What Is the Definition of Cultural Integration?

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Cultural integration is the blending of two or more cultures. The culture may exchange their practices, beliefs, ideas and rituals. Integration is only possible when the cultures do not have to sacrifice the characteristics that make them unique. There's still a lot to learn about cultural integration, as you can see here.

Cultural Integration Is Beneficial

Cultural integration is largely positive. Integration benefits people in each culture because it doesn't take away from any of the cultures involved. People are allowed to blend their beliefs and ideas. They do not have to give up their culture.

In some situations, cultural integration can be negative. Integration is negative when it's forced. Forced integration leads to a culture that's watered-down, not full. The process needs time to help people develop the skills and comfort necessary to move forward. Additionally, people also may need to feel comfortable to blend their cultures.

When Cultural Integration Occurs

Cultural integration occurs all the time. It happens when somebody moves from one culture to a community with a different culture. Integration also occurs when two people from different cultures marry each other. Another example happens when people from two cultures work in the same office.

Of course, there are many other times when cultural integration occurs. It also happens on different levels.

Cultural Integration in Communities

Cultural integration often occurs when somebody moves to a new country or into a new community. They want to find a place they fit in when they move, so they integrate. In order for this kind of integration to be successful, everybody must adapt. Those who already live in the community must be open to the new community members. They need to want to understand the new member’s culture.

Some people feel threatened when new people move into the community. Different organizations offer support to prevent this problem. These organizations prevent culture shock.

Cultural Integration in Marriages

Marriage is another common reason for cultural integration. It happens when people marry someone from a different religion, race or country. People who marry those from other cultures may face several stressors in their relationships, but these stressors don't indicate that the marriage will not be successful. Couples can overcome them.

One of those stressors is world view, or someone’s perspective on the world. Another common stressor is negativity from family members or society, since some people may disapprove of the relationship. Communication styles are the third stressor. People from different cultures may have grown up with different communication expectations. Other issues are differences in religion and ethnicity. People with different rituals may expect their partners to take part.

Cultural Integration at Work

In the workplace, cultural integration makes collaboration easier. Employers can help close the gap between different cultures. Ultimately, this is great for the business because it allows diverse opinions. This can increase profits.

Difficulties with Cultural Integration

When people pretend differences don’t exist, integration is more difficult. The goal is to integrate the differences to create balance. Cultural integration also becomes more difficult when people struggle to communicate. Communication skills can help make integration easier. A workplace can host workshops to boost these skills, while therapists can help improve communication between couples.