Assimilation of Jewish Americans and Italian Americans
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This paper looks at the Jewish American and Italian American experience, using Milton Gordon's text, "Assimilation in American Life", to evaluate the experiences of both groups. The paper discusses how Gordon's hypothesis is not universal across cultural groups and he does not account for some of the realities of immigrant experiences. The paper argues that while it is true that immigrants give up some of their cultural markers and successfully learn to integrate their lives into the host country, they also make substantial efforts to contribute to their host country while maintaining their own heritage. The paper also notes that Gordon dismisses the unfortunate prevalence of bias in today's society, much as he dismisses the possibility for complex cultural and ethnic identities.
From the Paper:"In a modern society which grows increasingly complex, communities and individuals alike attempt to negotiate the complexities of dealing with those who have arrived from different countries and who embrace cultures and beliefs not always familiar to their adopted homeland. Nor is this type of cultural negotiation an entirely new phenomenon. As many have pointed out, America is a land of immigrants. America is made up of immigrants from all over the world. Starting from the immigration waves of the earliest European settlers in the seventeenth century to the larger waves of immigrants fleeing Europe's problems during the nineteenth century and again in the years following both world wars, America has always dealt with new cultures and peoples. It is not always apparently clear which method of acculturation was best, or even if one pattern of acclimatization is universal to the immigrant experience. Was it best to encourage peoples to hold onto the traditions of their motherland, adding to America's cultural richness? Was it best to encourage immigrants to embrace the ways of the so called "new world", thus forming a common cultural base, and leading, it was hoped, to more harmonious union within the country?"
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Assimilation of Jewish Americans and Italian Americans (2003, October 30) Retrieved December 01, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/assimilation-of-jewish-americans-and-italian-americans-32988/
"Assimilation of Jewish Americans and Italian Americans" 30 October 2003. Web. 01 December. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/assimilation-of-jewish-americans-and-italian-americans-32988/>