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Reflection Paper on Social Change through Immigrant Integration - Essay Example

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Reflection Paper on Social Change through Immigrant Integration

However, in doing so, the organization walks the fine line between what Skerry has acknowledged as a propensity to "help" or "hassle" that is, the institute definitely has the means by which to assist immigrants, but must be careful not to impose the predominant culture in a condescending manner with the intent to either belittle or eradicate the immigrants' cultural heritage. If for no other reason than a closed system stagnates, the community as a whole is revitalized through embracing new perspectives. The goal of the institute should therefore be to offer a means of integration by first providing services that provide guidance to the present civic structure, second provide cultural access through which the immigrants might become familiar with more local customs, and lastly by encouraging a continuation of immigrant traditions and customs while making these as open as possible to the indigenous community. The purpose of these three approaches is to promote understanding and appreciation between the two communities.
Skerry has referenced Will Herberg's observation that " in America religion was a more acceptable basis of group identity than ethnicity or race." (p. 33) and does so to analyze the level of success achieved by the Latino based Resurrection Project. This project, affiliated with the Catholic Church, has created a feedback loop through which the community has been instructed by the church to avail itself of the organization; the organization then has assisted the community with economic incentives and guidance through certain legalities. The organization has attached conditionals to their assistance that, although these can be regarded as "hassles", ultimately tie the immigrants back into both the civic community and the Church's moral guidelines. The essential lesson of this example has been the use of cultural touchstones. The surrounding community became much more willing to accommodate the Latino community, partly because it had created a structured organization, but mostly because it was associated with a recognized organization: the Catholic Church. In an institutes efforts to promote immigrant integration, focus must be paid to such universal touchstones of human experience. Religion has certainly been one, but so are performances of music and art or festivals involving tradition (and more importantly food). Aside from these cultural events, people have always gathered over such shared concerns as children's welfare and education or the availability of healthcare. The extent of an institute's responsibility to promote immigrant integration hinges primarily on providing these opportunities for understanding. When different communities are allowed to gather formatters they share in common, they have taken the first step in recognizing their similarities. As this happens, immigrants become more familiar with local methods and attitudes, thereby growing more comfortable with learning about the new environment and how to unction within it.
Yet the responsibility of integration must be equally shared by the immigrant as well. The indigenous ...Show more


In Peter Skerry's article "Citizenship Begins at Home: A New Approach to the Civic Integration of Immigrants," he has observed that "To succeed in the United States immigrants need some type of institutional guidance." (p. 28). Certainly there is an irrefutable logic here: a person (or community) unfamiliar with a new environment needs both instruction and supervision from an organization grounded in the necessary and acceptable procedures…
Author : kanebuckridge
Reflection Paper on Social Change through Immigrant Integration essay example
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