Factors in Berry’s Model

Group-Level (Macro-Level) Factors

Society of Origin

The combined political, economic, and demographic conditions being faced by individuals in their society of origin need to be studied as a basis for understanding the migration motivation of immigrated individuals. Using original Chinese resource materials, Orleans (1988) has contributed to the understanding of Chinese policies and practices on foreign study by exploring several overall issues—such as China’s concern about a “brain drain” as more Chinese students decide to stay in the United States. Additionally, the cultural characteristics need description to establish cultural features for comparison with the society of settlement as a basis for estimating the cultural distance. Samovar and Porter (1991) cited the United States and China as an example of nations with maximum cultural distance.

Society of Settlement

Both the historical and attitudinal situation faced by migrants in society of settlement need to be investigated. What are those general orientations a society and its citizens have toward immigration and pluralism? Does the society take steps to support the continuation of cultural diversity as a shared communal resource (e.g., multicultural curricula in schools)?

The discriminating features of the host society, such as ethnic composition, extent of cultural pluralism, and salient attitudes toward ethnic and cultural out-groups, are important. Wang (1992) noted that the culture and ethnic relations in a modern society characterized by rapid acculturation and group identity disintegration hold true for America. Yeh (2000) reported that Chinese international students expressed that they lacked the same kind of resources as US students. Their experiences of being subjected to a marginal status and limited resources generated great anxiety about their future in the US.

Group-Level Acculturation

Group-level acculturation means that migrant groups usually change substantially as a result of living with two sets of cultural influences. Economic changes can involve a general loss of status or new employment opportunities for the group. Social changes might range from estranged old communities to new friendship or network. Cultural changes range from superficial changes in dresses or food to deeper ones such as language shifts, religious conversions, and value system changes.

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