Cultural Assimilation for Career Success

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Cultural Assimilation for Career
Success
Ollie Inez Taylor Ph.D., GCDF
[email protected]
Some Aspects of White Culture
1. Rugged individualism: The individual is the most important
societal unit.
1. People should take care of themselves; individual achievement
is most valued.
2. Nuclear Family: An “ideal” family is defined as two parents and
children.
2. Alternative family structures are considered deviant.
3. Rationalism: Mind, body, and emotions should be treated as
separate entities.
3. People who express emotions in rational situations are devalued.
4. Time: Time is perceived as a quantity.
5. European Aesthetics: Beauty is defined by European standards.
4. People are expected to save time, spend time, and perform on
time.
5. People cut, dye, and starve themselves to resemble the European
ideal of beauty.
6. Action Orientation: Everyone is responsible for what happens to
her/him and controls one’s own fate.
6. If people are homeless, it is because they want to be.
7. Universalism: The normative and best characteristics are defined
by European culture.
7. Introduction of multicultural curricula in schools necessarily
means a diluted education.
8. Competition: The society’s resources belong to the best.
8. Access to societal goods is determined by competition as
reflected in test scores.
9. Separate weeks, months, and so forth are needed to teach about
other groups.
9. History: The most important American history is White.
Stereotypes
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Asian Americans:
Hard workers
Technical nerds
Uncomplaining
Docile
Quiet
A good labor source
Highly qualified as scientists and engineers
Not suitable for management positions
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African Americans:
Lazy
Passive
Not as intelligent
Emotional
Not trustworthy
Violent
Devious
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Native Americans:
Lazy
Violent
Not motivated
Not academically inclined
Not independent
Not sociable
Too slow to speak up
Not really trying to be a team player
Why Assimilation?
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Assimilation decreases the fear of admitting a different
race , gender, age classification etc. into a group which is
obviously different.
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Assimilation shows that an applicant has studied the
culture of an organization and is willing to accommodate
or can easily fit into the work culture.
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Assimilation does not require that one denounces his
own personal likes, dislikes or cultural heritage outside
of the work setting.
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Assimilation reflects a good will effort to become a team
player.
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Assimilation diminishes stress in the work environment.
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Assimilation places emphasis on the corporation or
group rather than the individual
How Does History Play Into This?
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Fear of losing racial, social and religious identity caused
detrimental laws to be enacted against any threats of
change.
Guilt of having taken advantage of minorities to grant
opportunities for the majority led to prolific lies and
false stereotypes which demeaned fellow human beings,
enslaved millions, and corrupted honest acceptance and
equal value for all Americans.
Inhumane acts were committed, laws were changed to
prevent work opportunities, property was stolen,
education was denied and equal housing was
conveniently made inaccessible.
Our country was in a dilemma. What could we do with
people of color who had variant cultures languages and
values?
The leader of the free world was found to be not only
hypocritical in its treatment to its own citizens but also
imperialistic towards the rest of the world.
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Milton Bennett’s Development of
Intercultural Sensitivity:
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1. Denial
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2. Defense
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3. Minimization
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4. Acceptance
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5. Adaptation
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6. Intergration
Information Inundation Technique
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1. Match their speech and behaviors
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2. Acknowledge and Spin it.
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3. Find a connection.
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4. Communicate you bridge building potential.
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5. Make your difference a strength and show how you
can or have adapted to a different working culture.
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6. Stay positive and do not expose any negative body
language.
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6. Maintain eye contact, lean forward, smile, keep you
held up and slightly tilted to express keen interest.
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7. Make it a habit to constantly maintain a positive
disposition and practice to enhance it.
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7. Make sure you present yourself as confident and
positive about the aspect of working on this job.
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1. Interviews are often biased and difference in speech
patterns, grammar, etc. are expected. Don’t do this.
2. Openly profess to be who you are and then elaborate
on how you can easily adapt to multicultural situations.
3. Find a commonality of interests skills common
acquaintances , etc. with the interviewer
4. While using positive body language techniques, share
examples of past successes and interest in other
challenges.
5. Show how you have overcome transitioning yourself
Into a different environment.
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