In the U.S. immigration issue, which different constructions of ethnicity can come into conflict and how are concerns about assimilation and multiculturalism involved? Use the current debate over immigration in the United States as a case study.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One aspect of cultural conflict relevant to the immigration debate ongoing in the United States is the issue of cultural proximal distance. This is the culturally determined preferred distance between people in given social interactions and it is called "proxemics."

This is one aspect of acculturation that is more difficult for immigrants to adjust to when entering a new country, whether the proximities of association between people be closer than their home culture or further than their home country.

Assimilation is the extreme end of the acculturation continuum and occurs when such extensive acculturation has occurred that the assimilated individual cannot be distinguished from a native member of the society, so that even deeply embedded characteristics, like proximities, are replaced by the new social culture.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial