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Chapter 10

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Sisi Tran

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Chapter 10: Living in Multicultural Worlds DIFFICULTIES IN STUDYING ACCULTURATION - acculturation: process by which ppl migrate to and learn a culture that’s different from their original (or heritage) culture - there are difficulties and challenges unique to this topic –reaching consistent conclusions difficult for researchers…  acculturating individuals have widely varying experiences o move to new country for many diff reasons o move to dramatically diff kinds of environments o move to cultures that vary in their similarity to their heritage culture o individuals differ in their personalities, goals, and expectations = affect acculturation experiences WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE MOVE TO A NEW CULTURE? - involves psychological adjustment occurs over wide variety of domains Changes in Attitudes Toward the Host Culture - studies explored how migrants’ psychological adjustment to new cultures unfolds over time migrants’, includes sojourners and immigrants, are those who move from heritage culture to host culture  heritage culture: original culture  host culture: new culture  sojourners: those who intend to stay only temporarily  immigrants: those who intend to move permanently - study: adjustment experiences of Norwegian Fullbright scholars in the United States –figure 10.3: U-shaped curve  first few months = “honeymoon stage”: especially positive time in their visit –enjoying excitement of participating in novel and exotic environment, meeting new ppl, trying new foods o keeps tourism industry in business –often don’t stay long enough to move past this stage = recall experience as pleasant and exciting  “crisis” or “culture shock” stage: begin to increasingly have negative views about host culture o Lysgaard’s data: between 6 and 18 months –typically exp. most negative feelings of sojourn o exp. symptoms of culture shock: anxious, helpless, irritable, and in general, homesick that one exp. on moving to new culture  realize language skills not good enough to fully function  friends just met not interested in your unique cultural qualities (diff language, exp. in your original culture, etc.), but rather talk about events concerning to locals in host culture and migrants feel they don’t have enough knowledge or understanding to fully participate  homesickness o may end up having negative memories of their experience, may quit sojourn  “adjustment” phase: after several months in crisis stage = most sojourners adjust and begin to enjoy their exp. more o language abilities improved = function better in daily lives o able to make enduring friendships and adapt to new things in culture (e.g., TV programs, food), no longer felt so strange o think more like locals around them - some research shows U-shaped adjustment curve not limited to being in foreign country sojourns can go through same adjustment after return to home country  not uncommon to exp. “reverse culture shock”  not sure don’t feel quite at home anymore and why feel somewhat alienated from others  doesn’t seem quite the same as they remembered - remember U-curve doesn’t characterize everyone’s experiences – seems honeymoon stage not evident for many sojourners - ease w/ which migrants can be accommodated by host culture –e.g., U.S. and Japan  U.S.: ppl from wide variety of diff backgrounds = view it as their home and adjusted accordingly  Japan: relatively ethnically homogenous -98% ppl living in Japan are Japanese migrants resembles pessimistic L-shaped curve (adjustment stage wasn’t there) o lived in Japan for more than 5 years = just as negative toward Japan as those who lived there for just over 1 year o possible that homogenous societies adjustment phase takes longer –have to study those who lived there much longer Who Adjusts Better? CULTURAL DISTANCE . - amount of cultural distance: difference between two cultures in their overall ways of life –one factor that predict person’s success in adjusting to new culture - hypothesize: more cultural distance someone needs to travel = more difficulty person will have acculturating - indirect measure of acculturation is language performance –language and culture have many similarities  easier to learn language of host culture = better should fare in acculturation process  how easily ppl learn language of host culture is avrg. country scores on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – vary based on participants’ own mother language (table 10.1) o those who grew up w/ languages highly similar to English = perform better than those grew up speaking other European languages a little more distant o Indo-European languages perform better than those speaking languages from highly distant languages - other skills need to be mastered –e.g., learning how to accomplish everyday tasks - how much overall cultural distance migrants must cover –study: Malaysian university students in New Zealand and Malaysian students in Singapore  completed measure of sociocultural adjustment (Assessed daily problems in navigating through new culture)  spending almost 3 years on average those studying in Singapore = fewer difficulties than those in New Zealand - acculturation forced onto various indigenous groups by colonial forces e.g., indigenous native populations throughout Canada dealt w/ onslaught of cultural traditions forced by European settlers –study of three indigenous Canadian tribes  Tsimshian of Northwest Pacific Coast region o engage in subsistence practices (fishing for salmon and shellfish) = accumulate large quantities of food and establish permanent, highly stratified settlements (before contact w/ Europeans)  Eastern Cree live just below tree line in Northern Quebec o Engage in subsistence practices (winter hunting and summer fishing) = doesn’t allow large quantities of food = some bands migratory and have low sociocultural satisfaction  Carrier live on Rocky Mountain Plateau of northern British Columbia o Engage in hunting and fishing like Eastern Cree o Have possibility of accumulating large #s of salmon o Culture influenced by geographically close Tsimshian o Thus have moderate degree of food accumulation and social stratification  Hypothesis: greater degree of acculturative stress among Eastern Cree than Carrier, in turn exp. more than Tsimshian  Acculturated to mainstream Canadian culture… o Tsimshian = fewest difficulties o Eastern Cree = most signs of stress o Carrier = intermediate CULTURAL F I. - cultural fit: degree to which an individual’s personality is more similar to dominant cultural values in