Minority groups respond to prejudice, discrimination and other aspects of immigration in various ways, depending in part on dominant groups’ behaviors. These include Assimilationist (Anglo-Conformity and Melting Pot), Pluralist (egalitarian [corporate] and inegalitarian), Militant, and Secessionist (Separatist) responses. I will define and discuss each type.
An assimilationist response is the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. Assimilation is a process in which people settle into a new land and adopt cultural traits from their host country and are also absorbed into society. New customs and attitudes are acquired and each group of immigrants contributes some of its own cultural traits to the new society. There are four aspects of assimilation, cultural, structural, biological, and psychological. Cultural assimilation is the process of integration of peoples from an ethnic minority group or immigrant group into the dominant culture of the society (other than their native one) in which they live. The immigrant group then takes on characteristics of the dominant culture while losing parts of its own. They choose to engage in their host countries activities like learning the language or learning about the proper attire to wear. Structural assimilation means that we would see all kinds of different people at all levels of government, or at the top levels of companies, or different types of people married to each other. This means that all kinds of different people will be working and playing together. This would also mean that different types of people would have the same access to education. Biological assimilation means that different groups of people are breeding with each other an example of this is Brazil. In Brazil many different groups intermarry and have children making the population look more similar to each other. Psychological assimilation means that one feels like everyone is the same, they don’t even register differences.
There are two models of assimilation, the melting pot theory and the Anglo-conformity model. The Melting Pot theory is a metaphor for a society with different types of people becoming more homogenous, that the different ingredients come together to make one common culture. It is often used in reference to the assimilation of immigrants to the U.S. This description has been used from the 1780s to the 1970s. The new more accurate metaphor is of the mosaic or salad bowl. They use the mosaic metaphor because; just like in a mosaic when different pieces come together they make something more beautiful.
The other model of assimilation is Anglo-conformity. This model promoted the subordination of immigrant customs and values, in deference to the American holidays, civic ritual, and English language. Any immigrant that came to the United States and were most able to act and look like the dominant group was more easily accepted in the U.S. The dominant culture is a white Anglo-Saxon protestant referred to as a WASP. Immigrants who are interested in remaining in the U.S. are expected to conform to the Anglo culture. The most basic requirements are conformity to language and laws. A certain degree of Anglo-conformity is required not only for general social acceptance but also for citizenship.
Another type of society is a pluralist society. It can either be an equalitarian society or inequalitarian. Cultural pluralism means that smaller groups within a larger society maintain their unique cultural identities and their values and practices are accepted by the dominant culture provided they are consistent with the laws and values of that society. In a pluralist culture unique groups not only coexist side by side, but also have respect for the other groups (in an egalitarian society). An example of this is the Amish. In this type of society there are lots of different people represented in government and in other