By Mari D. González
Inter-ethnic relations have been taboo in the U.S. because assimilation has been expected from immigrants and minorities. Assimilation has mainly occurred among people from countries with less cultural and linguistic distances (Anglo-Saxon, Ireland, France)—for whom the term expatriates are used—or among people who are not seen as “others.”
In the last decade due to fast technological advancements such as the Internet, social media, and cell phones, many immigrants are not assimilating. While there is a great level of acculturation to the American way of doing business—mostly by college graduates, immigrants and ex-pats bring and keep their own worldviews, perspectives, and values representative of their first language and culture of origin.
Minorities in the U.S. who live in silos have strengthened their diversities. The more an ethnic group is segregated, excluded, or other-ed, the less it assimilates. Diversity is a positive aspect. It enriches any company, organization, or team. Silicon Valley, Tech Venture Capitalist, Paul Graham explains, “The United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population; it stands to reason that most of the world’s best new ideas will be thought up by people who weren’t born here.”
The challenge is when communication styles clash let alone the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes. It results in misunderstandings, frustration, decreased productivity, and lower morale. We all have seen this!
“In the last decade due to fast technological advancements such as the Internet, social media, and cell phones, many immigrants are not assimilating.”
I find this an interesting statement. Could you elaborate?
Assimilation is no longer required for anyone to be part of a social group, to fit in, or to conform with social standards when you can find, or even form, your “virtual tribe” anywhere in the world or when you can socialize with people from your own culture with a smartphone and social media. This of course has many implications. For example in the U.S., neither assimilation or integration is happening and we are seeing what is happening–an extreme polarization. This will be a topic for another post. Saludos! Mari
Indeed, the tribes have become even more sharply defined and fragmented. It’s not just in the US. I’ve seen it happening in Europe and Asia as well.