Extent and Voluntary Nature of Cultural Assimilation of Immigrants to America

Decent Essays

Scholars no longer believe identity as an organic coherent phenomenon; rather, they are discursive constructions taking form within rich material, economic, and social contexts, and are multi-layered, fluid, and oft-changing, and sometimes contradictory, largely dependent on where and in relation to whom they are constituted.
Further, identity is constructed by drawing boundaries: One boundary that is the same as others and one that is different from everyone else. Self-categorization is the first classification in which one identifies with the characteristics shared by those with whom one psychologically belongs. This is referred to “identifying as”, connoting a perceived self-location in a group. This self-identification can be based on a number of things, such as biology, culture, religion, and ethnicity, and can be both optional and imposed. The second classification is “identification with”, which underscores the potential significance of shared values, often outside of those that are sociologically similar. This also entails learning a group’s defining customs, expectations, and values, and making them one’s own. These core values and ideas make up the third component of identity, which is content. The unique content of a group identity is socially constructed because it is these consensual decisions that shape and reinforce the accepted criteria for membership in the group. While social identities are not automatically political, they can be politicized when

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