Changing Names to Fit in American Society - Essay Example

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Middlebury College
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Ever since the mid-19th century, immigration has been a significant concern among the native Americans. Controversies have emerged regarding immigration in the matter concerning job acquisition, use of social services, acquisition of education in best schools in the US due to unscrupulous increase in immigrants. The concept that immigration devalues the native Americans employment chances has made of the immigrants think of changing their names to conform to the requirements of the American society, as a platform for reducing discrimination and some have considered it a more comfortable way of making travels to be easier (Alba & Nee, 2009). This article, therefore, seeks to answer the question of whether immigrants should change their names to fit American society by basing the arguments on both opposing and supporting reason with a powerful conclusion.

Since finding a job in America is easier for native American makes, it necessary to have a native name that might convince the American employment sector that one is a native American whether Black, Asian or Indian American. If an individual seeks job severally without succeeding in America, then they have to consider changing their name to convince the employment sectors (Alba & Nee, 2009). Also, changing the name to conform with the American names will help people fit in the social groups of the society and will make friends and associate well without the direct discrimination.

According to Alba and Nees (2009) research, the aspect of being unique in a group of people with one common point of life has the unmeasurable traumatic feeling. As a way of minimizing discrimination immigrants should consider changing their names as a new birth to the new culture in which they will streamline their biased behavior regarding race in both social, political and economic life. Changing names enables an individual to make friends, enhance association, reduce uncertainties and make traveling easier in America.

However, changing names as a way of meeting American employment requirements may not work well if all legal processes are not followed and the process might end up exposing the immigrant as a criminal trying to have two identities. This is evident in the matter it may be unfordable to change all credential certificates names to conform with the desired name by the immigrant hence creating more problems that will later result into self-stigma and fear of association with others (Alba & Nee, 2009). On the other hand, fitting in social groups does not necessarily require conformity with American naming system but rather the accent will betray the immigrants who engage in the process.

Citing Alba and Nees (2009) article, changing names to conform to the American society naming system is an odd approach since it encourages identity denial and makes an individual fake an American. For that case, the value of cultural heritage will be blackmailed, and assimilation will be strengthened while cultural diversity will be overshadowing. The newly changed individuals will, therefore, try to live according to the American way of life and they wont express their real identity hence they will fill traumatized whenever they contradict their culture and that of American people. It should be noted that cultural status cannot be faked, and it might take one a lifetime to conform to a new culture hence the individual might, therefore, live a life not far from slavery.

In conclusion, changing ones names to conform with the Americans has both negative and positive effects. As much as one benefits by acquiring a job just the way the Americans do, one must live a life of denial of ones identity while faking another which is a form of neocolonialism or modern slavery. As people try to fit into social groups in the society, it has been found out that it is not easy to fake a name and an accent, behavior and cultural connectedness to ones identity. Therefore, the counterargument in this matter overweighs the supporting reasons for changing names forsake the immigrants right status.



Alba, R., & Nee, V. (2009). Remaking the American mainstream: Assimilation and contemporary immigration. Harvard University Press.


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