Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The 7 Stages of Assimilation [Gordon]

So, to understand assimilation, I had to read through quite a number of sociology books today in order to read a footnote that told me that I needed to read a book by Milton Gordon entitled "Assimilation in American Life".   In it the author not only explains the seven stages of assimilation but he also explains that when structural assimilation occurs then all other types of assimilation will follow.  He defines structural assimilation as the large-scale entrance into cliques, clubs, and institutions (e.g. church) of the host society.

Here are the 7 stages of assimilation:

(1) cultural or behavioral assimilation;

(2) structural assimilation (i.e. large-scale entrance into cliques, clubs, and institutions of host society, on primary group level);

(3) marital assimilation;

(4) identificational assimilation (i.e. sense of people-hood based on host society);

(5) attitude receptional assimilation;

(6) behavior receptional assimilation;

(7) civic assimilation.

So, for example, an immigrant comes to the United States and learns the culture and language and so we say that he has undergone cultural assimilation.  But he's not necessarily doing anything outside of his native cultural institutions.  So he may not have engaged in structural assimilation.

How does all of this apply to One Law?  Well, that's where it gets even more complex.  I'm not gonna go into that right now.  Maybe later in the week.

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