Harvard Students Muslim Traditions: Assimilation and Pluralistic Solutions

According to Robert Park, assimilation is the absorption into something new and lacks the identification and association with one’s past. This process is where formerly separate and distinct groups come together with the aim of sharing a common culture and socially merge. As a result, among groups, differences are decreased. In general, people will associate and identify with what they like, and not the opposite. For generations, partial assimilation is evident since a static model does not describe the populations’ long-run patterns thus, over time, it does not consider the state changes of the world. From Neil’s article, the minority’s decision of assimilation affects that of the majority owing to scale effects in ethnicity size. The Muslims in Harvard are the minority group and thus, should remain in their group and choose not to assimilate. In this case, the offspring will still belong to the minority group and yet face the same decisions of the next period. Integration or structural assimilation theory is the best way of solving this menace thus, the groups need to be acquainted, moves from the secondary into the primary sector.

Under assimilation, the presiding strength is the ability of communities and students to work under one umbrella. The administrators of the institution will have an easy time drafting rules and regulations because they are working under their own rules and regulations. This makes administrative work easy because both minority and majority groups are obliged to follow the commands of people in power. Additionally, the Muslims and westerners will be able to interrelate without fear of being heckled at by their leaders. This promotes a community of peace and harmony because they will share on ideas and experiences that improve their way of living. In every situation, there are two sides to it, and in this case, the limitation with assimilation is the erosion of culture and tradition of the minority group. In this case, the Muslims will be forced to abandon their cultural beliefs and adopt the new western cultures. This leads to the giving up of traditions and culture, which to the Muslims is not an option. To some extent, they also lose their heritage. In regard to other groups, Americanization created anxiety, resentment, conflict and demoralization. Assimilation is a costly solution that forces institutions to input many resources in order to attain organizational goals and objectives.

According to Horace Kallen, pluralism is the coexistence of different value systems and fragments of value systems within the same society, which promotes peaceful coexistence of different communities of meaning. The Muslims at Harvard will be given an opportunity to air their views and opinions and not be criticized. Consequently, the student representative from each group should meet and discuss the best options comfortable for the minority group. By giving the Muslim females to use the gym at their designated time, the institution will be portraying an image of responsibility. The article shows evidence of cultural pluralism being implemented since the Muslim groups are not acculturated since each group maintains their identity. They speak different languages, value systems and religion practices, even though; they are part of the same society.

The strength of pluralist solution is the freedom of exercising their culture and religious beliefs in other countries, institutions without facing hostility and prejudices. In addition, leaders will be an exemplary to other institutions and thus, they will promote cordial working relations with other nations. The Muslim women will be exercising the educational rights of using the facilities within the community with no fear of going against their religious beliefs. In this case, the institution will be observing fairness in terms of distributing resources and meeting the goals of the institution. The mutual respect existing between these enables them to resolve existing conflict in a way that meets all their please and considers the views and opinions of both groups. The weakness associated with pluralism is the enlarged discrepancies between factual and expected outcomes and eventually triggers inter-subjective meaning crises. In addition, the values of either community’s are diluted and future generations loose on the traditional values. Moreover, the majority will see this as favors, and this may lead to the formation of activists forming groups to protest against these acts. Many Americans apply pluralism because they feel that it has exceeded the acceptable limits and this poses as a risk to the nation’s unity. This concept has stimulated the growth and development around the globe, which has forced many nation-states to have disintegration into smaller units based on culture, language, ethnicity and race. However, research indicates that enmities and ethnic identities persist across decades of submergence and larger unit suppression in nations.

Pluralism is the better option in this case even though, in terms of religion, the dialectical relation among new creation and loss of meaning or between erosion of meaning and its rebuilding are observed. Through this solution, modernization is emphasized, and this contributes to the growth of communities and individuals. The aspect of growth enables urbanization to take rule and thus, the lives of people in the society promoted. Pluralism enables Muslim students and other religions to coexist in the community without the fear of having them fight with each other on grounds of ethnicity. To leaders, this is a show of solidarity and enables them relate with other people in a manner that considers that we are different and appreciates each other. Cultural pluralism is objective and enables the women exercise freely in the gym, but still uphold their values, traditions and beliefs since the other students have integrated with them and are aware of their traditions. This shows the respect accorded to other belief systems and is encouraged for healthy living. Urbanization in the current era is increasing, and pluralism is being embraced by many nation-states. The aim is to reduce the existing ethnic conflicts and promote the development through sharing and engaging in different cultural events. Knowledge is also passed to other groups, which leaves them enlightened and experienced.

In conclusion, assimilation and pluralism are solutions that try to minimize existing conflicts in the society and helps in decision-making processes. The aspect portrayed in both solutions emphasizes the need to work together and appreciate each other’s culture and tradition. The evidence discussed by different scholars’ shows that there is a need to educate the public on the importance of living together with minimal ethnic issues. Institutions need to understand and embrace those solutions that will solve existing problems. In addition, administrators need to incorporate and implement strategies that complement their organizational goals and values.

Work Cited

Chapter 2. Assimilation and Pluralism: From Immigrants to White Ethnics, 17 Oct. 2010. Web.

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