The Encyclopedia Britannica defines assimilation in anthropology and society as, “the process whereby individuals or groups of differing ethnic heritage are absorbed into the dominant culture of a society. The process of assimilating involves taking on the traits of the dominant culture to such a degree that the assimilating group becomes socially indistinguishable from other members of the society.”
It is my opinion, that cultural assimilation in America, whether forced or by choice as a result of coercion, is a form of cultural assassination. People and their families lose identities, philosophies, traditions, and we as a country lose diversity. It also gives rise to bigotry and racism being that the homogeneous group would be considered superior compared to the non assimilated groups. The result would be an increase in segregation.
It is also inaccurate to assume that assimilation will have positive effects on adjustment, acceptance, and integration. Even if immigrants attempted to assimilate to the more homogeneous American culture, it is also my opinion that, integration will still be limited by substandard educational, occupational, and housing opportunities, geographic location, income disparities, societal and personal discrimination, etc.
What’s ironic to me is knowing some natural born American citizens, who have advocated in support of assimilation so passionately to the point of being a hair away from bigotry and racism, are however, captivated, curious, and pursue their own cultural and ethnic roots. Do they not realize that their ancestral roots were severed by that same concept of assimilation generations ago? Now as they pursue a connection and want to learn about their ancestral identities, customs, and cultural tradition, they expect immigrants to forget theirs.
Prine Pauls, Elizabeth. Assimilation, Encyclopædia Britannica, 21 Aug. 2019, http://www.britannica.com/topic/assimilation-society.