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Dominant Culture’s Influence on Immigrants

American society is characterized by a high degree of diversity that has led to various conflicts. Although it is acknowledged that the cooperation of people with different cultural backgrounds can be favorable for the development of society, groups are often unable to collaborate effectively due to polarization, the focus on their group’s needs, and the marginalization of minorities. Throughout American history, the dominant group (Europeans) used various strategies to marginalize different minority groups. For instance, they used military forces to marginalize indigenous peoples and forced Native Americans to give their lands in exchange for the protection of the federal government (Dunbar-Ortiz, 2018). Segregation was the instrument Whites utilized in the first part of the twentieth century to oppress African Americans (Coates, 2018). This paper dwells upon the influence of the dominant culture on immigrants with a focus on the case of Aaron.

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White privilege has become a widely discussed topic, but many groups still fail to understand its essence in the United States. DiAngelo (2018) notes that white people are often unaware of the privileges they enjoy and are often closed-minded and inattentive to the existing inequality. The dominant culture is often oppressing since minority groups are expected to assimilate and embrace the values shared by the majority. Clearly, in such an environment, immigrants feel neglected, oppressed, which has a substantial adverse impact on their mental health. Immigrants tend to face hostility as they are different in terms of their culture, language, skin color, and other characteristics. Minority groups, feeling this neglect and hostility, become reluctant and fearful of assimilating into the new society.

For instance, Aaron feels this neglect and finds it difficult to be fully involved in social life partially due to his status as an immigrant. His situation is complicated by his relationships with his family who also neglect him. Parents do not support their son and do not help him in assimilating and maintaining his cultural roots. When working with Aaron, it is important to make sure that his attitude towards his family will not become hostile. His family bonds can help him assimilate more effectively and, at the same time, maintain his cultural identity.

In order to help Aaron, it is necessary to employ the intersectional approach and pay attention to the complexity of gender, race, ethnicity. The use of this framework is instrumental in acknowledging and addressing oppression (Mattsson, 2014). Active listening is one of the primary skills to be utilized as a social worker should motivate such clients as Aaron to be more sincere and ready to share their feelings and concerns. It is also pivotal to be aware of Aaron’s cultural peculiarities to find the most effective strategies to help him. Since Aaron is trying to maintain his cultural groups, the social worker should help him achieve this goal, and use his cultural background for becoming an active member of American society.

In conclusion, the dominant culture in the United States is often oppressive for minority groups who have to address various issues. Social workers should be aware of the basics of group dynamics in this country to be able to assist immigrants to meet their needs. Aaron’s case shows that immigrants face diverse problems and can be even neglected in their own families. These people need support, and they also need to acquire some skills to solve the most urgent issues effectively. The reflection on the essence and peculiarities of oppression and group dynamics in the USA is one of the strategies social workers can employ to help such clients.


Coates, T. N. (2018). Letter to my son. In Adams, M. et al. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.) (pp. 132-138). Routledge Press.

DiAngelo, R. J. (2018). Mt class didn’t Trump my race: Using oppression to face privilege. In Adams, M. et al. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.) (pp. 138-146). Routledge Press.

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Dunbar-Ortiz, R. (2018). This land. In Adams, M. et al. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.) (pp. 82-87). Routledge Press.

Mattsson, T. (2014). Intersectionality as a useful tool: Anti-oppressive social work and critical reflection. Affiliate, 29(1), 8-17.

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