Slang words, fashion and food trends and more can be traced to different types of assimilation in society. There are many types of assimilation that can be traced back to fascinating origins. Discerning the types of assimilation in the past or as they are happening can make for interesting and informative research.
Types of Assimilation
There are many different varieties of assimilation. From what you hear to how you act when you are with different groups of people at different times, assimilation is something humans do on many different levels. Phonetic assimilation is about language and sound. Assimilation in linguistics is an interesting topic for researchers because of its many factors.
The integration of a specific society into the social customs, groups and institutions of another are examples of a structural assimilation definition. When two people come together to form a new family via a marriage ritual, they also join societies, families, cultures, religions and traditions together for marital assimilation.
When multiple social groups join together to choose to identify under one identity, that is identification assimilation. Reciprocal assimilation happens when a single idea connects a large group of varying social groups. When multiple groups in society gather to share an agreement or decide to agree together, about civil policies, it is labeled a civic assimilation.
Assimilation in Phonetics
One of the more difficult types of assimilation to understand is phonology. Assimilation in phonology blends sounds. Basically, a nearby sound melds with a well-known sound. That sounds more difficult to understand than it is. Rapid speech is a good example of assimilation in phonetics. When you talk rapidly, you tend to fall into phonetic assimilation. For instance, the word “cinnamon” is often pronounced with a quick shortcut that sounds like “cinmin.”
Cultural Assimilation Explained
When cultures combine, assimilation occurs on many levels. From language or phonetics, to civic, marital and reciprocal assimilation, many factors come into play. Some examples of cultural assimilation include the Welsh and Scottish combining with the English yet maintaining their own identity through centuries. When the Germans began to settle in the American Midwest, their language morphed into a heavy accent that distinguishes natural born Midwesterners from other areas of the United States.
What Is Structural Differentiation?
As a species, people first relied on their tribes and families to perform all of the tasks for them to not only survive but thrive. As society has progressed, it has evolved. Simply put, as societies evolve, they assimilate into larger societies that hold other religions and cultures. When people integrate or adopt other cultures they tend to meld former beliefs into new beliefs they have been introduced to and establish a general system of values that weaves the larger and more complex society together.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.