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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>