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Outline Of The Sociocultural Effects Of Migration Social Work Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 1850 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Migration is a kind of movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions. But some time it creates problem for migrants and for the host country both. International migration is a common thing now days. People are moving for better living but they have to face much cultural and social diversity. It is not possible for all to adopt new culture easily and sometime for some migrants it is impossible to adjust in new social environment and in that situation they are spending very short time in that country. The migrants for whom it is difficult to live in unbearable environment they are moving to some other country or sometime they return to their homeland. But in some situations migrants cannot return back to their home countries due to some financial problem or family barriers. Then they are trying to adjust themselves in new environment. Migrants remain one of the most vulnerable social groups in any country, and women are particularly vulnerable to underpayment, sexual abuse and heavy workloads. The main aim of this paper is to highlight the social problems and social adjustment of the migrants in different areas or countries generally.. The paper concedes that although migration is not the ideal solution to come out from problems, it is an important rout to go for a better life.

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The paper is presented in three sections, starting with the basic problems of migrants in which access to finance and to support services, language barrier, limited business management and marketing skills, low wage, cultural diversity and social adjustment is included. This is followed by a discussion on effects of migration on family structure which includes support of family, settlement of family, education of children, proper housing and social security. The last and main part of the paper provides social problems of immigrants in which poverty, acculturation, education, housing, employment and social functionality is discussed.


Language Barrier

Basic problem of the immigrant is language barriers. So many problems arise due to language difference. They cannot get good job due to language barrier Migrant and the resident cannot communicate each other regarding important matters. It also affects health care. A survey conducted by Rand A. David and Michelle Rhee proved that language barrier has the great effect on migrant’s health because they cannot communicate with doctors. They cannot understand the prescription given by doctor. They say “language barriers between patient and physician impact upon effective health care.” (David. A.R and R. Michelle, 1998, p. 393). Another survey by Charlotte M. Wright proved that language barrier is the problem for patient and doctor both. (W. M. Charlotte,1983). A study by Seonae Yeo proved that difference between health care providers and patients increasingly impose barriers to health care (Y. Seonae, 2004, p. 60).

Language is the barrier which separates immigrants from native, both socially and economically. On the social side, immigrants more visibly foreigners due to lack of speaking skill or language barrier then they are easily discriminated by natives. On the economic side, weak language skills probably reduce productivity and therefore increase the immigrant-native earning gap. Strong language skills can increase the range and quality of job that immigrants can get (B. Hoyt 2003, p.1).

Language barriers badly affect the earning skills, educational attainment, social interaction and cultural behavior of immigrants.

Limited Business, Management and Marketing Skills

1.4 Low Wages

1.5 Cultural Diversity

Behavior of immigrants is always different because of their different cultural values. Cultural values are always different in different countries and people who are migrating; they have to adopt the culture of host country. But some time immigrants neither could nor accept some of cultural values of host country. The reason can be religious diversity or social system.

Social Adjustment

When immigrants come in different countries to work and live among the local people, they are bound to influence the original inhabitants by bringing in new habits, new thoughts, and a new outlook on life. Likewise, the inhabitants may influence the immigrants by the social usage of the community. The interaction between the immigrants and the local people naturally bring about various types of social change. (Chen. T, 1947, p. 62)

Intercultural adjustment

Berry and Sam (1997) have identified six types of individuals that need to deal with the issues concerning intercultural adjustment. Migrant groups that have intercultural contact voluntarily, for example, involve ethnocultural groups; permanent migrants involve immigrants, and temporary migrants involve sojourners. Migrants with involuntary contact with new cultures include indigenous peoples; permanent groups involve refugees, and temporary groups involve asylum seekers. ()

Irregular Migration

Irregular migration is the major problem for migrants and for the receiving communities both. Some irregular migrants lose their lives in transit, while all face difficult conditions after arrival. Receiving community may have inadequate resources to accommodate the needs of large number of undocumented persons. They are the most vulnerable populations. They receive low pay, have little or no access to health care and face limited educational opportunities. (T. David and G. Julia, p.31)


