation” a was given to white American citizens to view their perception of immigrants who now resided in the United States. The survey indicated the white’s tolerated immigrants in their home country. White natives are open to having “structural” relation with the immigrants-origin individuals, for instance, friends and neighbors; however, this was with the exception of black immigrants and natives and undocumented immigrants. However, at the same time, white Americans viewed all non-white Americans, regardless of legal status, as dissimilar.
A similar journal by Jens Hainmueller and Daniel J. Hopkins titled “The Hidden American Immigration Consensus: A Conjoint Analysis of Attitudes toward Immigrants” confirmed similar attitudes towards immigrants. The researchers used an experiment to reach their goal which was to test nine theoretical relevant attributes of hypothetical immigrants. Asking a population-based sample of U.S citizens to decide between pairs of immigrants applying for admission to the United States, the U.S citizen would see an application with information for two immigrants including notes about their education status, country, origin, and other attributes. The results showed American’s viewed educated immigrants in high-status jobs favorably, whereas they view the following groups unfavorably: those who lack plans to work, those who entered without authorization, those who do not speak fluent English and those of Iraqi descent.
As the number of international students entering the US has increased, so has the number of international students in US colleges and universities. The adaption of these newcomers is important in cross-cultural research. In the journal "Cross-Cultural Adaptation of International College Student in the United States" by Yikang Wang, the goal was to examine how the psychological and socio-cultural adaption of international college students varied over time. The survey contained a sample of 169 international students attending a coeducational public university. The two subtypes of adaption: psychological and socio-cultural were examined. Psychological adaption refers to "feelings of well-being or satisfaction during cross-cultural transitions;" while socio-cultural refers to the ability to fit into the new culture. The results show both graduate and undergraduate students showed both the satisfactory and socio-cultural skilled changed over time. Psychological adaption had the most significant change for a student who has resided in the US for at least 24 months while socio-cultural adaption steadily increased over time. It can be concluded that eventually over time, the minority group will shed some of their culture's characteristic when in a new country and incorporate new culture qualities. Also, it was confirmed that the more time spent in a new country would result in becoming more accustomed to the dominate countries aspects of characteristics.
Figure 2 demonstrates as the length of time resided in the United States increase—the dominant country, the life satisfaction and socio-cultural skill increase as well—positive correlation.
Similar to Wang's journal, "Cross-Cultural Adaptation of International College Student in the United States", in Viola Angelini's journal, "Life Satisfaction of Immigrant: Does cultural assimilation matter?", the theory of assimilation as being beneficial is confirmed. The goal of this study was to assess the difference between cultural assimilation and the subjective well-being of immigrants. The journal included a study that examined a "direct measure of assimilation with a host culture and immigrants' subjective well-being." Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, it was concluded that there was a positive correlation between cultural assimilation and an immigrant's life's satisfaction/wellbeing even after discarding factors such as employment status, wages, etc. "Life Satisfaction of Immigrant: Does cultural assimilation matter?" also confirms "association with life satisfaction is stronger for established immigrants than for recent ones." It was found that the more immigrants that identified with the German culture and who spoke the fluent national language—dominant country language, the more they reported to be satisfied with their lives. Life satisfaction rates were higher for those who had assimilated to the dominant country than those who had not assimilated since those who did incorporate the dominant language, religion, psychological aspects, etc.
One's willingness to assimilate is, surprisingly, not only based solely on their decision to adapt but other factors as well, such as how they’re introduced to the dominant country. In the study “Examination of cultural shock, inter-cultural sensitivity and willingness to adopt” by Clare D’Souza, the study uses a diary method to analyze the data collected. The study involved students undergoing a study abroad tour. The results show negative intercultural sensitivity is much greater in participants who experience "culture shock". Those who experience culture shock have emotional expression and responses of hostility, anger, negativity, anxiety frustration, isolation, and regression. Also, for one who has traveled to the country before(pre-travel) before permanently moving, they would have predetermined beliefs about the culture and their status within the country. The emotional expression for this individual includes excitement, happiness, eagerness, and euphoria. This article addresses each theme, pre-travel, culture shock, negative cultural sensitivity and positive cultural sensitivity, their perception, emotional expression and responses, their gender and the interpretation for the responses.
