Immigration is the moving either to another country or setting within a country, where you have never been a native. People migrate for various reasons such as natural calamities, getting re-united with family, harsh political, social and economic conditions in the mother land, etc. It is triggered by the need and desire to seek a better life. For instance, economic migration is basically the migration of labor that makes people move when the new country or region provides better wages than the original place of living. Religious immigration is triggered by factors like persecution or genocides. There are many other causes of immigration but in most cases, immigrants are forced to go through harsh conditions while migrating. The cost of migrating in itself is stressful because there are both explicit expenses such as the price of tickets and implicit issues such as the lost of community ties, for example. Getting assimilated into the new place of residence is another major issue because one has to deal with issues of ethnic pluralism and transnationalism.
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Assimilation, Ethnic Pluralism, and Transnationalism for Immigrants
The assimilation of immigrants is the gradual adaptation of the minorities into the environment of new customs and behaviours. A successful immigration to the host country or region is vital for an immigrant’s psychological well-being. Social and economic satisfaction of immigrants indicates a positive assimilation characterized by a situation where it is difficult to distinguish between the immigrants and the natives by a simple observing. Pluralism is exercising mutual respect between two or more groups that are diverse. Ethnic pluralism, therefore, involves exercising mutual respect between the natives and the immigrants. The world is becoming more ethically heterogeneous every day. While assimilation is more about the adaptation of the immigrants to the behaviours and customs of their new home, ethnic pluralism involves the development of mutual respect among people they get acquainted with there. The two aspects have similarities in the fact that they both involve accommodating as well as accepting new customs and traditions. Without ethnic pluralism, it is impossible to have assimilation because you have to respect the other group before adapting to their customs and behaviours.
Transnationalism is the transformation in the immigration patterns over years. Before the 1980’s, migrating to another country was not as easy as it is today. It used to be specific with a specific departure point and a specific arrival point. Nowadays, it has become an ongoing movement to and from different social spaces and geographic locations. Of course, this has been majorly facilitated by the advancement in technologies such as communication and transport networks; the improved assimilation and ethical pluralism over the years has contributed to transnatinalism as well. Earlier, such issues as racism could not allow people to respect each others’ diversity. When people migrated to a new place, the natives did not welcome them and they treated them like outcasts. In reaction, the immigrants feared and at the same time disliked the natives. They were not ready to embrace the community’sculture and beliefs and, therefore, the two or more groups could not assimilate. The tension between the groups also discouraged ethnic pluralism because each group considered itself superior to the other. Therefore, assimilation, ethnic pluralism, and transnationalism have different meanings implied but have numerous similarities when applied practically.