Cultural assimilation occurs when members of one cultural group adopt the language, practices and beliefs of another group, often losing aspects of their traditional culture in the process. One example involves the forced assimilation of Native Americans, who were required to attend government-funded boarding schools and forbidden to speak their traditional languages. As of 2014, only 154 of the roughly 300 original Native American languages are still spoken.
Cultural assimilation also occurs when immigrants voluntarily adopt their new country's language and cultural practices to integrate into society and improve their chances of economic and social gain. Social acceptance is often easier for groups whose culture and appearance more closely resemble those of the majority group. Though Italian and Irish immigrants to the United States were originally looked down on by Americans of English descent, they were eventually absorbed into the dominant white culture. Second- and third-generation children of immigrants from Asian countries, on the other hand, continue to experience stereotypes that mark them both as a "model minority" and "forever foreigners," which are groups that have severe difficulty fully integrating into mainstream U.S. society.
The counterpart to cultural assimilation is multiculturalism, in which cultural diversity is encouraged and valued as beneficial to society.Learn More
A modern example of cultural diffusion is the ubiquity of Latin food in American cooking. Enchiladas, tacos, guacamole and salsa are cultural products that originated in Latin American cuisine and diffused into American cooking as the Latin American population increased in the United States. An additional example is the popularity of sushi in America. Cultural diffusion simply refers to the transfer or movement of one cultural trait or product from its society of origin to a new society or societies.Full Answer >
A cultural pattern develops through a society's perception, interpretation, response and expression to its surrounding environment. In some cultures, sexual activity between a man and his intended wife's sister is permissible in preparation for upcoming nuptials. Cultural patterns are examples of adaptive behavior.Full Answer >
An example of cultural integration is the remaking of foreign films for American audiences. For example, the 2007 film "The Departed" is a remake of the Chinese film "Infernal Affairs." Other examples of cultural integration include American restaurants such as McDonald's opening branches in foreign countries such as Japan and foreign films playing in American theaters.Full Answer >
Culture is a complex phenomenon that incorporates nearly all aspects of the experience shared by human beings, and it is culture that dictates the social expectations humans must adhere to in order to belong to their social group. In order to participate in a culture, it is necessary to adhere to the behaviors dictated by that culture.Full Answer >