Worth noting is that second generation immigrants tend to develop cross cultural identities. Where they identify with both. Ie, they can effortlessly switch modes back and forward. Why would everybody who could not do that?
My guess is that's such a thing comes naturally to second generation immigrants because they are immersed in both cultures from a young age. But I was under the impression that you were focusing on first generation immigrants. I would not expect first generation immigrants to be able to do that.
Yes, it's easier if you're educated. But here's the kicker, it's always worth it. The pay off is immediate. Any investment, no matter how small, pays off. The big, most obvious things are the easiest. Which gives the most pay off. It's the details that are difficult. Which is a huge investment for very small returns. My point is that it's always worth it, especially in the beginning.
The most obvious thing, to me, is language, and learning a language is not easy, especially if the language is unlike one's native language.
I think it's more about ones peer group. We've all seen members of an immigrant group hanging out in their cultural appreciation society café, badly dressed and all looking depressed. They're comforted by what they recognize even if it only gets in the way of their life. These people clinging to their own culture is more a kind of self harm behaviour IMHO. It does nothing but doom them to a life of poverty. I've met many immigrants in Stockholm and Copenhagen who have lived here 30+ years and still can't speak Danish or Swedish. Especially Somali immigrants. I somehow doubt that can in any way benefit them.
LOL, I've only seen those café scenes in movies and TV shows, but then again I don't go out much.
If someone has lived in Copenhagen for 30+ years, but can't speak Danish, then that tells us that they didn't need to speak Danish in order to get by in Copenhagen. From their point of view, those 30+ years, with the melancholic ethnic café, might seem like a success, albeit a relatively modest one. I'm just not convinced that it's as bad for them as you are making out.
We can turn it around. People who belong to the majority culture and embrace it to the extreme, neo-nazis and nationlists. What drives these guys? Isn't it that they're such complete losers in life that they don't feel they have anything to be proud about that they have to cling to something external, their nation/race/ethnic group. I get the same vibe from many of these immigrant groups clinging to their home cultural identity and norms.
I don't think political movements are analogous to cultures.