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Modern Challenges of Immigrants

In modern society, people can change their residence and work several times, which is necessary for personal life success and is dictated by economic trends. To secure a better life for themselves, often fleeing the traumatic effects of war, civil unrest, or natural disaster, immigrants risk being subject to various forms of abuse and rights violations. In this regard, the main challenges faced by immigrants are assimilation patterns, acculturation, prejudice, discrimination, and dominant-minority group relations.

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Immigrants are expected to completely dissolve in the host country’s population and abandon everything that in any way distinguishes from it, which can cause internal conflict among the immigrant. In turn, acculturation is a process of changing material culture, customs, and beliefs through direct contact and mutual influence of different socio-cultural systems. Since acculturation is based on the communication process, the first apparent stressful encounter is the new language. Contact with a different culture and a new, albeit slightly familiar, but not native language leads to a more or less pronounced mental commotion- culture shock.

Host community representatives are guided by popular stereotypes and prejudices in society, projecting them onto immigrants. Liu et al. (2018) state the importance of such socio-cultural factors in forming stereotypes towards migrants by representatives of host communities as belonging to particular citizenship, ethnic characteristics, cultural and linguistic affinity, and historical memory. Thus, stereotypes often hinder communication since they interfere with identifying individual features, reinforce erroneous ideas about representatives of another group, and are built on distortions.

Moreover, immigrants face discrimination in education, economic and social opportunities, and even finding housing and work. Colella and King (2018) note that they have to accept low-paying jobs, short-term contracts are signed with them and they are employed in dirty, dangerous, and unpopular jobs among the indigenous population. Discriminatory practices contribute to immigrants’ social stratification, destabilizing social and interethnic relations. Social contact with the local population plays a significant role in affecting immigrants’ general adaptation and satisfaction. According to Holmes (2020), immigrants who have chosen a dispersed settlement more successfully adapt and actively interact with the indigenous people compared with those who settled compactly. Thus, immigrants face many difficulties, including assimilation patterns, acculturation, prejudice, discrimination, and dominant-minority group relations.

References

Colella, A. & King, E.B. (2018). The Oxford Handbook of workplace discrimination. Oxford University Press.

Holmes, R. M. (2020). Cultural psychology: Exploring culture and mind in diverse communities. Oxford University Press.

Liu, S., Volcic, Z. & Gallois, C. (2018). Introducing intercultural communication: Global cultures and contexts. SAGE Publications.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 23). Modern Challenges of Immigrants. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/modern-challenges-of-immigrants/

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Modern Challenges of Immigrants'. 23 October.

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