host culture - hypothesis: greater cultural fit = more easily acculturate to it - explored in a # of ways  e.g., w/ personality trait of “extraversion” (more likely move to other countries, seek active stimulation from environment and rather outgoing) –some propose this trait should facilitate communication everywhere = should fare better in acculturation exp. compared w/ introverts mixed results, seems more complicated than that o study found: Malaysians and Singaporeons scored high on extraversion = more signs of psychological well-begin when living in New Zealand (than those low) o however: English-speaking expatriates (high on extraversion) living in Singapore = boredom, frustration, depression, and health problems (than low) o seems extraverted personality better cultural fit in New Zealand than Singapore  conclude: more extraverted = fare better w/ well-being when live in countries w/ higher overall lvls of extraversion o e.g., ppl w/ more independent self-concepts = suffer less distress in acculturating to U.S. than those w/ interdependent self-concepts - personality fits well w/ host cultural environment = acculturation more straightforward A CCULTURATION STRATEGIES . - two issues critical to outcome of one’s acculturation 1. whether ppl attempt to participate in larger society of their host culture 2. whether ppl striving to maintain their own heritage culture and identity as members of that culture  influence whether one will exp. psychological stress in acculturation process  both proposed to be independent = can have positive or negative attitudes toward both, or positive towards one and negative towards other - acculturation strategies measured by questionnaire –e.g., table 10.2 - four diff acculturation strategies –figure 10.4 1. integration strategy: attempting to fit in and fully participate in host culture and also striving to maintain traditions of one’s heritage culture a. + toward heritage and host culture 2. marginalization strategy: involves little or no effort to participate in host culture or maintain traditions of heritage culture a. – toward heritage and host culture b. relatively rare, and questionable as a “strategy” c. may reflect little more than neuroticism 3. assimilation strategy: attempt to fit in and fully participate in host culture while making little or no effort to maintain traditions of one’s heritage culture a. – toward heritage culture & + toward host culture b. desire to leave ancestral past to fit in w/ host culture 4. separation strategy: efforts to maintain traditions of heritage culture while making little or no effort to participate in host culture a. + toward heritage culture & - toward host culture b. continue to exist in cultural world of their heritage culture - most common strategy = integration - least common = marginalization - in between = assimilation and separation - variety of factors influence style chosen  will not strive to fit in… o culture shows prejudice toward individual’s own culture o have physical features distinct from majority in host culture = likely exp. more prejudice = pursue separation or marginalization strategies o physically distinct = more likely support collective efforts to benefit group’s social position o low socioeconomic status or members of indigenous cultural groups = host doesn’t typically offer much they desire = separation or marginalization  strive to fit in… o host culture values cultural diversity = integration or assimilations - four strategies yield diff outcomes in acculturation process  integration = lower degree of acculturative stress o protective features (lack of prejudice and discrimination, involvement in two cultural communities, access to two support groups, and flexibility personality to support this)  least successful is marginalization o rejection of dominant society, loss of one’s original culture, weakened social support  intermediate in terms of mental health outcomes = assimilation and separation o cost of assimilation = loss of one’s heritage culture and accompanying social support networks, disconnection w/ past o cost of separation = rejecting host culture, and protective features it encapsulates, often become rejected by host - # of studies = evidence for these strategies, but others failed to find this pattern  preserving own cultural traditions didn’t have impact on acculturative adjustment  rather individuals’ attitude toward host culture mattered (e.g., focus on separation and assimilation) Some Pitfalls of Acculturation - possible that not all will pick up cultural habits that are inherently desirable - acculturating into the U.S. –among some of the heaviest ppl = considerable health costs, immigrants not immune to their eating habits  among immigrants lived there for less than a year = 8% obese; for 15 yrs = 19% obese; 22% for American-born residents  Latino immigrants: became heavier and engaged in less healthy behaviours (like smoking and drinking) o Acculturation = adverse health outcomes than less acculturated peers  Japanese immigrants o Japanese have longest average expected lifespan, low rates of coronary heart disease o But when emigrate to U.S. = more likely get coronary heart disease than those who stay in Japan (only in those who acculturated to American lifestyle o More acculturated = 3 to 5 times more likely have heart problems o Not sure what it is about Japanese culture that protects them - Vietnamese immigrants in New Orleans  more upwardly mobile they were, fewer delinquent acts, achieved in school = less integrated into broader community (many immigrant groups disadvantaged and discriminated against = poorer neighbourhoods  ironically, those who assimilate into surrounding community = more difficulties than those who resist –figure 10.5 - European-Americans more likely disrespect authority figures than Latino adolescents  Latin immigrants acculturated = less seriously took studies and performed worse in school DIFFERENT BUT OFTEN UNEQUAL - not all cultures treated w/ equal respect  active discrimination, systematic disenfranchisement, unjust treatment, mocking and humiliation, violence, and maybe threats  not limited to those who move to new culture, but also those w/ ancestors who are from diff cultural background - most powerful and unsettling research on exp. of being disenfranchised –Claude and colleagues: African-Americans tend to drop out of school at far greater rates than European Americans  all lvls of schooling  regardless of their level of preparation = on average more likely do worse in classes and ultimately drop out  Steele: even at same lvl of performance on American College Testing Program (ACT) or Scholastic
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