Essay on Cultural Diversity : A Nation Of Immigrants

Essay on Cultural Diversity : A Nation Of Immigrants

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The United States has been described as a “Nation of Immigrants,” as a “mosaic,” or, more traditionally, as a “melting pot” of cultures. In fact, cultural diversity is a common thread in the fabric of American society. Culture, meaning how a group functions in society, or has been defined as: ...multiple influences, including race, ethnicity, nationality, language, and gender, but it also extends to socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, and occupation, among other factors. These influences can collectively be described as ‘socio-cultural factors,’ which shape people’s values, form their belief systems, and motivate their behaviors.
Each culture has distinctive dietary and food beliefs as well as consumption habits, but to the overall culture, food and diet play an important, unique role. “Food plays an important role in the Latino/ Hispanic culture. In some Latino/Hispanic cultures, a good meal will be balanced with food and herbs by “hot” and “cold” types. Those who eat foods whose temperatures are wrong for them can get sick. A good appetite is associated with good health (Cultural Insights…p. 16).” The traditional diet of each culture reflects the geographic location of the country and food availability in terms of vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and dairy sources. Foods mainly consumed in the traditional Mexican/Mexican American diet, which is rich in complex carbohydrates and proteins, include: beans, rice, bread, corn and corn byproducts, breads, eggs, seafood (fish, shell fish), pork, and poultry. The diet is indicative of a “blend of pre-Columbian, indigenous Indian, Spanish, French” influences (Cultural Diversity, pg. 1). Popular dishes include a spicy pork sausage known as chorizo...


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... apart from each other in the U.S. is their place in the acculturation process.
The term “acculturation” refers to how much, and how quickly they adapt to another culture while maintaining their own cultural attitudes, beliefs, and values. Their ability to speak English varies drastically, depending on where they are in the acculturation process. Some researchers believe that acculturation into the American mainstream could, in some cases, lead to a decrease in health-promoting behaviors carried over from an immigrants’ country of origin. Furthermore, these researchers believe the longer an immigrant child lives in the United States, the higher the chance to adopt the behaviors and values of their new environment. However, this includes adopting the good and bad behaviors in today’s society. The majority of this group’s religion is that of the Roman Catholic faith.

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