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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cultural Assimilation Essay

Are you looking for an essay on cultural assimilation? 

Do you a sample essay on the following question:
In an effectively written 4-5 page argumentative essay form an opinion and establish a specific position on the issue of assimilation and how it affects cultural or ethnic identity. Should a person adopt a new culture or not? If yes, to what extent? Why do you believe this?

Below is our sample essay:

Assimilation is the process by which the members of a minority group lose the characteristics that make them unique and distinguish them from the dominant group as they strive to adapt to the characteristics of the dominant group. 

In the past, American culture struggled with the idea of assimilation.  The prevailing idea then was that the white race was the superior race and all others were inferior.  As a result, slavery had become institutionalized for centuries and had become a way of life.  Blacks were forced to work on lands owned by Whites.  They toiled day and night and were considered as commodities that can sold or bought.

American history shows that the dominant group had concerns about assimilation and rejected any attempt on the part of the minority group to be assimilated into the mainstream culture.  Inter-racial marriages were also forbidden and there were laws against it.  Individuals who engaged in these marriages were punished and that the children were ordinarily considered as belonging to the inferior race. 

During the 20th Century, things started to change and slavery was abolished after the end of the civil war.  However, assimilation was still a difficult pill to swallow.  Though slavery had been abolished, Jim Crow Laws were still in effect.  These were the laws that legalized the provision of separate facilities for the white and the black. 

However, ever since the time of slavery until the Jim Crow Laws era, the African Americans had wanted to become assimilated.  They had wanted to be recognized as African Americans.  They did not want to be labeled just blacks.  The same was true with the Latinos, Asians and other minorities which had wanted to be assimilated into the American culture.

Nowadays, assimilation has become the trend.  American culture has started to evolve and accept the concept of diversity.  (Solomon Moore 1)  Modernity has paved the way for the acceptance by the dominant group of the minority group.  Hate crimes are now being prosecuted and being punished by the government.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination on account of age, sex or race is a proof that the United States has started to embrace the concept of diversity.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates and prosecutes cases on discrimination against African Americans, Latinos, Asians and other minorities.  Courts have handed out judgments against companies for their failure to provide a discrimination-free work environment.  Companies have started to revise their policies so that these policies are discrimination-free. 

Because of these changes, assimilation into the American culture had become easier.  The minorities no longer have to worry about the Ku Klux Klan threatening them.  They no longer have to worry about being denied opportunity simply because they are part of the minority.  Embracing the American culture had become easier for them.  However, there are certain consequences when the minority group becomes assimilated to the culture of the dominant group.  Characteristics that are unique to the minority are bound to be discarded in favor of the culture of the dominant group.  Though these changes do not take place overnight or over a week’s time, they happen.  Assimilation changes a person’s views and perceptions about things.  While the minority desires assimilation, the discarding of unique characteristics of the minority group poses difficulty for the minorities. 

For example, Filipinos are known for their close family ties.  Grandparents, parents, and grandchildren are known to stay under one roof.  They are known to recognize the indissolubility of marriage.  Marriage couples will ordinarily stay in marriage and try to work things out between them just so they could honor their marriage vows.  However, when Filipino families migrate to the United States and become assimilated to the culture they start to discard their culture in favor of the new culture.  They start to entrust their old relatives under the care of institutions.  Though they pay for these institutions to take care of their old relatives it is a significant departure from the Filipino culture wherein the younger generations take care of the old relatives.  When Filipino families migrate to the United States they discover that the divorce is easier to secure in the United States.  When they get their American citizenship they can easily secure divorce.  Though the Philippine laws do not recognize divorce they are forced to accept the situation that a former Filipino citizen may seek a divorce in foreign countries allowing him to remarry elsewhere.  Philippine courts are forced to recognize the foreign decree of divorce. 

A popular example is Yao Ming.  Yao Ming is a basketball player who plays for the Houston Rockets.  He plays the center position and is arguably one of the most popular basketball players in the 21st Century.  He has lived in the United States for a few years now.  He has learned to speak English, eat American food, live the American lifestyle and earn American dollars.  However, Yao Ming has received criticisms from the Chinese people.  He has been criticized for failing to express his gratitude by giving back to the Chinese people.  There were situations when China has experienced tragedy and it seems that the Chinese people expect more from Yao Ming.  For the Chinese people living in China, they feel that Yao Ming has assimilated into the American culture that he has forgotten his native roots. 

It is expected that the minority may want to be assimilated with the dominant group.  For them assimilation means better opportunities and a better life.  More than the better life, it also means acceptance.  However, assimilating a new culture often has unexpected results.  It often results in discarding the old culture in favor of a new culture.  When an individual discards his old culture, this often results in loss of self-identify and self-esteem.  The adjustment could be difficult not only for the adults but even for the young children who may be confused as to who or what they really are. 

There is nothing wrong in assimilating to a new culture.  An individual needs to be able to evolve as a person and learn new things.  An individual needs to be able to learn the great things about another person’s culture.  However, an individual should not forget his roots.  He cannot forget what he is because his culture makes him what he is.  He owes a lot to his own country.  


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1 comment:

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