Do you agree or disagree with the author’s posture on “Acculturation”? What are some things that you like in the article or things that offered a different perspective? Was the subject matter sufficiently covered by the author?

 

From article: Lara, M., Gamboa, C., Kahramanian, M. I., Morales, L. S., & Hayes-Bautista, H. B. (2005). Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review Public Health, 26, 367–397. I agree with the author’s posture on acculturation. According to the author acculturation is the acquisition of the cultural elements of the dominant society-language, food choice, dress, music, sports, (Lara, 2005, p.369). The author states that in order for assimilation to occur acculturation has to take place. I agree with the author’s posture in that in order to be accepted into a dominant white society as a minority you must be fall into acculturation. For example, as an African-American female I had a predominant Caucasian circle of friends. People from my high school would label me as white, not because of my skin or physical features, but because I talked properly, listened to similar music, and dressed the same as my white counterparts. This is a prime example of acculturation in the American culture. Because the American culture is set by the cultural norms of Caucasians it is considered being or acting white if you become acculturated, as a result I had more Caucasian friends than African American or other minorities. I can honestly state that I was seen as a sellout to some of my African American neighbors. Oftentimes this happens when to a minority that become acculturated and assimilated into the dominant society, and because of this they reject their minorities’ cultural traits.

There were many things that I liked in the article or offered a different perspective. The main thing that I found interesting was the topic of what acculturation is associated with in regards to negative health behaviors. According to the author acculturation can have effects such as illicit drug use, drinking, smoking, poor nutrition, and birth outcomes, (Lara, 2005). Upon reading this I thought now this explains a lot, I live in an area (Washington DC metropolitan area) which has a lot of different minority neighborhoods. However, within those neighborhoods I see a lot of drug and alcohol usage. It is possible that this is due to the lack of acculturation or because these minorities feel a sense of loss and depression over forsaking their cultural norms.

I think the subject matter was sufficiently covered by the author. A lot of times we as natural born Americans judge minorities specifically Latinos for their lack of assimilation, and this article gave me a better perspective of how a Latino could feel. In addition, from this article I was reminded of a text from Deuteronomy, You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt, (Deuteronomy 10:19, NIV). Instead of judging and forcing others to change their culture, we should accept them and welcome them.

References

Lara, M., Gamboa, C., Kahramanian, M. I., Morales, L. S., & Hayes-Bautista, H. B. (2005). Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review Public Health, 26, 367–397.

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