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How Important Is Assimilation Process for Asian Immigrant's Successes in the United States?

6 pages
1592 words
Sewanee University of the South
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The study of immigrants gained its importance in the beginning of the 20th century. Various sociologists shared the perspective that assimilation meant "to become like" but ambiguity lied on the question "like whom?" This ambiguity lasted until Milton distinguished between several types of assimilation. Assimilation therefore refers to a one-way, natural, and evolutionary process that would result into an unavoidable outcome of adaption of minority ethnic groups to the mainstream culture with change in time (Gordon, 1963). There are distinct types of assimilations: cultural, structural, race relation cycle, internal colonialism, and incorporation assimilation. According to 2013 report, Asian American group is the best-educated, highest-income and the fastest growing among all the racial groups in U.S. This group is more content with the direction of country, finances and their lives than the general public. The key to Asian Americans' success is the assimilation of Asian immigrants to the American culture.

The diverse cultural assimilation of second generation coincides the Theory of Segmented Assimilation. In the diversification of the population of Asian Americans, numerous have educational success and this plays a crucial role in the assimilation of the second generation (Tang, 2016). There are higher chances of second generation Asian immigrants to be born into a middle-class when compared to other racial groups. Assimilation of the second generation Asian-Americans to middle-class is further enhanced by the increased likelihood of highly skilled Asian immigrant to settle in the suburbs when they reach United States. Assimilation in the middle-class of the white increases opportunities for the Asian-Americans, hence, contributing to their success.

Bilingualism is highly associated with Asian second-generation migration. There is a possibility that Asian immigrants' children may eventually lose their parents native language expertise and at the same time strive to uphold their heritage and family's emotional attachment (Tang, 2016). As a result, they end up achieving their identity. Second-generation Asian may develop a sensitivity towards race and ethnicity issues in their struggle for the middle-class White status. This results into intergenerational family conflict. Unlike their parents, the tolerance of second-generation Asian-Americans to racial discrimination and racial stereotyping is low (Tang, 2016). They are also aware of their minority status and its limitations and their chances of intermarrying with non-Asians are high. This sensitivity can be connected to discrimination and racism which is affecting the minority groups in the United States and it is common among all second-generation groups immigrants belonging to minority social status. The heightened sensitivity increases the drive for success. The high educational accomplishment among the second-generation Asian-Americans is as an outcome of the drive for success and the common Asian cultural value of family honor.

The immigration and National Act of 1965 motivated a wave of highly educated and skilled immigrants via the enlargement of scope and scale of Asian-origin immigration. By 1980, 60,000 Asian-American population was housed by eleven states (Tang, 2016). Many of these regions were known historically to house one of the biggest cities in the Country. Asian-Americans were comparatively distributed in the country by the year 2000. There was a significant concentration of Asian-Americans in the parts of the Southwest, Texas, Midwest, and along both coasts.

A major key to the success of Asian Americans is increase of Asian-Americans in professional occupations and the fall of farm and labor occupations over time in both foreign-born and native-born males and females. There is a significant connection of occupational outcomes and the connection of immigration policy and cultural values (Alba & Nee, 2003). Work opportunities of Asian-Americans was highly restricted by discrimination of Asian-Americans and labor-oriented immigration. In the 1960s, work opportunities were made available to the highly educated and skilled immigrants (Tang, 2016). Later on, the immigration system of 1965 increased the number of Asian-Americans in the professional occupation. Some cultural values such as sense of self-efficacy, family involvement and acculturation are motivating Asian-American students toward professional occupations. The second generation immigrants hold great importance on higher educational attainment, family, permanence and hard work (Tang, 2016). Statistics indicate that parents who hold these values dearly have contributed to the success of Asian-Americans.

Language fluency has a great impact on socioeconomic success and know-how of a foreign language as a representation of a valuable resource in global economy. English and native language proficiencies, social networks, and maternal training possess crucial effects on socioeconomic success (Tang, 2016). Study findings indicate that proficiencies in both native and English languages has positively impacted the socioeconomic success of Asian-Americans (Tang, 2016). Higher levels of English skills are associated with advanced social capital that in turn results to greater socioeconomic attainment. On the other hand, local dialects facilitate passing of knowledge and skills from immigration parents to their children; therefore, native language is of great importance to the 1.5 generation and the second generation (Tang, 2016). Lack of native language proficiency among children has devastating consequences, such as difficulties in monitoring children's achievements by parents, lack of direct impact of cultural capital development, and barrier to effective transfer of socioeconomic and educational advantages (Tang, 2016). Both Asian economics and knowledge of the Asian language are rapidly developing. That is, linguistic diversity among the Asian-American has contributed to their socioeconomic success.

