Integration vs. Assimilation: Does anyone have a great article or resource?

We are looking for a few "go-to"  articles or resources on the differences between integration and assimilation.


Context:  Through the use of sport, recreation and physical activity, we are working with a group of Iraqi refugees living in a small city in the southern part of the US.  Our research is focused on how sport, service-learning and university-community partnerships can promote social inclusion, cross-cultural understanding, and community building. 


Thank you!


Views: 2068

Tags: Assimilation, Culture, Integration, Refugees, Sport


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Comment by Rey T on January 6, 2013 at 1:29pm
Comment by Sharón Benheim on June 19, 2011 at 4:25am
Comment by Ann Ward on June 18, 2011 at 9:42am

Hi, I took a course a few years ago in Bergen Norway in cross cultural psychology and our instructor was editing a great book on the subjects.   Many excellent chapters and very readable with some good case examples.  You can find it on line and downloadable.  I think for free (link below). 

David L. Sam, John W. Berry. "The Cambridge Handbook of Acculturation Psychology"
Cambridge University Press | 2006 | ISBN: 0521849241 | 576 pages | PDF | 5 Mb
This handbook compiles and systemizes the current state of the art by exploring the broad international scope of acculturation.





Comment by L. B. Thapa on June 17, 2011 at 3:22pm

Integration vs. Assimilation

It is possible to save and practice own culture in integration however there is no possibility to mainatain and poractice self culture and keep own identity in assimilation.


Comment by Rey T on June 17, 2011 at 3:09pm

At least in the U.S.A., "assimilation" is more or less obsolete now. Integration is the umbrella term that covers many ways by which people can be a part of society, of which assimilation is one of many.  In some other countries, though, the trend is still assimilation of minorities, immigrants, and refugees. The metaphor for assimilation is "melting pot." The metaphor for multiculturalism and diversity is "salad bowl." Both "melting pot" and "salad bowl" are part of some of the ways by which integration can be attained.
Comment by Eugen Dabbous on June 17, 2011 at 11:41am

I've been familiar with the attempt to make this distinction for several decades  now. It's more common with the debate on the position of immigrant and/or indigenous minorities than RE refugees.

I don't find the distinction to be accurate and useful. Ultimately the most cautious and respectful integration (e.g. partnership and respect for otherness) policy will lead to assimilation.

Best, Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous

Associate Prof. Eugene Richard Sensenig-Dabbous, MA, PhD
Chair, Political Science Department FPSPAD
Senior Researcher, Lebanese Emigration Research Center LERC
Instructor for Cultural Studies – Department of Graphic Design FAAD
Notre Dame University, Zouk Mosbeh campus
PO Box 72 Zouk Mikael, Lebanon or
office: +961-9-208196 – summer: 05-550596
home: +961-5-455343 / fax: +961-1-705355
mobile: +961-3-909406; NB: SMS disabled

Comment by Najia Alavi on June 17, 2011 at 11:15am


You may want to check out this University of Toronto professor's work:

Randall Hansen


And, this fantastic episode on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paiken: 


Also check out the recently published book "Arrival City" by Globe & Mail correspondent I think his name Doug Sanders.


We, in Canada have this constant debate on assimilation vs. integration so you'll find quite a lot if you google these loaded terms with 'canada'. Haroon Siddiqui a columnist for the Toronto Star writes frequently on this as well. One of this recent ones: 


Hope this helps - Najia  



Comment by on June 17, 2011 at 10:06am
Hi sarah, please google on follwoing :'Resolving
Prospects for
Local Integration'

Comment by sowmya ayyar on June 17, 2011 at 8:41am

well i don't know about university-community partnership, but you can read my blog about yoga and cross-cultural understanding, community building (sangha). 


Comment by Mark Clark on June 17, 2011 at 8:28am

Hi Sarah - here's one that may be useful, at least in part:


Best regards



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