The main difference between the two terms is visible with their definitions since assimilation is the process in which a group which is lesser in number is able to adapt to the ways of the group which is greater in number. Accommodation is the process in which a group which is greater in number lets the people who are lesser in number get used to the ways of that culture.
The word assimilation has roots in many fields and therefore has been used in various meanings over the time. Sticking to the human beings who have to undergo several processes when they are growing up or are resisting change this term has a definite meaning. In simple words, it is described as the process in which a group which is in the minority slowly gets used to the customs and ways of the people which are in the majority in culture and society. It can also be taken as a concept when new ideas are combined with the old ideas and people who keep the original ideas are willing the new ones to be mixed. When people are going through different phases there are new things happening around them which give them a very different outlook on life and enhance their knowledge, that process can also be called assimilation and as it can be seen all the explanations are linked in some way. It is a natural process through which human beings get used to new things, a person knows something and when they observe an idea that is new they try to incorporate it with the old ones and come up with a better solution. The best example of this will be when a child sees a car, next time he sees the same car he will know what it is, but then when he sees a taxi or a jeep, he will still call it a car because of the appearance. Only later on, when he is able to identify the differences, will he know what they actually are.
It is quite the opposite of the first term in a way that this is the act of letting new ideas incorporate with the new ones on your choice. When you are in the majority and see that something new is being brought up by someone else, you get to decide if you want that to become a part or not. Similarly, when someone new enters a society, it depends on the people of that area to show how accommodating they are and how they welcome the newcomer. The best example of this scenario will be that when you relocate to a new hostel and are sharing a room with someone else. That person has been living there for a while and makes you feel comfortable. The more they help you feel normal, the more accommodating they will be. This theme of meaning has originated from the main meaning which actually is a place where you live. Elaborating on it a little more, in this process, something new can originate, you are experimenting with ideas and let someone out of the box come in and help you while suggesting things. All the definitions are interrelated in this word as well since they have originated from the same root. When you are willing to change your own ideas and let others help you with new ideas, it is actually you who is accommodating the new ideas. As long as you are taking in information which is new to someone, you are actually making the definition come true.
- In Assimilation a new idea is allowed to come into the already existing ones while in the case of Accommodation the new idea comes and changes the old ideas.
- When a new set of people try to fit in a pre-existing set of people that process is known as assimilation while when pre-existing people allow the new people to settle in, that process is called accommodation.
- The best example of assimilation will be “Several thousand immigrants have assimilated into the American society” while the best example of accommodation will be “The natives have accommodated many new ideas within their culture and hence reaped benefits.”
- Assimilation requires background knowledge of the new culture while accommodation does not require any pre-information about the new people.
- Assimilation can lead to an overall impact on the society and result in slow change while accommodation can result in instant change.