According to a study, immigrants with Anglican-sounding names have a greater chance of receiving help from others, when faced with life-threatening situations, reports The Tribune.
Anglicisation of names refers to changing non-English-language personal names to spellings that are closer to English sounds or English personal names.
The sociological study was conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto (UofT) and published in the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science. The study noted that immigrants are less likely to face bias if they anglicised their names, especially typical-sounding names.
However, researches added a note of caution. “We do not suggest immigrants to Anglicise their ethnic names in order to avoid discrimination,” said Xian Zhao, one of the study’s lead authors.
It is commonly observed that many immigrants tend to adopt names that closely resemble those in the new society, abandoning the ones they were given at birth. “This certainly puts the onus on immigrants to promote equity and our previous studies also suggest that Anglicising names may have negative implications for one’s self-concept,” added the researcher.
However, a 2010 New York Times (NYT) article noted that in recent times, very few immigrants to the US resorted to anglicising names. This is in sharp contrast to the widely prevalent practice of doing so among the 19th- and 20th-century immigrants to the US.
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