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Unformatted text preview: Culture shock among
recent African Immigrants
Antonetha Donatus Summary
Summary The United States has been a permanently unfinished country, a
global sponge remarkable in it’s capacity to absorb tens of millions
of people of all classes and cultures from all over the world.
of It is made up of many cultures represented by the different
immigrant In this paper I will focus on explaining the “Culture shock” that
the recent African immigrants face in the U.S., based on how
culture differences affect them, find themselves in the subordinate
position, and then adapt to the new society in order to survive.
“Culture Shock” iis characterized by feelings of disorientation,
anxiety, and a sense of being threatened.
anxiety, When people’s assumptions are jolted through contact with an
unfamiliar culture that supports different expectations, they often
experience culture shock. However, culture shock does not
always occur because when people of two different cultures
interact, many possible patterns can emerge. The two groups
may peacefully coexist, with a gradual cultural diffusion occurring.
may Causes of “Culture Shock”
Causes Lack of skills and Language Barriers This is usually due to anxiety, since most of the recent
immigrants are generally less skilled, and they don’t speak
English as required.
English Cultural Differences Recent immigrants from Africa can not understand the
customs and daily behaviors of their new society : everything
dealing with daily lives such as ways of doing things and
talking to people, is so different that they have to learn about
the new environment in order to fit in the society. This leads to
emotions of alienation from the new culture. It also
exaggerates the positive aspects of the original culture
especially when they join their native country fellows at their
community Values and Norms
Values Some of these immigrants start to ignore
their native culture, rejecting values and
choosing to assimilate or identify with
the new values, norms, and attitudes.
the Acceptance and Assimilation
Acceptance Young people are more exposed to total assimilation than older
people. Basically, parents of recent immigrants are more affected by
culture shock more than their children because they try to
maintain their native culture.
maintain However, right after the challenges of initial culture shocks, their
day to day activities are in place and immigrants understand how
to live in the new society.
to The individual may not yet be fluent in the spoken language, as a
result there is a cognitive level of understanding of the basic
ideals. The individual has acquired enough cultural knowledge to
survive on his/her own. Further more, many immigrants reach the
stage of acceptance and integration in America. They start to
work, create business, educate their children, and their children
already start to Americanize which is becoming hard to distinguish
themselves from native speakers, and they have accepted the
basic customs and the behaviors of the people in this new culture.
Conclusion To conclude, no one has to tell you what
the living in the U.S. will do to your own
culture, but there is a possible way of
learning the culture you are living. It is
nature for a new comer from Africa to
face “Culture Shock” due to culture
differences. THE END
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- Spring '11