Assimilation of Immigrants
James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 2. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 81-87, 2015
14 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2015
This article reviews the evolution of the concept of assimilation in American social science. It distinguishes assimilation from accommodation as modal adaptation outcomes of different immigrant generations, as well as various aspects that are commonly conflated by the concept (cultural adaptations, economic mobility, social acceptance into a native mainstream); discusses interrelated cultural (subtractive and additive acculturation), structural (primary and secondary integration), and psychological (identification) dimensions of the concept; and describes the process of “segmented assimilation” — how it is that different groups, in varying contexts of reception and incorporation, adapt to and are absorbed into different sectors of the society.
Keywords: Assimilation, segmented assimilation, immigration, structural integration, acculturation, reactive ethnicity, identification, modes of incorporation, context of reception, segregation, racialization
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