Women are playing main role in the family. They need to pay much attention toward home and family for better environment of home. But after migration a woman get more rights in different environment like in Europe. An Asian woman can get more opportunity of work in Europe or UK than her own country. So she can move easily and work easily in new environment. Dr Priya Deshingkar wrote in her paper that:

“More women are migrating for work independently and not only to accompany their husbands. This so-called “autonomous female migration” has increased because of a greater demand for female labour in certain services and industries, and also because of growing social acceptance of women’s economic independence and mobility. In fact, the feminization of migration is one of the major recent changes in population movements.” (D. Priya, p.33)

Under the conditions of immigration, the husband loses his role of a breadwinner at least initially while the wife continues to take responsibility for running family affairs. As a result, resettlement workers often find that women adjust better and faster while their husbands often lapse into depression and become demoralized, angry, and complaining. This behavior puts a serious strain on the marital relationship, especially if the couple had experienced problems before. (B. Irene, p. 128)

If we see the family by this point of view in which a woman play an important role and she can make her home life better than support to a family is the sole duty of husband.


2.2 Settlement of Family

In family structure there are some important factors which matters a lot for family adjustment and settlement. These factors are family composition, existing marital problems, age , type of occupation, and expectations of each other by family members and of their new life in the host country. (B. Irene, p.127)

2.3 Education of Children

2.4 Proper Housing

2.5 Social Security

The immigrants become increasingly anxious, confused and tense when they are meeting with their caseworkers. These emotional changes occur when they begin to deal with the task of daily living: looking for an apartment, enrolling children in school, learning the basics of job hunting, etc. These tasks are new and frightening and trigger extreme emotional reactions. (B. Irene, p. 125). They feel lack of sense of social security due to these emotional changes.


3.1 Poverty

Whether or not migration is poverty reducing. Migrants travel and lives under very difficult conditions. Poor immigrants usually stay in slums or even less secure accommodation. Even those who earn reasonable amounts face constant threats of deportation, disease, sexual abuse, underpayment and police harassment. (D. Priya, p. 33)

3.2 Acculturation

Acculturation is a critical factor to understand when examining the process of cultural adjustment and adaptation for Asian Americans (Birman, 1994; Liu et al., 1999). Specifically, acculturation refers to the manner in which individuals negotiate two or more cultures. It is assumed that one culture is dominant while the other culture is perceived to have less cultural value (Berry, 1995; La Fromboise, Coleman, & Gerton, 1993). Ward and Kennedy (1994) differentiated between the culture of origin, which is referred to as the national culture, and the culture of contact, which is referred to as the host culture. (Y. J Christine, P. 35)

The first scientists to study acculturation were sociologists and anthropologists, interested in group-level changes following migration. The first definition of acculturation was proffered by Redfield, Linton, and Herskovits (1936): (J.R Fones and P. Karen, p. 216)

“Acculturation comprehends those phenomena, which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns of either or both groups.” (J.R Fones and P. Karen, p. 149)

Acculturation is defined as “culture change that is initiated by the conjunction of two or more autonomous cultural systems. …” (Social Science Research Council, 1954, p. 974). Graves (1967) has coined the term ‘psychological acculturation’ to refer to the changes that an individual experiences as a result of being in contact with other cultures. (L. Angeliki, 2001, p. 35)

3.3. Education

3.4 Housing

3.5 Employment

Many countries around the world are turning to international migration to solve their labor shortage problems. They are hiring cheap International labor to solve their social and educational expenditure and also solve the problem of keeping their cultural intact.

3.6 Social Functionality

Among the many losses suffered by immigrants, one of the most devastating for many is the loss of their social status. In their own countries like in soviet Union, social status -education, occupation, position- is the main source of feelings of self-worth and identity. For professionals especially, the loss of social status may be very threatening and demoralizing. (B. Irene, p. 125)



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