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 Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>