Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins

Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins

Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins

Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins

Synopsis

A sociological analysis of the theories of assimilation in American society, noting the cultural and behavioral characteristics of religions, racial and ethnic groups.

Excerpt

This book is concerned, ultimately, with problems of prejudice and discrimination arising out of differences in race, religion, and national background among the various groups which make up the American people. It is different, however, from most books written on this theme in that little of it will be focused directly on overt discriminatory acts or even on scientific studies of the personality factors which “cause” or predispose some American citizens to deny some of their fellow citizens equal opportunities in American life and to harbor hostile or negative feelings toward them because of a difference in skin color, religion, or country of origin. Rather, we shall concern ourselves with what, to my mind, is the equally important, logically prior, and substantially neglected problem of the nature of group life itself within a large, industrialized, urban nation composed of a heterogeneous population. Our laboratory of investigation will be American society, but our conclusions, insofar as they are valid, will have more than token applicability to other nations and areas of the world which have undergone, are now undergoing, or in the next century will undergo, similar processes of urbanization and industrialization, and which have a population . . .

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