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What Is the Definition of Cultural Integration?

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Quick Answer

Cultural integration is the blending of two or more different cultures that happens without one of the cultures sacrificing the characteristics that make it unique. The exchanges include a culture's popular beliefs, rituals and practices.

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What Is the Definition of Cultural Integration?
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Full Answer

Cultural integration is considered to be a positive thing. This is because it doesn't involve taking anything away from one culture. This type of integration lets people from different cultures blend their beliefs and their rituals into a cohesive new unit without giving up anything. Times to find cultural integration in practice include when people from one culture move into a culturally different community, when people from different cultures marry or when people from different cultures work together. The times when cultural integration is seen as negative include times when it is a forced situation. Forced integration leads to a watered-down effect for one or both cultures.

Cultural Integration in a Community
When people move to a new country or community, they have to start finding a place in the new society. That's achieved by integration, according to the Migration Policy Institute. In order for this type of cultural integration to be successful, everyone has a role to play. The person moving to the new community has to be prepared to adapt. Existing community members need to be open to learning about and understanding the culture of the new community members. Institutions provide support and educational opportunities to support the blending of cultures, so the existing community members don't feel threatened by the incoming culture. This also helps ensure the incoming community members don't experience culture shock during the transition to a new place. The host government also plays an important role in ensuring the success of a new community member's cultural integration. When entering a new community, people need support in regard to housing, employment opportunities and access to the local educational system.

Cultural integration in Marriages
Cultural integration in marriages occurs when people marry outside their faith, race or when marrying someone from a different region. The University of Florida, IFAS Extension noted in 2015, that 37 percent of people marry outside their faith and 10 percent of American marriages are between people from different races. Marital partners from different cultures face five main stressors to address in order to achieve cultural integration within the relationship. The first set of stressors are differences in how each partner views the world. Negativity coming from outside the marriage, such as from family members and society is the next stressor. The way each partner communicates is a third potential pitfall that might need to be addressed to create a cohesive family unit. If the spouses have different religious and ethnic beliefs, that is a fourth issue that affects integration. Partners might also pretend the differences don't exist rather than working to integrate differences to create balance. This causes them to have a harder time achieving a sense of balance and cultural integration.

Cultural Integration in Work Settings
Cultural integration in a workplace setting makes it easier for everyone to work together, as noted by Mighty Recruiter. This type of integration helps to close the gap between worker's cultures. It benefits a company's brand by creating an environment of workplace diversity. It's more comfortable for both current and new workers when differences are embraced as part of a company's culture.

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