Immigration Identity: Acculturation and Complex Mental Status

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Immigration is a complex process that results in a transformation of identity. Depending on contextual, individual, and societal differences this transformation can have either positive or detrimental results. Initially, the immigrant will be faced with an intense culture shock while settling into a new country. During this time, cognitive functioning becomes increasingly jumbled amidst the new context, resulting in immense identity confusion. This process of acculturation involves two specific issues regarding identity for each individual. These two issues include the delicate balance between remaining ethnically distinct by retaining their cultural identity and the desire to maintain positive relations with the new society. A variety of…show more content…
As they settled in, the Ivasku family couldn't help but notice how much they stood out. At the time, Akron was the most densely populated it had ever been, and due to their low socioeconomic status, the family moved into one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. The majority of the city was comprised of people of African American descent, and due to their lack of experience in diversity, the Ivasku family experienced an intense culture shock (Meiller 2014). Back in Serbia, they were used to living on a farm in an area where everyone else was like them, Serbian. They never experienced people of a different skin tone or people that had separate cultural values and customs from them. Further, this drastic change from living on a farm to living in a residential city area was an added source of frustration and change. In addition, the Ivasku family had to adjust to an entirely new set of values in the United States. In Serbia, they focused entirely on their farm and their family, adhering to primitive-like tendencies such as physical labor, cooking with fire, and bathing in tubs outside (Meiller 2014). In the United States, they now had to adjust to consumerist values and technological advancements. In life, even small changes to a person's life can have adverse effects on mental status, for example low amounts of stress, anxiety, and possibly small amounts of depression.

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