Response 5

Michelle Duval

Professor Alvarez

English 255

2 May 2012

Migration and Assimilation: Racial and Social Issues Associated with Mexican Americans Integration into the U.S. Mainstream in Mexican American Writers and Poet.


The decision to migrate to a better country occurs within many immigrants’ lives. The fervent belief that success and higher achievements such as obtaining basic human necessities like a comfortable home, personal mobility and a self fulfilling job in another country resides in the minds of all people, but especially immigrants living in America. For this reason, the United States prides itself for giving immigrants the opportunity to accomplish these pursuits combined to make up the American Dream. However, this “pursuit” requires immigrants to make the first step of many in a process called Assimilation. Latino immigrants migrating to the United States with the intention of adapting to the customs of its society’s laws, precepts and culture may discover that the process of assimilation deemed difficult and wearisome. Oftentimes, barriers and setbacks create an atmosphere of uncertainty and anxiety as Latinos and other immigrants attempt to untie the many knots cause by discrepancies between social and racial conditions. However, these clashes do not take place until immigrants step outside of their circles and into public society in pursuit of the American Dream for themselves and their future generations. As a result, clashes evidently brew issues which most oftentimes delay or immediately abrupt a successful complete integration into the U.S. mainstream.

With this in mind, I will analyze race and societal issues Mexican American immigrants encounter that prevent them from integrating into the U.S. mainstream successfully. Although a majority of Mexican American immigrants assimilate successfully within the U.S. mainstream; a minority may not assimilate successfully. I will argue that a number of Mexican American immigrants cannot achieve complete assimilate within the U.S. mainstream because of racial and social obstacles.

Assimilation Defined

In order to grasp the full understanding of the racial and social disparities Mexican American immigrants experience within the U.S. mainstream. The concise meaning of the word “Assimilation” deems imperative. Knowing the meaning of this word will enlighten our understanding about the origins and possibly explanation behind the racial and social issues. Researcher Scott J. South and others perfectly and concisely give us the definition for the word “Assimilation” as they point out the two most important groups participating and interacting throughout this process. South writes:

The Classical sociological model of assimilation essentially describes a process through which members of an ethnic or racial minority group adopt the attitudes, cultural traits, and ways of life of a dominant majority group. (South et al 498)

South gives us a simple yet detailed meaning of the word, “Assimilation” which simply conveys the dropping off of one’s culture for another culture whether forcibly or voluntarily. The main words such as “racial”, “minority”, “adopt” and “majority” allude to a close interaction between the minority and majority groups including each physical characteristics regarding their race. We can see that the group which leaves their culture behind represents the “minority” group. The minority group possesses little power and cannot demonstrate an independent entity separate from the majority group. Consequently, the majority group represents a higher level of power since the minority group must conform itself to the majority group. However, South does not explicitly state if the minority group also adopts the majority group’s religion. Perhaps, the mentioning of “cultural traits” and “way of life” alludes to the adaption of the majority group’s religion as well.


Works Cited

South, Scott J, et al. “Migration and Spatial Assimilation among U.S. Latinos: Classical versus Segmented Trajectories.”

Demography 42.3 (2005): 497-521. JSTOR. Web. 28 April 2012.

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One response so far

One Response to “Response 5”

  1.   salvarezon 18 May 2012 at 4:03 pm 1

    Michelle, this looks like a good start to a longer essay, maybe just about under a third of the major stuff included. Of course, after you finish the theory section, you would apply some of that vocab to the aesthetic texts. Note your title, should poet be singular? Maybe include poet in writers? Also should you use Chicano or Mexican American?

    Also, you should refer to this essay as an article, as in “In this article, I will argue that . . . ” imagine that you are writing for journal publication, or the same audience of the journals you’ve been researching. How do you make your prose sound like a journal article? Use some of their key terms, or vocab words. Notice words that different articles use. These will be some of the words you will apply to the aesthetic texts in your analysis here.

    Your writing really improved over the course of the semester, I hope you noticed.

    5 out of 5 points.

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