Similar to Clare D’Souza’s journal “Examination of cultural shock, inter-cultural sensitivity and willingness to adapt,” another journal titled “International Students from Melbourne Describing Their Cross-Cultural Transitions Experiences: Culture Shock, Social Interaction, and Friendship Development” by Nish Belford focuses on cultural shock. Belford interviewed international students to explore their experience after living and studying in Melbourne, Australia. The data collected were narratives from the students that focused on variables such as “cultural similarity, intercultural communication competence, intercultural friendship, and relational identity to influence their experiences.” The names of the students have been changed for privacy purposes. Jules, one of the students, stated “It's just the small things that bother me a lot. For example, if people are just walking on the floor with their shoes and then just lying on the bed with their shoes. It bothers me a lot because that's not part of my culture.” Man and Jeremy commented “Like yeah . . . I found few things as a culture shock. Like one of my housemates, once like she said I have a step-mother, so in India I was like in India we don’t have step-mothers - yes she was Aussie. And I mean this was one of those things. The way people speak was different.” Last, Jeremy described his experience as “Yeah, like in Chinese background we normally do not stare at people - when talking to people - so eye contact is quite different and when I walk down the street - like random people say hi, how are you? To me - so which I found it was quite interesting because we Chinese we don't do that, like when you stop someone and if you talk to strangers to China it can be considered that you want something from me - yeah. Yes, it is a completely different experience.” It is common that international students who come into a new country to study abroad are confronted with “strangeness.” This exert focuses only on culture shock and does not include the responses from the students about social interaction and friendship development.
Between 1880 and 1920, the United States took in roughly 24 million immigrants. This increase in immigration can be attributed to many historical changes. The beginning of the 21st century has also marked a massive era of immigration, and sociologists are once again trying to make sense of the impacts that immigration has on society and on the immigrants themselves.
Assimilation had various meanings in American sociology. Henry Pratt Fairchild associates American assimilation with Americanization or the melting pot theory. Some scholars also believed that assimilation and acculturation were synonymous. According to a common point of view, assimilation is a "process of interpretation and fusion" from another group or person. That may include memories, behaviors and sentiments. By sharing their experiences and histories, they blend into the common cultural life. A related theory is structural pluralism proposed by American sociologist Milton Gordon. It describes the American situation wherein despite the cultural assimilation of ethnic groups to mainstream American society, they maintained structural separation. Gordon maintained that there is limited integration of the immigrants into American social institutions such as educational, occupational, political, and social cliques.
The long history of immigration in the established gateways means that the place of immigrants in terms of class, racial, and ethnic hierarchies in the traditional gateways is more structured or established, but on the other hand, the new gateways do not have much immigration history and so the place of immigrants in terms of class, racial, and ethnic hierarchies is less defined, and immigrants may have more influence to define their position. Secondly, the size of new gateways may influence immigrant assimilation. Having a smaller gateway may influence the level of racial segregation among immigrants and native-born people. Thirdly, the difference in institutional arrangements may influence immigrant assimilation. Traditional gateways, unlike new gateways, have many institutions set up to help immigrants such as legal aid, bureaus, social organizations. Finally, Waters and Jimenez have only speculated that those differences may influence immigrant assimilation and the way researchers that should assess immigrant assimilation.
Canada's multicultural history dates back to its European colonization in the 16th century, when French settlers, British settlers, and indigenous peoples vied for control of the region.
Canada retains one of the largest immigrant populations in the world. The 2016 census recorded 7.5 million documented immigrants, representing a fifth of the country's total population. Focus has shifted from a rhetoric of cultural assimilation to cultural integration. In contrast to assimilation, integration aims to preserve the roots of a minority society while still allowing for smooth coexistence with the dominant
Africanization or Africanisation (lit., making something African) has been applied in various contexts, notably in geographic and personal naming and in the composition of the civil service e.g. via processes such as indigenization.Bulgarisation
Bulgarisation (also known as Bulgarianisation; Bulgarian: българизация or побългаряване) is the spread of Bulgarian culture within various areas in the Balkans.
A number of government policies are considered to be examples of Bulgarisation, including the attempt of the former communist leadership in the 1980s to assimilate a Turkish minority living in Bulgaria.Cornelius the Centurion
Cornelius (Greek: Κορνήλιος) was a Roman centurion who is considered by Christians to be the first Gentile to convert to the faith, as related in Acts of the Apostles.Estonization
Estonianization is the changing of one's personal names from other languages into Estonian, or the development of Estonian language, culture and identity within educational and other state institutions through various programs.Europeanisation
Europeanisation (or Europeanization, see spelling differences) refers to a number of related phenomena and patterns of not change:
The process in which a notionally non-European subject (be it a culture, a language, a city or a nation) adopts a number of European features (Westernization).
Outside the social sciences, it commonly refers to the growth of a European continental identity or polity over and above national identities and polities on the continent.
Europeanisation may also refer to the process through which European Union political and economic dynamics become part of the organisational logic of national politics and policy-making.Gaelicisation
Gaelicisation, or Gaelicization, is the act or process of making something Gaelic, or gaining characteristics of the Gaels. The Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group, traditionally viewed as having spread from Ireland to Scotland and the Isle of Man.
"Gaelic", as a linguistic term, refers to the Gaelic languages but can also refer to the transmission of any other Gaelic cultural feature such as social norms and customs, music and sport.Grecoman
Grecoman or Graecoman (Greek: Γραικομάνοι, Grekománoi, Bulgarian: Гъркомани, Garkomani, Macedonian: Гркомани, Grkomani, Romanian: Grecomani, Albanian: Grekomanë, Aromanian: Gricumanji) is a pejorative term used in Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania and Albania to characterize Arvanitic-, Aromanian-, and Slavic-speaking Greeks. The term generally means "pretending to be a Greek" and implies a non-Greek origin. Another meaning of the term is fanatic Greek. The term is considered highly offensive to the Greek people. The "Grecoman" is regarded as an ethnic Greek in Greece, but as Hellenized minorities in neighboring countries.Japanization
Japanization is the process in which Japanese culture dominates, assimilates, or influences other cultures, in general. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, "Japanize" means "To make or become Japanese in form, idiom, style, or character".Jewish assimilation
Jewish assimilation (Hebrew: התבוללות, Hitbolelut) refers to the gradual cultural assimilation and social integration of Jews in their surrounding culture as well as the ideological program promoting conformity as a potential solution to historic Jewish marginalization in the age of emancipation.Judaization
This article covers a form of cultural assimilation and spatial policy. For the Christian movements that believe in the necessity of adherence to Jewish laws, see Judaizers.Judaization (Hebrew: לְגַיֵּיר, translit. legayer) or Judaification is a process of cultural assimilation in which a person or a demographic group acquires Jewish cultural and religious beliefs and values.Language death
In linguistics, language death occurs when a language loses its last native speaker. By extension, language extinction is when the language is no longer known, including by second-language speakers. Other similar terms include linguicide, the death of a language from natural or political causes, and rarely glottophagy, the absorption or replacement of a minor language by a major language.
Language death is a process in which the level of a speech community's linguistic competence in their language variety decreases, eventually resulting in no native or fluent speakers of the variety. Language death can affect any language form, including dialects. Language death should not be confused with language attrition (also called language loss), which describes the loss of proficiency in a first language of an individual.In the modern period (c. 1500 CE–present; following the rise of colonialism), language death has typically resulted from the process of cultural assimilation leading to language shift and the gradual abandonment of a native language in favour of a foreign lingua franca, largely those of European countries.As of the 2000s, a total of roughly 7,000 natively spoken languages existed worldwide. Most of these are minor languages in danger of extinction; one estimate published in 2004 expected that some 90% of the currently spoken languages will have become extinct by 2050.New Australians
New Australians are non-British migrants to Australia who arrived in the wave of immigration following World War II. The term initially referred to newly arrived immigrants, generally refugees, who were expected to eventually become mainstream Australians. It was coined by Arthur Calwell, Australia's first Minister for Immigration, to promote the assimilation of migrants to Australia from continental Europe. Its use was intended to be positive, and to discourage use of pejorative terms such as "reffo" or "Balt" that were then in frequent use. The term has fallen into disuse since the 1970s.
The Democratic Labor Party in Victoria, under state leader Jack Little, is credited with being the first Australian political party to promote New Australian candidates in parliamentary elections in the period after the end of World War II. Prominent candidates were Hungarian-Australian Vilmos Kormos for the Australian Senate in 1958, and Italian-Australian Nino Randazzo for the electoral district of Fitzroy in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1964.Pashtunization
Pashtunization (Pashto: پښتون جوړونه), also called Pathanization, is a process of cultural or linguistic change in which someone or something non-Pashtun becomes accultured to Pashtun influence. The Pashtun people are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second largest in Pakistan.Pocho
Pocho (feminine: pocha) is a term used by Mexicans (frequently pejoratively) to describe Chicanos and those who have left Mexico. Stereotypically, pochos speak English and lack fluency in Spanish. Among some Mexican Americans, the term has been embraced to express pride in having both a Mexican and an American heritage asserting their place in the diverse American culture. The word derives from the Spanish word pocho, used to describe fruit that has become rotten or discolored.Slavicisation
Slavicisation or Slavicization, is the acculturation or adoption of something non-Slavic into Slavic culture or terms or (to a greater degree) the acculturation of something Slavic into a non-Slavic culture, cuisine, region, or nation. The process can either be voluntary or applied through varying degrees of pressure.
