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Arab Family and Customs - Essay Example

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The United States of America is a vast, dynamic and multi ethnic country made up of people from all sorts of backgrounds, religion, races, creeds and culture. Whereas the Caucasian Americans, African Americans and the Hispanic speaking Americans make up a large part of the…
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Arab Family and Customs
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Download file to see previous pages The ethnic identity of any group is usually subject to the convergence of two key factors that are the immigrant culture and the host culture. There exists a scramble for dominion between the two factors irrespective of what the ethnic affiliation might be. Eventually, these two factors accommodate each other and a compromise where both cultures find space becomes evident. The interaction between the host and immigrant cultures dictates the characteristics of the ethnic identity (Zogby 77).
The Arab-American identity becomes built on an intricate weave of both the immigrant Middle East culture and the American culture leading to a unique situation for the second generation of Arab-Americans. A dialectic relationship between the host and immigrant features result in a dynamic culture that has both American and Arabic elements. Whereas the intertwined culture cannot be equated, the immigrant culture is more often than not the more influential of the two.
Focus group studies carried out in Dearborn, Michigan, which hosts the largest population of Arab Muslims in the United States, shed light on the identity taken by the studied lot and the reasons behind the identities taken. Since the two cultures are diverse and different on so many levels, the only way to forge forward is to adapt to the new foreign way of life keeping principal elements of your Arabic heritage (Zogby 65).
Gender and religion emerged as vital elements of the Arab identity. An Arab has to be of a certain religion with vast differences in what becomes expected of the various genders. Gender is especially a thorn in the flesh of many Arab Americans who become somewhat confused by how the respective immigrant and host cultures view gender. Whereas the host culture boasts a sense of equality between the genders, the immigrant culture faithfully subscribes to the opposite view ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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