Ethnicity Essay

This essay has a total of 997 words and 5 pages.


William Mattert
Race and Ethnicity
Final Exam Essay #1
Ethnicity: Relation of Assimilation
The question of how people of different races and ethnicities interact in America has
gripped this nation from its infancy. American society has long been a "cultural melting
pot," integrating people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Although the nation's
history has been checkered on the process of successfully integrating people from all
racial and ethnic backgrounds, Americans can feel proud of the many positive actions that
have been taken to bring fairness and equality to all people.

There are many issues concerning the immigration into America by people of other races and
cultures, and a hundred more opinions to go with them. At the time of the largest
immigration boom into this country, between 1880 and 1920, many people thought of
immigration as a negative thing. It was largely considered that so many new cultures and
people would distort the American ideals, and be a burden on those already occupying the
space. This point of view is still prominent today, though with less racial and cultural
prejudice apparent. Some view the immigration of new peoples as a constructive element,
creating a healthy and diverse environment in which to live. Both opinions have credit,
and both have faults. For the most part, the integration of new cultures into the
original American one should not violate any ideals held by the true Americans. The first
settlers of this country traveled here to be free from the prejudices of their old lives.
They came here to start anew. When immigration brings different cultures, it is hard to
understand why we would persecute them for attempting the same old thing. On the other
hand, the crowding of people into this country can cause several problems. One of the
most obvious, over population can be seen in very apparent ways in several places. This
can be a very dangerous thing to promote, and a hard element to guard against with the new
freedom found in the differences between cultures, causing many problems with racism and
other forms of prejudice, which can hardly be expected to be eliminated.

When talking about assimilating the term refers to "the dominant group absorbing the
minority." This has happened, more than most other cases, with Asian Americans.

The issues of whether or not a minority group is able to assimilate are argued greatly
about amongst conflict theorists and order theorists. While conflict theorists maintain
that assimilation will never be totally existent for American minorities, order theorists
disagree. Many use Asian Americans to display what they believe to be a group of people
who were able to overcome racism and become a thriving, good part of this country. Due to
their success, Asian Americans have been labeled the "model minority," in other words,
what all other minority groups should aspire to be. These "examples" for the rest of the
country are seen as hard working, self-reliant, and having strong family values and high
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