Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diversity can only be seen as an opportunity

09.01.2009
Research looks into personal networks in Spain and United States

What kinds of personal relationships develop between immigrants and local inhabitants, and what changes take place between them? These questions are answered by researchers Isidro Maya-Jariego and Silvia Domínguez in a study published in the American Journal of Community Psychology.

Isidro Maya-Jariego, tenured professor of Social Psychology at the University of Seville, and Silvia Domínguez, assistant professor of Sociology at Boston’s Northeastern University, have carried out a novel study looking at acculturation processes, in other words the mutual exchanges that take place when two distinct cultures live together.

The study, divided into two parts, is novel because all research carried out to date in this field had focused on the changes and adaptation efforts made by the displaced population, but there had been little attention paid to the changes undergone by the local population, which accepts the newcomers. In other words, this is what happens “on the other side of the acculturation process, even when the groups do not live directly together”, Maya-Jariego tells SINC.

The first part of the study looks at the personal networks between immigrants and local inhabitants in Seville and Cádiz. In it, individuals living in Spain, but who are originally from Argentina, Ecuador, Germany and Italy, describe the links they have with their neighbours in Spain, with people in their native countries, and also with their compatriots living in Spain.

“We saw that members of the receptor community play a secondary role within the personal networks of the migrant population”, Maya-Jariego tells SINC, although he also pointed out that the data suggest that “this role changes with the passage of time”.

From Andalusia to Boston

The second part of the study was carried out in Boston, United States. The researchers examined personal networks with members of the receptor community, specifically those people who provide help and services to the Latino community. The objective of this was to analyse the impact of this continuous contact on these individuals, who Domínguez calls “bridges of integration”.

The impact of the Latino population on the Americans differed according to the amount of time the two groups spent together. Maya-Jariego says these differences make it possible to define different points in the process of acculturation.

“We can make the distinction between people who are ‘travellers’, ‘on the borders’ and ‘residents’. The first group is only temporarily exposed to Latino culture; the second is constantly exposed, and acts as an intermediary between the migrant minorities and the local majority, while the third group lives immersed within the Latino community,” says the social psychologist.

Latinos are a source of economic, social and cultural wealth for the life of the native population of Boston. “This is an impact that could also be true in other societies in which cultures live together, and is an example of how support for diversity can become a mechanism for confronting social problems,” say the authors.

The benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace are also important. “Intercultural groups are potentially more creative in terms of problem-solving than culturally homogenous ones”, and they are sometimes more effective too, says Maya-Jariego. Diversity, without doubt, “brings innovation and contributes to creativity and social and economic dynamism”, concludes the researcher.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>