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The persistence of ethnocentrism and even outright conflict between different racial/ethnic groups attest to the historical and continuing validity of the primordial basis of ethnic identity.On the other hand, the situational perspective (also known as the "constructionist" or "instrumentalist") states that ethnic identities are socially defined phenomena.Alternatively, it can also refer to when they attain socioeconomic mobility and status (usually in the form of income, occupation, residential integration, etc.) equal to other members of mainstream American society.The process of undergoing either behavioral or structural/socioeconomic assimilation can occur in a linear or "straight-line" manner in which the passage of time and the succession of generations lead to increasing economic, cultural, political, and residential integration into American society. back in the 1800s did experience prejudice and discrimination.Rather, they identified solely based on their own national origins (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.).
The final reason why some immigrants assimilate faster than others is because of class differences.Or it can happen in a non-linear, circular, or "bumpy" manner in which Asian Americans revive or retain old cultural traditions, norms, and behaviors and choose to remain somewhat isolated from mainstream American society (the "ethnic resilience" model) or alternatively, to combine elements of both traditional Asian (although they may modify old traditions and values to fit their contemporary circumstances) and mainstream American culture (sometimes referred to as "segmented assimilation"). But because they were White, they were eventually able to integrate into American society more quickly and easily than non-White immigrants and minorities. During times of economic prosperity, there are plenty of economic opportunities to go around for everyone.Other research has focused on why why certain racial/ethnic groups assimilate faster than others. But in times of economic difficulties, there is more economic competition and therefore, more hostility toward minorities and immigrants who are frequently seen as economic threats.Studies also show that the strength of a child's ethnic community strongly affects his/her identity.Those who live within a cohesive ethnic community and who regularly participate in co-ethnic organizations and activities (i.e., peer groups, churches, etc.) are more likely to identify with a national origin or hyphenated-American identity, even if the ethnic group tends to be low-income or working class.