Sample Theology Essay Paper on Immigration and Immigrant Experiences

Part One

From the Bean and Stevens’ e-reserve “The New Immigrants and Theories of
Incorporation,” compare and contrast the different theories of assimilation that they
cover. Why are the experiences of recent immigrants unlikely to fit with a single
model? How does the material in Portes and Rumbaut Chapter 4 complement (fit with)

the e-reserve?

Immigrant experiences differ based on their age, gender, country of origin and other
elements. The Classic model of assimilation defines the experiences of the first wave of
immigrants from Europe. The first wave occurred between 1870-1920 and the assimilation
process adopts different stages. The initial stage is the adjustment in social and cultural
elements. These include language, adoption of values and norms of the foreign nation and
thus leading to conformity. To function, the immigrants adapt to the economic systems which
is the acquisition of jobs and other activities. The process of assimilation reduces the
prejudices and the hostilities projected on immigrants (Stevens & Bean, 2020). The process is
irreversible and it yields sustainable results in integrating society.
On the other hand, the reactivity-ethnicity model is considered a reaction to the new
patterns and value systems. The response to the societal structures yields disadvantage to the
immigrant leading to more conflict and stereotyping from members of the mainstream
culture. Unlike the classic model, cultural assimilation does not lead to the incorporation of
immigrant groups into the system. The reactive model is volatile and can affect the
relationship between the residents and the immigrants. The segmented model is ideal for the
contemporary set of immigrants which is diverse (Stevens & Bean, 2020). It combines
elements from the classic and reactionary model to improve immigrant experiences.
Recent immigrant experiences explain the use of different models in assimilation.
Immigrants are blocked from employment and other disadvantages especially for 2 nd and 3 rd
generation immigrants. Institutions within the host nation are responsible for facilitating the
immigrant assimilation process and the failure can lead to marginalized reactions. Besides,
the host nation may adapt or fail to adapt to the immigrant's culture and values and thus the

reactionary responses. Assimilation process is a difficult process and the host nation has to
adjust the social structures and institutions to accommodate the immigrants.

Part Two

From Mary Pipher’s THE MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE, discuss some frequent
challenges and problems refugees experience in adapting to life in the United States. Use

specific examples from Pipher

Mary Pipher’s book, The Middle of Everywhere utilizes first-hand experiences of
immigrants from different parts of the world. Immigrants are faced with different challenges
and this depends on age, gender, country of origin and other elements of the western cultures.
The process of immigration attracts multiple challenges in the adjustment to the new culture,
language and other elements of the western world. Mary Pipher articulates that immigrants
are faced by subtle forms of challenges which are a result of the white privilege. White
privilege leads to dominance and other unearned advantages which are discriminative to the
immigrants. Dealing with the standards is a difficult process since the general norms are
based on white culture. Based on the immigrant experiences and the interaction with the
white culture, there is a need for support for proper adjustment.
Often immigrants suffer from isolation, loneliness and other psychological issues due
to poor adjustment to the host nation and the culture. Also, unfamiliar practices lead to
discomfort. Maladaptation opens the immigrants to exploitation by the societal systems.
Mary Pipher acts as the cultural broker of the immigrants and refugees and a firsthand
experience indicates multiple tussles in the adjustments. For example, frustrations, confusion
and mental anguish is part of the experiences (Pipher, 2003, P.46).for the female immigrants,
the new culture vary from the roles and expectation from the countries of origin. Essentially,
the acculturation processes and values and the differences can cause a strain in the adjustment
The Americanization of culture and experiences can be counter-productive processes
and thus affecting the assimilation. A major outcome of the less productive assimilation

process is the prevalence of the post-traumatic disorder in immigrants and refugees. For
example, refugee experiences can be a source of stress and other psychological issues.
Adapting to a new society and experiences such as job search, workplace conditions
exacerbate the stress levels and depressive conditions. Due to the recurrence of PTSD, the
immigrants have to undergo psychotherapeutic processes which are ineffective (Pipher,
2003). Therefore, adjustment to the new culture can lead to physical and psychological
strains to the immigrants.

Part Three

From Susan Eaton’s INTEGRATION NATION, discuss several initiatives you think are
the most interesting that cities, regions and organizations have undertaken to assist
immigrants & refugees in becoming better integrated into their new communities. Be
sure to cover the reasons behind these initiatives, e.g. the issues they address.
Susan Eaton’s INTEGRATION NATION reflects on the importance of welcoming
and collaborating with immigrants into the communities and culture. There are different
initiatives undertaken by the government and non-governmental organizations to support and
assist immigrants and refugees in the integration process. The Catholic Church has joined
local and global efforts to speak on the different issues affecting refugees. The protection of
lives and dignity is part of the Catholic initiatives to improve immigrant experiences. Citing
the different circumstances in which immigrants and refugees, the response should include
compassion and orderliness to necessitate a proper transition and assimilation. The Catholic
Church concerns on immigration are the dehumanizing elements and the broken nature of the
immigration system. These initiatives are meant to protect the affected from the systematic
challenges, exploitation and other inhumane experiences during the transition. Other faith-
based organizations such as the Mormon community, Tri-Faith Initiative speak against the
implementation of economic incentives to help in the immigrant adjustments (Eaton, 2015).
Furthermore, the initiatives are driven by the moral imperatives to the immigrant cause.
Moreover, the One Nation Indivisible project presents arguments against Arizona’s
immigration policy and its punitive measures. Assimilation involves the suppression of the


native cultural elements, values and languages and this is considered a violation of
immigrant’s rights and dignity. Eaton’s approach to integration is progressive and it attracts
the advocacy efforts from African-American legislators and other members of the Latino
community (Eaton, 2015). The immigrant issues give rise to the deep-seated civil rights
policies which advocate for equality.

Part Four

From Part Three of THE MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE, by Mary Pipher, Discuss
several ways, methods or processes of psychological healing for refugees who have
suffered much trauma. Why isn’t western psychotherapy effective for many refugees?
Mary Pipher’s role in advocacy and as a cultural broker for the refugee plays a crucial
in the identification of ways and processes for healing. Psychological and physical trauma is
part of immigrants and refugee experiences and the methods of healing dictate the wellbeing
of the affected persons. Relevant methods of healing include acceptance and love which is
manifested through daily experiences and interactions (Pipher, 2003). Also, participation in
communal activities, feeding can help improve the immigrant experiences and healing
The western psychotherapeutic processes are not an effective and viable option in
immigrant healing. Firstly, most refugees do not understand the process and it is often filled
with language, cultural barriers. Also, immigrants and refugees tend to avoid the processes
due to cultural relative responses and perceptions towards therapy. Besides, immigrants
confine their issues to family and often the reactions therapies are limited by the perception
of the strange culture and individuals (Pipher, 2003). Moreover, immigrants and refugees can
fail to access therapy out of sheer ignorance.


Eaton, S. E. (2015). Integration Nation: Immigrants, refugees, and America at its best.
New Press, The.
Pipher, M. B. (2003). The middle of everywhere: Helping refugees enter the American
community. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Stevens, G., & Bean, F. (2020). The New Immigrants and Theories of Incorporation”. In
the Study of immigration, immigrants and assimilation