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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Understanding cultural experiences: a qualitative study of Kenyans in America
Author:Zolnikov, Tara Rava
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Geographic term:United States
Abstract:Socialization is the lifelong process of learning beliefs, norms, and values socially expected by members of a society or a particular social group. Socialization encourages individuals to learn their culture and naturally reproduce it. Socialization may be altered when an individual enters a different society. This study used a phenomenological approach to understand experiences and adapted or preserved cultural traits of Kenyans in America. Socialization aspects and agents change when Kenyans move to America. Kenyans experienced difficult transitions with food, diet, time, community, language, leisure, work schedules, financial duties, stereotyping, and racism while living in America. The most significant difficulties occur within the first year and then aspects of American culture are slowly adopted. Independent religious values, time, clothing style, individuality, heavy work schedules, and English language capabilities become second nature to Kenyans living in America for more than a year, whereas diet, timing of meals, and experienced stereotyping and racism appeared unlikely transitions even after living in America for a year or more. With increased African immigration to the USA, a larger population of Kenyans will likely experience similar cultural experiences; as a result, potential adverse health effects may result from maladaptive adaptation. This research provides evidence of an increased need for diversity recognition and community outreach and awareness throughout America. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]