Difference Between Integration & Assimilation

In today’s interconnected world, it is common to see countries with mixed populations and multiple cultures. These multicultural societies often consist of a majority culture, which represents the culture of the majority population, and minority cultures, which are represented by immigrants. There are two main ways in which minorities attempt to become more like the majority: assimilation and integration. Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between them.


Integration is a two-way process involving cross influences from both the majority and minority cultures. Both cultures change and adapt to accept the minority culture into the majority culture. This requires the minority culture to accept the laws and ways of the host country while retaining their own laws and ways. Integration is possible when there are no antagonistic feelings between the two cultures and both accommodate each other’s viewpoints in order to live harmoniously together. In this process, minority cultures take on aspects of the majority culture while still retaining their own identity.


Assimilation is a process in which minority communities are absorbed into the ways and views of the majority community in a multicultural society. This absorption takes place in a one-way direction, as the minority communities are required to learn the customs and traditions of the majority community, either giving up their own or modifying them to be acceptable to the majority. Assimilation has become somewhat controversial, as it may require people from minority cultures to abandon aspects of their culture to adopt the ways of the majority culture in order to be accepted by the majority community. In this process, the ethnic minority loses some of its features and adopts some of the features of the majority to appear more like the majority community.

Key Takeaways

  • Assimilation involves ethnic minorities adopting the customs and traditions of the majority community to become more like the majority culture.
  • Integration is the process of absorbing ethnic minorities into the majority culture while allowing them to retain their own identity.
  • In assimilation, the minority community gives up or modifies aspects of its culture to resemble the majority community, while integration involves a two-way adaptation between both cultures.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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