Cultural adaptation is the process of an individual integrating into a new culture and feeling comfortable within the culture. A person in this position may encounter an array of emotions that are described in four different stages.
The different stages include the honeymoon, culture shock, recovery, and adjustment stages. Bicultural identity is an individual identifying with two different cultures while residing in; which can also be defined as biculturalism. Biculturalism is the presence of two different cultures in the same country or region. Biculturalism often represents the comfort and skill one possesses within their home culture and the culture of the country they have settled in. It is relevant to immigrants who have come from other countries, as well as the children of these immigrants. Although their children are born and raised in the adapted culture, they are significantly surrounded by their heritage culture at home with their families.
Biculturalism can also apply to individuals whom live in ethnic territories where their heritage culture is being maintained across generations (Hyun & Min-Sun, 2013).Influences of development of different modes of cultural adaptation When an immigrant migrates to a new country, or become part of a new culture there are ample surrounding resources available to help them adapt to their new-found culture. Although their family is not a reliable source of help especially if they are new to the culture as well, they can be a great support system considering they will be adapting to the culture as well. Family that is going through the migration with the individual will most likely influence the them to stick to their culture and move to a community that houses others of the same culture. If the individual chooses to live in a community in which the occupants are part of a different culture than their own, they can support them during the process of becoming aware of cultural beliefs, values, and norms. The community can also be a support system during the adaption process.
Why are influences of cultural adaptation important to social work practice?Culturally competent social work practice is high recognized in the profession and it is “deep-rooted” in core social work practice principles. Culturally competent social work strives to work within a client’s cultural background to address the many risks and protective factors. Cultural competency is a social work ethical decree and it possesses the potential for increasing the effectiveness of interventions by integrating the clients’ unique cultural assets. Culturally competent social work incorporates culturally based values, norms, and diverse ways of knowing (Mao & Liu, 2016). Influences of cultural adaptation is also important in social work practice because it can help the professional refer the individual to different services and groups they can benefit from during their transition into a new culture.