Assimilation refers to the interpenetration and fusion of persons (immigrants) into mainstream society. The integration process ensures that immigrants become part of the larger society. On the contrary, pluralism and racial exclusion are patterns by which individuals and groups come to be recognized as part of the larger society. I argue that being recognized in the context of the larger society does not assist in eliminating prejudices and discrimination.
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Assimilation is necessary so that prejudices and discrimination against minority groups do not become part of society. Assimilation ensures that intermarriages take place among different races and ethnic groups. Assimilation is not a one-way process. All ethnic groups are expected to intermarry with each other so that they learn the values and beliefs of all groups involved. In the process, there is an appreciation of cultures and an understanding of the need to respect cultural and racial differences.
Regarding social-economic assimilation, society ensures that immigrants, as part of the ethnic minority groups, achieve average or above-average social standing concerning education, occupation, and income. Structural assimilation also enables minority groups to achieve residential mobility, whereby they can live in any region based on their economic status. One similarity noted between assimilation and pluralism entails establishing a common political, economic system that binds various groups.
Pluralism does not assist immigrants to adapt to society. The society based on racial prejudices can never learn when pluralism is allowed to thrive. Pluralism leads to conditions that motivate differentiation and continued heterogeneity. In such situations, members of different ethnic groups lack appreciation for the value and beliefs of other cultures. Immigrants from terror-stricken countries (Syria, Iraq, and Iran) may be viewed as enemies in a new country.
Pluralism encourages the establishment of institutions that promote group diversity and maintenance of group boundaries. What happens when a person from a different ethnic group needs help from an organization they do not belong to? In such a situation, prejudices, discrimination, and bias as part of society become evident. Immigrants cannot adapt when they are distinguished as a group within a larger society.
Transnationalism for immigrants is based on the assumption that individuals belong to two or more societies. The immigrant’s action seen through aspects such as prayer, work, and play shows their pluralistic nature. Transnationalism for immigrants is not ideal because several reasons make a person be an immigrant. Social, political, and economic reasons make individuals move away from their nation in search of a supportive atmosphere where they can live in harmony. In such cases, allegiance to another nation affects the process of adapting to a foreign country. Immigrants with allegiance to terrorist nations are not likely to be accepted in a foreign country.
Assimilation is the only ideal strategy that assists immigrants in adapting to a foreign country. Assimilation ensures that ethnic minority groups attain average and above-average social standing in society in relation to education, occupation, and income. Socio-economic empowerment of immigrants, as well as intermarriages that respect and understand ethnic differences, is ideal so that racial prejudice and discrimination reduces. In the case of pluralism, establishing institutions that recognize differences only leads to increased segregation since members from minority groups have no chance in terms of representation in a system designed for the majority.