Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't assimilate too much

Jonathan Chait and Ezra Klein disagree with each other about Jeb Bush's take on assimilation.  With regard to immigration and assimilation, I wish more people would pay attention to the social science literature (and Samuel Huntington does not count in that regard given that his book is essentially a long and unsubstantiated rant).  We know that recent immigrants from Latin America are healthier than the rest of us, and less likely to commit crimes.  What we should really be talking about, therefore, is how to stop people from assimilating too much in certain ways.


Defensores de Democracia 10:04 AM  

Mr Weeks :

Thanks for interesting articles.

I want to pose a riddle and ask an intriguing question :

Why is it that when you ask Anglo students in an American University :

"Why are you taking classes of Spanish ?"

They give some natural and expected reasons, nothing unusual.

But they very often add : "And it is very easy", or "easier than other languages".

This is amazing and surprising given the German roots of the "Anglo Saxon" language in some Germanic migrations to England ( not all of them Anglos or Saxons, according to Linguists and Geneticists that are filled with doubts about those "mysterious" migrations )

I want others to solve my Riddle or Enigmatic Question.

But I want to point out that given the fact that English and Spanish are Western IndoEuropean Languages and that there were so many Dynastic Marriages, Warfare and Cultural Interactions between the two close countries and other reasons, then English and Spanish may be not so different or "alien", that is removed in different galaxies of the Expanding Universe.

Vicente Duque

Defensores de Democracia 10:20 AM  

I forgot to add this :

And given the Norman ( Medieval French Language ) invasion of England by William the Conqueror in year 1066 that changed the language of the ruling class of England to French for near 200 years, and gave a strong influence of French to English. I think that the "Carta Magna" was written in French, and also the first sagas of Merlin and King Arthur.


Aguachile 2:18 PM  

Best one-line summary of Huntington I've ever read, anywhere: "his book is essentially a long and unsubstantiated rant."

Many thanks for a wonderful blog.

Slave Revolt,  11:03 PM  

How to assimilate the million
Ns of people that live here and constitute the underground economy rife with hyper exploitation.

These are decent humans, we need to drive home this fact.

This is about holding the US to our ideals as a young nation.

Pablo 12:41 AM  

It has been a while since I read "Who Are We" that I don't remember how substantiated it is. My impression of Huntington is that his earlier work, especially about democratization, was much better than his later work. And I still see a value in the Clash of Civilizations piece, even though it was written more like a best seller than an academic work.

Greg Weeks 9:32 AM  

Huntington wrote some classics that are still cited and relevant 50 years after they were published (no one can study civil-military relations without reading The Soldier and the State, for example, published in the 1950s). But eventually he became obsessed with both culture and immigration to an extreme degree. Who Are We? is just not a well-researched book.

Anonymous,  10:54 AM  

Nice post.

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