2011 October 31
Acculturation versus Assimilation
The Chinese people have a great history that dates back to beyond 5000 BC. They are a people that called themselves “The Middle Kingdom” and set themselves apart from other people. So when the time came when China could no longer afford to stay apart, the peasants found themselves in need of a way to support their family, which lead to the immigration to the United States during the Gold Rush. The Chinese had no choice but to interact with Americans and other cultures, and often times, were not treated well. While the Chinese now in America, they still remained a lofty ideal that they were apart from other races. This being the case, acculturation is difficult for those of mixed Chinese decent, and assimilation is more likely to happen. In order to understand this circumstance, it is necessary to understand the history of the Chinese people, the immigration of the Chinese into the United States, and the resulting opinion of the Chinese people against other cultures.
China’s history is rich in culture but also in imperialism. The Chinese people considered themselves to be the descendents of heaven and called themselves the “Middle Kingdom.” Beginning in 770 B.C., Chinese history entered two periods of turmoil and war: the Spring/Autumn (770-476 B.C.) and the Warring States (475-221 B.C.). During these 550 years, the former feudal states engaged in perpetual wars and brutal conquests. During the same time, China witnessed unprecedented progress in agriculture, science, and technology and reached the golden age of Chinese philosophy and literature. Confucius (551-479 B.C.), founder of Confucianism; Laozi (sixth century), the founder of Daoism; the egalitarian Mozi (480-420 B.C.); and Han-fei (280-233 B.C.), founder of legalism, defined the character of Chinese civilization and made profound and enduring contributions to the intellectual history of the world. With these accomplishments, it...