Social integration is the process during which newcomers or minorities are incorporated into the social structure of the host society.Social integration, together with economic integration and identity integration, are three main dimensions of a newcomers' experiences in the society that is receiving them. A higher extent of social integration contributes to a closer social distance between groups and more consistent values and practices.
Bringing together various ethnic groups irrespective of language, caste, creed, etc., without losing one's identity. It gives access to all areas of community life and eliminates segregation.
In a broader view, social integration is a dynamic and structured process in which all members participate in dialogue to achieve and maintain peaceful social relations. Social integration does not mean forced assimilation. Social integration is focused on the need to move toward a safe, stable and just society by mending conditions of social disintegration, social exclusion, social fragmentation, exclusion and polarization, and by expanding and strengthening conditions of social integration towards peaceful social relations of coexistence, collaboration and cohesion.Sovietization
Sovietization (Russian: Советизация) is the adoption of a political system based on the model of soviets (workers' councils) or the adoption of a way of life and mentality modelled after the Soviet Union.
A notable wave of Sovietization (in the second meaning) occurred in Mongolia and later during and after World War II in Central Europe (Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland etc.). In a broad sense, this included (voluntary and involuntary) adoption of Soviet-like institutions, laws, customs, traditions and the Soviet way of life, both on a national level and in smaller communities. This was usually promoted and sped up by propaganda aimed at creating a common way of life in all states within the Soviet sphere of influence. In many cases, Sovietization was also accompanied by forced resettlement of large categories of "class enemies" (kulaks, or osadniks, for instance) to the Gulag labor camps and exile settlements.In a narrow sense, the term Sovietization is often applied to mental and social changes within the population of the Soviet Union and its satellites which led to creation of the new Soviet man (according to its supporters) or Homo Sovieticus (according to its critics).Swahilization
Swahilization refers to one of two practices:
the cultural assimilation of local peoples in Southeast Africa into the Swahili people and their culture.
the post-independence promotion of the Swahili language by the governments of Southeast African former colonies as a national and official language, alongside a greater cultural assimilation policy of Africanization (see Julius Nyerere and Ujamaa).Tribal religions in India
About 104 million people in India are members of Scheduled Tribes, which accounts for 8.6 % of India's population (according to the 2011 census). In the census of India from 1871 to 1941, tribals have been counted in different religions from other religions,1891(forest tribe), 1901(animist),1911(tribal animist), 1921(hill and forest tribe), 1931(primitive tribe), 1941(tribes), However, since the census of 1951, the tribal population has been stopped separately.Now many Indians belonging to these populations adhere to traditional Indian tribal religions, often syncretised with one or more of the major religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and/or Christianity and often under ongoing pressure of cultural assimilation.The tribal people observe their festivals, which have no direct conflict with any religion, and they conduct marriage among them according to their tribal custom.
They have their own way of life to maintain all privileges in matters connected with marriage and succession, according to their customary tribal faith.
In keeping with the nature of Indian religion generally, these particular religions often involve traditions of ancestor worship or worship of spirits of natural features. Tribal beliefs persist as folk religion even among those converted to a major religion.
The largest and best-known tribal religion of India is that of the Santhal of Orissa.
In 1991, there were some 24,000 Indians belonging to the Santhal community who identified explicitly as adherents of the Santhal traditional religion in the Indian census, as opposed to 300,000 who identified as Christians. Among the Munda people and Oraons of Bihar, about 25 % of the population are Christian. Among the Kharia people of Bihar (population about 130,000), about 60 % are Christians, but all are heavily influenced by Folk Hinduism. Tribal groups in the Himalayas were similarly affected by both Hinduism and Buddhism in the late 20th century. The small hunting-and-gathering groups in the union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have also been under severe pressure of cultural assimilation.
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