According to him human beings and their community groups all largely depend on the biological link of individuals. Those who are dominating tend to oust those who are weaker. Thus groups may or not be similar; they may have the gravitation to assimilate regardless of their ethnicity and according to him Berghe common genes of nepotism are the basis of divisions. He States: "To maximize their reproduction, genes in program organisms to do two things: successfully compete against, and thereby contribute to the reproduction of organisms that carry alternative alleles of the genes in question, and successfully cooperate with (and thereby contribute to the reproduction of) organisms that share the same allele of the genes. In simpler terms, the degree of cooperation between organisms can be expected to be a direct function of the proportion of the genes they share: conversely, the degree of conflict between them is an inverse function of the proportion of shared genes."[van den Berghe,1981, p.7]. Given this view, one can deduce that Van den Berghe's concept of cultural assimilation is limited in its scope as it limits the external factors that usually constitute of the cultural barriers. He refers to kinship as a commonality that supports the behaviors of ethnic groups and how they adapt to one another's hegemony. However, his concept does not offer the explanation of these sociological factors that would allow one to understand why ethnic groups despite their hegemonic reproduction capacity can successfully compete against one another and remain cooperative in threatening circumstances. Whereas, in established multicultural environment such as those in America identify external sociological factors as the key influencing drivers of ethnic group assimilation. The challenge is to assimilate despite the conflicting factors.

Thus, from the sociobiological context it does not justify the rationale to say that multicultural groups migrate because of the demand of their genes; it is not true to explain why certain groups dominate the others on the basis of kinship yet at the same time can be ousted from the society.

Part 5

Van den Berghe in his presentation of the anthropological aspects of ethnic assimilation has been limited in the sense that he does not address the issue of social factors and since the sociological factors do greatly contribute to the way groups behave therefore it is imperative that one take into account of these factors in analyzing the behaviors of these groups. Sociological sciences thus is liberal in its academic approach in that it offers explanations that takes into account of the external environment as well as the psychological behaviors of groups when faced with adverse economic, legal, political and social factors. Sociology as presented by Roger Daniels for example identify the needs of the different ethnic groups ranging from the Natives to the Afro Africans as well as the Germans etc. who with the rise of capitalization established a different attitude in their attempts to adapt to the external environment. Although it must be noted that genes theory does not explain the need to migrate, the push or the pull factors and hence it is not relative to the ethnic phenomenon as Van den Berghe projected [Van den Berghe, 1981].

Given the above views, it can then be concluded that Van den Berghe's concept of migration of ethnic groups from one place to another vs. those of Roger Daniels, it can be observed that the latter has been logical in explaining how cultural groups progress from their home country to the host country; what leads or motivate them to reach to the level of assimilation and harmoniously exist in the new environment without having to compromise their ethnic beliefs etc. Van den Berghe's in this sense has been limited in his explanation.


Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life, HarperCollins, 1990.