Discussion: Melting Pot or Tossed Salad: Assimilation and Acculturation
To prepare for your Discussion:
- Review “The Ethics of Intercultural Competence” section of Chapter 12 of the course text. Pay particular attention to the stories of how different people experience cultural adaptation and what it means to them.
- Think about the behaviors you would have difficulty giving up or changing if you were required to move to another country. Why would those be difficult for you? Now think about the behaviors you might be able to adapt to another culture, and why. If you have lived outside of your home country for any length of time, think about your own experience of adapting (or not adapting) your behavior to another culture.
- Consider some of the challenges in adapting behaviors to another culture, especially when those behaviors may be in opposition to your cultural values. Can these challenges be overcome? Should they?
- Reflect on how you would handle situations where someone from a different culture expected or imposed their cultural beliefs while visiting you. How could you use intercultural competence to help explain what is expected in your culture?
- Select two countries with different cultures. Consider how much a person from one of the countries would be expected to adapt if he or she were planning a long-term relocation to the other country:
- What behaviors should a person be willing to change upon moving to another country?
- What behaviors should a person not be willing to change upon moving to another country?
- Does the choice of the goal of assimilation or acculturation affect which of these behaviors someone would be willing to change or not change?
By Day 3
Post a 2- to 3-paragraph description of the expected behaviors an individual might change because of a long-term relocation to another country. Explain how the choice to assimilate or acculturate might affect the choice of behavior changes. Explain how these decisions present challenges in adapting to another culture.
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to at least one of this week’s Learning Resources. Additionally, you may opt to include an outside academic resource that you have identified.
By Day 5
Respond to the posts of at least two different colleagues in one of the following ways:
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Expand on your colleague’s posting by providing additional examples of behavior that might change.
- Offer an alternative view on how the choice to assimilate or acculturate might affect the choice of behavior changes.