The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJohn Derbyshire Archive
“Absimilation”: the Second-Generation Problem
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

I entirely agree with Patrick Cleburne`s praise of Daniel Greenfield’s FrontPage article of last Tuesday [“Amnesty Ends the American Dream,” by Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, January 28th.]

Greenfield’s piece gives me another opportunity to promote a neologism I coined in Chapter 10 of We Are Doomed.

Greenfield writes:

Talk to anyone who employs illegal aliens and that discrepancy between foreign-born minorities and native-born minorities stops being a mystery. They prefer first generation minority immigrants to second generation immigrants because they consider them more obedient, docile and responsible.

Like a man who keeps divorcing and remarrying every few years, they constantly want fresh immigrants, but they don’t want to hire their American-born children…

That’s right, but it’s not just a case of the second generation having assimilated to less-obedient, less-docile, etc. American norms. Some subset of the second generation will move awayfrom our norms.

That’s the excuse for my neologism:

The English word “assimilation” derives from the Latin prefix ad-, which indicates a moving towards something, and the same language’s verb simulare, “to cause a person or thing to resemble another.” You can make a precisely opposite word using the prefix ab-, which marks a moving away from something. Many immigrants of course assimilate to American society. I think I have. I hope I have; I`ve tried to. Many others, however, especially in the second and following generations, absimilate.

One sad story of absimilation is told in the 2008 book Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race—remarkably, as the authors, Vilma Ortiz and Edward E. Telles, are left-wing Hispanic sociologists (at UCLA). Sample quote: “Despite sixty years of political and legal battles to improve the education of Mexican Americans, they continue to have the lowest average education levels and the highest high school dropout rates among major ethnic and racial groups in the United States.” Ortiz and Telles blame the schools. Gosh, when are we ever going to get those schools right? More money! More money!

I give other examples of absimilation among the second and subsequent generations of immigrants.

For any given immigrant population, some of the following, born-in-America generations will assimilate; others will absimilate. The relative ad/ab proportions are determined by (a) characteristics of the population, (b) the cultural milieu of the host society, and (c) sheer numbers.

Absimilation is, for example, commoner among Pakistanis than among Irishmen; commoner in a guilt-addled xenophilic host society than in one that has confidence in itself and pride in its ancestors; commoner among Mexicans than among Montenegrans.

“Absimilation”—not in your dictionary, but should be.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration 
Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All John Derbyshire Comments via RSS