Assimilation Sociology Definition


Assimilation is the process through which a minority group acquires the morals and social mores of a dominant group or host culture, eventually assimilating into the dominant group. The dominant and minority groups may experience changes due to the process.


Assimilation is a perspective on racial relations that assumes the host culture is culturally homogenous and that the immigrant community’s purpose is to fast assimilate into the host community by taking on host characteristics. Due to the lack of cultural sensitivity, ethnic minority cultures are denigrated. It may result in the minority group being eliminated via strategies like busing.

Understanding the long-term effects of immigration—for the immigrants, their descendants, and the culture that welcomes them—requires a fundamental understanding of assimilation.

Assimilation is a term that the Chicago School first used to describe the process through which foreigners, mainly migrants, give up their unique culture and accept the cultural norms of the host community. Commonly, it was assumed that second-generation migrants would experience this. There is no one assimilation model, but the idea was closely tied to Robert Park’s concept of the United States as a “melting pot,” which was expected to lessen racial and ethnic barriers.

Assimilation truly made an effort to comprehend how diverse civilizations come into being due to the mutual cultural blending and adaption of many distinct groups.

Assimilation was fueled by contemporary organizational structures, including urbanization, the market, mass culture, and universal education.

The seven forms of assimilation that Milton Gordon identified—cultural, structural, marital, identificational, attitudinal, behavioral, and civic—need not necessarily overlap.

A minority group or culture becoming more like the dominant group in a society, or adopting wholly or partly the values, habits, and beliefs of another group, is known as cultural assimilation.

The process through which an outsider, immigrant, or subordinate group becomes wholly incorporated into the dominant host society is called acculturation. People like Robert Park used the phrase in early American studies of racial relations.

It is contrasted with accommodation, where the subordinate group just followed the dominant group’s expectations.

It is also compared to the concept of competition, where it established its ideals in opposition to the mainstream and eradication and exclusion (which saw no room for interaction between subordinate and dominant groups).

Assimilation suggested that the weaker group had indeed come to adopt and absorb the dominant group’s values and culture. This theory of the process, which was partly influenced by American concerns about the increasing immigrant population in that country, has come under fire for exaggerating the significance of the dominant group’s values and ignoring the capacity of new or subordinate groups to both influence the dominant group’s values (creating a “melting-pot culture”) or coexist with it while upholding their values (creating a “multi-cultural society”).

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