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 • • • • • • • • • Asian Americans: Hard workers Technical nerds Uncomplaining Docile Quiet A good labor source Highly qualified as scientists and engineers Not suitable for management positions • • • • • • • • African Americans: Lazy Passive Not as intelligent Emotional Not trustworthy Violent Devious • • • • • • • • • 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? • Assimilation decreases the fear of admitting a different race , gender, age classification etc. into a group which is obviously different. • 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. • Assimilation does not require that one denounces his own personal likes, dislikes or cultural heritage outside of the work setting. • Assimilation reflects a good will effort to become a team player. • Assimilation diminishes stress in the work environment. • Assimilation places emphasis on the corporation or group rather than the individual How Does History Play Into This? • • • • • 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. • Milton Bennett’s Development of Intercultural Sensitivity: • 1. Denial • 2. Defense • 3. Minimization • 4. Acceptance • 5. Adaptation • 6. Intergration Information Inundation Technique • 1. Match their speech and behaviors • • 2. Acknowledge and Spin it. • • 3. Find a connection. • 4. Communicate you bridge building potential. • 5. Make your difference a strength and show how you can or have adapted to a different working culture. • • • • 6. Stay positive and do not expose any negative body language. • 6. Maintain eye contact, lean forward, smile, keep you held up and slightly tilted to express keen interest. • 7. Make it a habit to constantly maintain a positive disposition and practice to enhance it. • 7. Make sure you present yourself as confident and positive about the aspect of working on this job. • 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.