Ethnic Enclaves Essay

Submitted By okoroji2004
Words: 1390
Pages: 6

Ethnic Enclaves Why is the study of ethnic enclaves important? There are ethnic enclaves and then there are ghettos, but the line that separates them is very blurry. Ethnic enclaves can be seen as beneficial to immigrants but there are also patterns that show that immigrants are facing discrimination that inhibits their ability to move outside of these neighborhoods. Chinese and Cuban immigrants, both part of a new wave of immigration faced by the United States, face a unique immigration experience which affects how well they get along in the United States. According to the structural-functional perspective concerning the motion that instills that all immigrants should speak English and that bilingual education in the public schools should be discontinued, they said that forcing all immigrants to speak English is unfair. They said that those who support requiring immigrants to speak English worry that, if they don’t, newcomers will prefer to live in linguistic ghettos with others who speak their native tongue, refusing to participate in mainstream English speaking society. They also fear that immigrants will come to the United States and enjoy its benefits without learning English and becoming productive. Structural-functional theorists argue that America was founded on the principle of fairness, of giving everyone a chance to make his or her own way in life, and not on language skills. They said that immigrants who have fulfilled all the other requirements such as good moral character and so on should like the ancestors of everyone in this country be allowed to express their cultural heritage freely. Structural-functional theorists also argued that present and past American society has being multicultural. They said that, the newly formed American colonies, a diverse selection of languages were spoken in business, family life and in the teaching of school children. They said that, the articles of confederation for instance, were printed in English and German. In Colonial Pennsylvania, German speaking immigrants made up about one third of the population, in that they printed newspapers in German, conducted their businesses in German, educated their children in German. They argued that in the colonies, the different ethnic groups freely used their languages to communicate in daily affairs. They said that newspapers were printed in several languages and were distributed in all territories. They equally argued that long before English speakers arrived in what is now the United States, Spanish speakers were conducting their businesses in Spanish and schools were set up in New York City that taught immigrant children in Italian and German. Also documents were routinely published in different languages to assist the immigrants. The United States government also created the foreign language division of the bureau of publicity of the treasury department, which routinely printed publications, pamphlets, newspapers and news releases in numerous languages. The United States food administration regularly published forms in different languages as well. The above mentioned examples by the structural-functional theorists suggested that immigrants have every right to speak their native language and should not be held in bondage to display their cultural heritage. Conflict theorists argue that bilingualism created failure, mental confusion and damaged the psychological well-being of immigrants and that lower intelligence caused the failure of immigrants to acquire English. They argue that it makes sense that immigrants should speak only English because it is the only language spoken in the United States by the natives and also they pointed out, if there was an accident to an immigrant and he or she needed help and didn’t get it because they speak the native language. The conflict theorists claimed that there are many reasons why immigrants need to learn English language; they claimed that it is not for assimilation