Greatest Desire To Conform Essay, Research Paper
The area in American life reflecting the greatest desire to change is immigration. Immigrants come to America hoping for and wanting a better life. They no longer wish to live the hard life of the peasantry society. In addition, immigrants come in search of individuality. They want to conform and be free of their problems they once faced or still face in their nation. America has always obtained the myth where one can gain social mobility and freedom. They strive to acquire opportunities that they do not have in their homelands. *America is like a utopia because of all its opportunities it has to offer – (simile). As each new era of foreigners migrate to America, they face the obstacle of conforming to mainstream America.
Immigrants come to this land of opportunity with the hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and their family. Often considered peasants in their country, these hardworking individuals come to America fighting to become part of the middle and upper class societies. Most of these foreigners are impoverished, with no land or home they could call their own. They work hard during the summers in order to conserve food for the winters. These immigrants fall within a lower social class, as a result they strive to conform to a more facilitating and suitable lifestyle. Although they desirably want to conform to an American culture, these foreigners fear conformity in that it entails new ways of living. When conforming to new living conditions, many of these immigrants are overwhelmed with feelings of insecurity, fearing that they will not be able to assimilate to new standards of living. Having left behind familiar surroundings in their homeland, these foreigners face new challenges in a strange land. Indeed, it is hard to change what one has been exposed to and taught in life, however one must try his or her hardest to do so when going forth with such a drastic move. Inevitably, it will be difficult having made such a drastic change, but in the end they will live a better life, that of America: the land of opportunity and freedom.
As they begin to build a new life in America, they face the process of assimilation. America holds an idea of a mainstream society; consequently those individuals not fitting this image are left with feelings of abandonment and insecurity. As a result, they feel pressured in achieving the American dream. On the other hand, their children born and raised as first-generation Americans find it easier to conform to American standards in comparison to their parents and have become a part of mainstream America, regarding America their homeland. As these immigrants begin to progress forward, gaining acceptance and recognition, they begin to look down upon the new immigrants coming into the country. Its ironic how quickly one forgets the past and repeats history in terms of the mistreatment and hostile hospitality a new immigrant once received.
For instance, my family is from Albania. Albanians are a race of people who have certain underlying qualities, beliefs, and customs that distinctively set them apart from others. One of the most celebrated and perhaps unfair of all customs, is the cultures strict arranged or ‘influenced’ marriages. We hold the belief that women are not allowed to date and are to be married at a young age to the gentlemen chosen by their elders. The Albanian men are not exactly relieved of their role in the arranged nuptials, as they too must be betrothed to the Albanian women. However, they have the privilege to date freely before marriage. Albanians are very paternalistic, undeniably believing that the men are the heads of every household. Respect and honor are held with the utmost regard. To dishonor a person would mean to disregard the true meaning of life. Consequently, retribution is a common and necessary solution to indignity.
Furthermore, as way of example, my description of the Albanian people is described in ways in which they are brought up in their homeland. They come to the United States bringing with them these traditions, customs, and beliefs, but like my family most have assimilated to American ways. *My family is an example of conforming to modernization, as for those who believe in changing America to that of their beliefs; it states they have no desire to conform to mainstream America – (Metaphor). My family has changed their cultural beliefs and traditions; they have willingly and desirably conformed to mainstream America. They are of middle or upper class society, no longer peasants, they have earned their own homes and land, and they are happy with the assimilation to American ways.
Immigrants presently migrating to America bring with them the beliefs and cultures I stated earlier with the hope to change Americans to believe and follow these traditions, in addition they do not wish to conform to American ways. Instead, they try changing America to their ways. They believe that they should not have to change their lifestyles in exchange for an American way of living. Although they want to live a life of freedom and opportunity, they do not want to contribute to America in any way. I consider these types of immigrants, those not trying to conform, to be very selfish and self-centered people. It is not morally right to want something and not give anything back in return.
Granted, the focus of this essay is not about Albanian people, however I wanted to exemplify the differences regarding conformity with new immigrants coming to America and with those who arrived many years ago. Of course, I do not want readers to assume this is true for all immigrants. It is not necessarily true that all immigrants that have migrated many years ago have assimilated to American ways or those who migrate today do not wish to conform at all, but this was simply an example of personal experience.
Conformity occurs on all levels. It deals with the way one talks, dresses, and behaves. Also, it deals with the morals and values one hold. Most immigrants have attempted to learn the English language, with their accents barely noticeable at times; they have full-time jobs, their own homes, and have acquired an education. On a positive note, this is quite a change and accomplishment in comparison to what immigrants is accustomed to in their homelands.
In conclusion, immigrants migrating to America will eventually conform. America consists of a plethora of opportunities; this is something a person cannot give up. So they will attempt to achieve this freedom and social mobility. They will struggle in conforming to mainstream America because it is so desirably aspired. They want like any other person to be recognized and accepted as abiding citizens. They are willing to accept American standards in order to promote personal achievement and financial establishment. Accepting American standards indicates accepting the American way of living: survival of the fittest.