Age of migration and segmented assimilation have also fostered Asian-American socioeconomic success. There is approximately 102% higher chance of success of immigrants aged between 18 and 34 than that of a 35 aged immigrant (Luek, 2017). It is possible for the first generation to possess attachment to the labor market and stronger work ethic, which may ensure socioeconomic attainment. Nevertheless, it seems that there is a tipping point, age of immigrants, allied with this accomplishment. Great level of success is attributed more to younger first generation immigrants than to middle-aged and older first generation immigrants. Socioeconomic attainment is proportional to the age of immigration; so, Asians born in America are more successful (Gordon, 1963). Through facilitating both their new culture and ethnicity, the younger generation 1 immigrants can adopt to American culture at a very fast rate.

Furthermore, "ethnic capital" has greatly contributed to the achievements of US residents who have Asian origin. The news media associates Asian culture with hard work and superior families which guarantees the success of the Asian immigrant (Luek, 2017). Neither any ethnicity attribute nor Asian "culture" is accountable for this success; instead, it is linked to a unique privilege rooted in the socioeconomic origins of some Asian immigrants (Luek, 2017). From an interview of some Los Angeles residents with Vietnamese, Chinese, and Mexican origins, the US Immigration Law is a major contributor towards the success of Asian-Americans (Luek, 2017). This law avails more opportunity for highly skilled and educated Asian immigrant applicants. These groups are more educated than the general US population. A study of the Chinese population living in the United States indicates, in 2010, 51% were graduates from university, in comparison with 4% adults in China and 28% of adults in the United States (Luek, 2017). "Asian privilege" comes in the educational backgrounds of immigrants; for example, Indians, Koreans, and the Chinese are highly educated.

"Ethnic capital" is a product of the settlement of an elite group of immigrants in the United States. By composition, it entails ethnic institutions: after school academics and after school programs form the ethnic institutions (Luek, 2017). These programs are created by the wealthy knowledgeable immigrants, and they are widespread in Asian surroundings, such as Chinatown, Little Saigon, and Koreatown of Los Angeles (Luek, 2017). That is, ethnic capital serves as a source of knowledge that the communitys working class can also enjoy. In various social centers, immigrant parents circulate information on how to bypass college admission process, the neighborhoods with the best schools, and the essence of advance-placement lessons. The information is also spread through ethnic-language media like radio and television, hence, enabling immigrant parents who can access such devices benefit from the ethnic capital without necessarily attending the events in person.

A Chinese interviewee gives a description of how his non-English speaking parent obtained information on the free college admission seminar and the affordable after school program from the Chinese Yellow Pages. Such enables children of poor immigrant parents to attain educational qualification which they did not suppose (Luek, 2017). Jason, another Chinese interviewee, agrees that these resources and knowledge are improving the lives of poor Chinese immigrants (Luek, 2017). His parents are not educated and hence they cannot speak English but through the aid of Chinese Yellow Pages, they were able to come up with resources that paved Jason's college way. According to the respondent, ethnic capital enables his parents to identify cheap after-school programs and public schools with Los Angeles; hence, Jason finally graduated at the top of his class and joined the University of California campus, a privilege that is only meant for the working-class Asians.

Ideally, there is the intense need for news media to stop focusing on Asian culture; it needs to borrow the concept of ethnic capital and create supplementary sources of knowledge to help communities that have not employed the idea of ethnic capital. That is achievable through the creation of cheap after-school tutorials and academies in neighborhoods. Such facilities can provide resources required for success to children of immigrants from diverse ethnicities, classes, and races (Luek, 2017). Further, the implementation of such a project would train the children for college and work places with diverse environments and enhance their educational success.

In essence, the success of Asian-Americans is associated with various factors as evident in this paper. The US immigration act contributed to that success through favoring the highly skilled and educated Asian immigrant applicants (Gordon, 1963). That group has attained higher educational qualifications than the general public in America. The second generation Asian-Americans occupies the suburbs in order to fit in the middle-class White; resultantly, they could be...

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