Advocating for Integration: Acculturation in a Non-profit Serving Immigrants Organization

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SPACE: Student Perspectives About Civic Engagement, Vol: 3, Issue: 1, Page: 2

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Calderon, Daniel
Acculturation; Immigrants; Integration; Non-profit organization; ESL; Service-learning project; Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education; Language and Literacy Education; Service Learning; Social Psychology and Interaction
article description
This paper presents acculturation practices in a non-profit, serving immigrants organization in a Midwestern city in the United States. Although the programs and services offered at this organization become pertinent vis-à-vis the welfare of the immigrants, their expected outcomes seem to foment the Americanization of the organization’s clients.Through a critical examination, certain services and practices within this organization respond to a unidirectional process of acculturation, in which the immigrants turn out to be the ones who have to acquire certain sociocultural and linguistic repertoires for them to adapt and fit in the U.S. mainstream society.The utilization of the concept of Integration within the lens of acculturation, and the proposal of a service-learning project, emerge as a response to promote a bidirectional acculturation, bicultural integration, understanding and learning between immigrants and the mainstream community.