Gordons Theory on Assimilation

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Midterm Paper One
October 31, 2011

Midterm Paper One

I choose to do Gordon’s theory for my paper because I thought his idea of assimilation was very interesting. The thought that a group had to go through seven sub-processes in order to fully assimilate seemed somewhat extreme for me. America was based on freedom and everyone being able to be different. So based on Gordon’s theory, in the first stage people are losing their culture, through changing eating habits, new value system, and or altering the family name. These are all important items that people carry on for generations that make their group special. I think for people to think that assimilation needs to happen in all categories for someone to be fully functional in American society is wrong. I believe that people can keep a part of themselves that was once were they came from and still be fully American. I don’t see that stages one and two must be done in a specific order. Stage one the acculturation (cultural assimilation), sometimes is never done with some minorities or only done partial. They may learn English, but everything else stays the same (e.g. eating habits, value systems). Integration (structural assimilation) is done more easily because everyone must go out into the world and work or go to school. So they may actually assimilate quicker within secondary sector. Like Gordon stated in Healy once they enter into the public institution it is a matter of time before they assimilate into the primary sector and the other stages of assimilation. Even though I believe that is true; people when they go to work or school or any other public institution are likely to make friends with other groups of people including the dominant group but I still believe that they can keep their culture and those aspects of themselves that have been with their family for generations. It does appear with different minority groups that acculturation (cultural assimilation) is easier than...
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