When navigating between two cultures
Integration is the healthiest option
and positive for the immigrant
“The first step that the Hispanic immigrant must take firmly upon arriving in this country is to learn the language, at least the basic and functional; then look for things that you find pleasant (entertainment, food, friends) educate yourself and move forward, ”says psychologist Alex Miranda, who for more than 25 years has specialized in the study of the acculturation of Latinos.
“Immigrants and Latinos in this nation live in a psychological and emotional division that originates the acculturation process.
And that division is accentuated in those of us who live here but are linked with our homeland or with the country to which we attribute our cultural roots. "
The psychologist's appreciations consider that the beginning of acculturation is the friction with a foreign culture, alien to the native one and that it is not a destiny but a process that influences both the individual and the family.
How does the reaction occur in this contact?
At the individual level, contact with a foreign culture motivates a change in attitude and behavior that requires acculturation options, but these in turn can be exercised by the one in the process and are influenced by the cultural demographic context of the area.
For example, in Broward County The Latino presence has made the area more attractive to Hispanics, and as it grows we feel more comfortable due to the easy access to our own culture, family, and what it offers (food, language, friendships, etc.)
In his long career as a teacher and student of the acculturation of Latinos in the United States, the psychologist Alex Miranda says he is convinced that there is no one immune to the influence of acculturation, but that it does not require the total abandonment of identity or Latin root.
"On the contrary, acculturation requires a complex cultural balance that is reflected in many contexts and behaviors, especially in very traditional times like Christmas."
How much acculturation affects the immigrant?
It really is a complex process, almost mysterious and understood by few.
Acculturation has been shown to affect physical and mental health and to reveal psychological orientations that in turn determine key decisions; from the choice of the preferred language in social situations to the execution of disciplinary strategies for the children.
Furthermore, acculturation explains the degree of identity derived from the mixture of Latino cultural roots and the adoption of a foreign culture, in this case the North American one.
How is Assimilation manifested?
Assimilation demands the total abandonment of the native culture, which implies an absolute transformation of the beliefs, behavior and mentality of an immigrant who is in a foreign country.
It was believed that the best alternative was that and the tragic and mistaken victim of the Assimilation is the native culture, its practices, traditions, parameters and contributions to the well-being of the individual. Assimilation is not healthy for the individual nor his family.
It is nothing more than the pure and blind loyalty to the native culture when they are in contact with a foreigner.
It is when people leave their native country but the country has not left them.
This has been classified as the worst consequences and symptoms of deteriorating mental health. They are those who do not find a place in their native or adoptive culture and therefore suffer in the process of acculturation. They suffer because they are marginalized from both cultures; they do not fit anywhere, nor do they identify with any group. The studies On this case they have reflected that alcohol, drugs, family conflicts, depression, feelings of helplessness and abandonment, are related to marginality in groups of Latino adolescents and adults.