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Conflict Perspective of the Immigrants Essay

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Updated: Dec 28th, 2020

Why not all immigrants desire to become full, participating citizens in the country to which they move?

Sometimes, immigrants do not desire to become full participating citizens in the country to which they immigrate because of several reasons. The immigrants are always at the risk of discrimination by the natives residing where they migrate. Moreover, there is a desire among many immigrants to preserve their culture and traditions thus, some do not wish to participate fully because they view it as a sign of alienation from their roots. The immigration policies of many countries have very stringent requirements to becoming citizens thus immigrants prefer to remain as foreigners.

Most of the immigrants are required to learn new languages or culture and these requirements are too tasking for some of the immigrants and they prefer to stay in foreign lands only for a particular season. Another factor is that they may be fleeing social evils or economic hardships when migrating. Later, due to economic downfall in the foreign land and/or subsequent improvement in their homeland, they might go back home.

Contrast the three major sociological perspectives on the experiences of Northern and Western European immigrants

The functional theorists saw social problems in America because of influx of immigrants from Northern and Western Europe. The immigrants could not adapt to the existing social institutions but instead wanted to keep their identity by building small communities that even published newspapers in native languages. The earlier immigrants did not want to adapt to the changes brought by the mass influx of other nationals like Ireland leading to conflict.

The conflict perspective based its belief on the existence of well-off natives and the poor immigrants working in factories. The main reasons that drew them to America were employment and better living standards. However, the immigrants received low wages leading to their poor living standards. Unequal distribution of resources and discrimination caused conflict leading to strikes and revolts.

The interactionist perspective took shape quite clearly among the Western and Northern European immigrants mainly because each group viewed itself as the most influential and wanted to uphold its values. For instance, the Irish upheld Catholicism while the English immigrants wanted to remain with Protestantism. Each community wanted to continue practicing it culture while ignoring the existence of others with different views.

Describe the push-pull factors contributing to the increased immigration in 1880-1902

Most of the non-western immigrants in the period between 1880 and 1902 were propelled by factors both in their homeland and in country of immigration. Extreme poverty, low wages, and unemployment inspired immigrants to leave their homeland for the United States. Diseases and poor sanitary facilities also added to the woes of the immigrants. Some of the immigrants faced forced military eviction and religious persecution like the case of Eastern Europeans and Jews across Europe.

On the other hand, America presented itself as a “Land of Liberty” where justice was served. Some of the relatives who had immigrated earlier into the United States wrote inspiring letters to their relatives back home leading to mass immigration. The US industrialized economy presented job opportunities in the factories thus attracted many immigrants into the US.

Discuss Americans’ xenophobic reactions to the newcomers

The US began viewing migration negatively mainly after the 1880s and the first sign was implementation of policies discouraging migration. Polygamists, persons suffering from contagious diseases, and people convicted of “infraction involving moral depravity” were ineligible for immigration. Further political opinion was used to deny immigration.

The policy implementation only served as a reflection of the general public opinion. Xenophobic reactions across the country began through hate crimes committed against immigrants. Racist statements were issued against immigrants; for instance, Chinese miners were beaten and murdered by militias during labor disputes in western United States. Homes belonging to immigrants were burnt down while others were clubbed and expelled. All writers wrote demoralizing statements about immigrants.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Conflict Perspective of the Immigrants." December 28, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/conflict-perspective-of-the-immigrants/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Conflict Perspective of the Immigrants'. 28 December.

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