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Assimilation - Essay Example

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Cultural assimilation or acculturation will help me understand and accept local specifics and better integrate into the dominant culture. I will be motivated to be a keen learner of local habits and traditions, as knowledge about them will help me become an effective communicator…
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Assimilation
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Assimilation Martin Sharkey Western International What are the positive and negative aspects of assimilating into the new culture
Cultural assimilation or acculturation will help me understand and accept local specifics and better integrate into the dominant culture. I will be motivated to be a keen learner of local habits and traditions, as knowledge about them will help me become an effective communicator. It is generally assumed that communication barriers impair intercultural understanding and hinder foreigner's success in the local country. As soon as I overcome those barriers, I will be able to better express myself, and understand people, both in terms of verbal and non-verbal languages. In this manner I will be able to better adapt, and in return will be better accepted by local people. Further on, adopting a foreign language and learning about a foreign culture can be viewed as broadening my views and enriching my personality.
Assimilation, of course, has its negative implications. First, it is associated with losing touch with those characteristics that are tokens of my own culture. It is one thing to understand and acknowledge differences, and quite another to accept the established country's cultural norms as my own. This will break the relationship I have with my Native American culture and will make me less secure in the new social environment.
2. Which aspects of your existing culture would be the hardest to give up and why
The American culture has many tokens that are if not unique, then at least emblematic - like individualism, equality, democracy and patriotism (Wikipedia, 2006). These represent bits of influences that have shaped my value system, attitudes and viewpoints. Both consciously, and subconsciously it will be very difficult for me to give up those values, because they have been part of my cultural world all my life. It is difficult to identify that one element that is of greatest importance to me, probably it's the idea of social equality and equal opportunities.
Many cultural systems are built on different social statuses, like the Indian castes for example. Still, I cannot imagine what it is like to feel deprived and less worthy of let's say career development, simply on the basis of social status. It will be very difficult for me to comply with a culture that limits the rights that I regard as irreversible, once that I had the chance to develop, irrespective of my social origin.
References
1. Wikipedia contributors (2006). Culture of the United States. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 28, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.phptitle=Culture_of_the_United_States&oldid=41215036 Read More
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