Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay

Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay

Immigrants face numerous challenges as they try to fit into host nations. For a long time, assimilation was the only way immigrants could cope with the challenges of moving into new societies. Assimilation is the process through which minority immigrant groups adopt the dominant culture in a bid to become socially integrated into the host nation.

Most people view assimilation as the process through which a minority group loses its culture and follows the culture of the majority group. However, scholars have defined assimilation as the process through which ethnic and cultural differences between the majority and the minority groups are reduced.

According to various studies, immigrants who culturally assimilate are more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and in some cases; mental problems. This can be attributed to the fact that culture plays a significant role in the development of an individual’s personality.Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay

As such, most immigrants do not cope well in situations whereby they are forced to change their cultural beliefs. Assimilation is an unconscious process that is slow and gradual. Through this process, the weaker culture borrows various cultural traits from the dominant culture and the stronger culture can also adopt some cultural traits from the weaker culture. As such, assimilation is a two-way process.

On the other hand, ethnic pluralism refers to a situation whereby different cultures coexisting in the same society have not assimilated and each maintain its own cultural identity. Groups that adopt ethnic pluralism may share some common activities but maintain their individual lingual, religious and value systems. One of the main disadvantages of ethnic pluralism is that it segregates people in society, thereby creating a path for discrimination based on race, ethnicity and social status.

Transnationalism refers to a situation whereby migrants maintain social ties with their home nation across national borders. This has been made possible and easier as a result of globalization. Nowadays, there are faster and cheaper methods of communication and transport that allow people to stay in touch.Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay

Similarities between these immigration systems is that they involve different cultures, enable different cultures to learn from each other and enable culturally different groups to coexist within a given geographical area. In regard to differences, each system has a different level of acculturation and assimilation.


Cultural assimilation leads to a situation whereby the weaker culture is completely absorbed by the dominant culture. In ethnic pluralism, groups maintain their cultural identity despite the fact that they coexist in the same geographical region. In transnationalism, individuals are able to practice their culture and that of the host nation without being subjected to forced cultural assimilation.

Considering that assimilation has been proven to cause negative psychological effects on immigrants, the best option would be transnationalism. This is attributed to the fact that this method of adaptation has numerous economic benefits to the host nation, as well as the immigrants’’ home nation.Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay

Migrants can send money home to support their family. This money is used to develop the economy of the migrant’s country. Similarly, immigrants who start businesses within the host nation contribute to the development of the economy through exportation, importation and establishment of international business relations.

In addition, transnationalism enables immigrants to participate in the politics of their home nation, as well as those of the host nation. They can submit their votes through absentee ballots and can lobby in the host nations. Socially, transnationalism enables immigrants to stay in touch with their loved ones back at home at all times. They are also able to transfer knowledge and technology from the host nation to their home nation with relative ease. This facilitates social and infrastructural development across borders.

On the same note, transnationalism enables immigrants to maintain their professional, ethnic, national and social class identity. In most cases, transnationalism enables immigrants to maintain their national identity while gradually strengthening a national identity with the host nation.

This makes it easy to adapt and develop transnational identities. In the long run, immigrants who adopt transnationalism develop cultural competence in different countries as a result of their established transnational identities. Similarly, cultural erosion is less likely to occur in transnationalism.Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay

Unlike assimilation and ethnic pluralism whereby weak cultures may be influenced to join the dominant culture, transnationalism enables immigrants to determine their cultural preference. Since people have constant ties with their home nation, it is very difficult to influence or corrupt their cultural preference. This ensures that immigrants remain loyal to their country despite their geographical location.

Conclusively, migration is among the leading causes of identity change. In a bid to fit in, immigrant often change their mannerisms. Depending on the prevailing situation within the hoist nation, immigrants may suffer deleterious effects as they try to adapt to the changes within the host nation.

As such, one should choose an adaptation system that does not conflict with his/her beliefs. Considering the risks associated with immigration, transnationalism provides a viable avenue through which immigrants can improve their lives without necessarily abandoning their cultural heritage.Adaptation Systems for Immigrants Essay


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