Assimilation entails resemblance in cultural elements between one or more groups. Individuals from another culture are integrated into the dominant culture. The outcome is indistinguishable cultural variations such as language, values, and systems. However, key elements are still evident despite assimilation. Kalmijn and Gerbert (697) notes that conservative values such as marriage and sexuality remain amidst assimilation. This means that a culture does not lose its vital cultural beliefs and systems. For example, one cultural group might join another religious group and adopt their religious beliefs and mode of dressing. Some of the advantages of assimilation include the development of unity and peace among cultures and exposure to other cultures. Its disadvantages entail a loss of identity and culture since a group has to adopt the values, practices, and beliefs of another group. Individuals might be unwilling to learn other cultural methods to preserve their own (Hanks Slide 9- Cultural Competence in Health Care).
Acculturation relates to the adaptation of the cultural characteristics of a majority group. The ‘minority’ groups acquire and adapt to the values, attitudes, and practices of the majority group. One of its advantages is that individuals obtain a new identity that eliminates the fear of persecution from their homeland. Also, acculturation helps people to adopt new values and lifestyles. Individuals may depict unwillingness to learn another cultures values and practices (Hanks Slide 9- Cultural Competence in Health Care). This is due to a forceful take over by a minority group. This could lead to an overtake of people’s original culture since they are required to adopt new values and practices.
Accommodation is a process where people adopt the values and beliefs of the host but maintain their parent systems. While in the public domain, the accommodated population displays the traditions, values, and ideas of the host group. However, this does not affect their parental values. One of its benefits is that the uniqueness of culture is preserved. Notably, a group has an opportunity to retain their identity. However, with time, it may generate invisibility of the practices of the group that is accommodated by the host culture.
Arguments for and against affirmative action
Affirmative action is a policy framework that aims at uplifting the status of underprivileged populations at the community level. For example, persons of color, race, different sexual orientation, and origin are often treated differently due to their status or conditions. In the US, people of color belong to the subordinate group (Hanks Slide 7-Defining Diversity). The main agenda of affirmative action is to increase opportunities and representation of subordinates in society. Harold (33) reveals that affirmative action addresses racial divides. Thus, it is an integral approach since it promotes diversity and eliminates socioeconomic differences. It uplifts the status of marginalized populations to advance their visibility and status in the community. Also, it abolishes stereotypes that make it hard for marginalized people to benefit from community resources and amenities. Another key benefit is that affirmative action includes assisting in breaking the glass ceiling. Other the other hand, the policy attracts significant disadvantages. One is that it is likely to reinforce stereotypes considering that these marginalized populations may be viewed as inferior. Most people would still feel that if not for the policy, they would not be in the positions that they occupy across various institutions. It also changes accountability standards since it affects the provision of fair chances for all persons. Lastly, affirmative action will always create bias since elements such as racism and classism still dominate the community.
African American is one of the groups that face extensive discrimination in the United States. Butler et al. (435) state that discrimination against African Americans affects their identity. Their color act as the source of prejudice and discrimination across individual, institutional, and structural levels. Stigmatization and stereotypes are common practices emerging from dominant groups to subordinate groups (Hanns Slide 10-Group Differences and Dynamics of Ingroup Outgroup). At the individual level, an African American is likely to encounter arrest challenges due to the speculation of engaging in harmful activities. For example, a police officer can arrest an African American man after suspecting them of engaging in theft. At the institutional level, African Americans face denial of work opportunities since they are a subordinate group (Hanns Slide 16-Group Differences and Dynamics of Ingroup Outgroup). For example, a young person of African American origin may be denied the chance to work in a particular firm due to existing policy that bars individuals from that origin to work in the establishment. Lastly, at the structural level, African Americans encounter limitations in accessing loaning facilities due to their financial status. For example, a bank denies these individuals loans and mortgages due to their low-income status.