With the United States being a very diverse country, we still have a unified culture. Culture is the learned and shared ways of believing and doing with a society. It provides us skills, habits, and styles which are passed from generation to generation. As a complex society, we have many subcultures in the U.S., which are segments of the larger culture. They have their own beliefs and values which they carry from their own cultures. Conversely, many subcultural groups also participate and engage in the behaviors of the dominant culture. As we know, language is part of culture. It has an impact on subcultural groups within a larger society who struggle to keep their language. For instance, many Somali children, when they move to the U.S, end up speaking American English more fluently than the language of their culture simply because the U.S culture surrounds them most of the time. Not only does the dominant culture influence on language, but it also dominates subcultural values, mores, and folkways.
Although there is a huge immigrant population in this country, I would say when it comes resocializing, some immigrants can adapt easily. Resocialization, the process of leaving old behavior behind and accepting the new life changes they’re undergoing is easy for some, while others, like refugees, take time to go through this process. This is simply because some immigrants may come into this country for different reason: education, business, or vacation. These kinds of immigrants tend to experience fewer traumas compared to refugees who are vulnerable, having undergone rigorous situations in their countries. My mom, for example, after living three years in Lansing, is still having trouble transforming herself and taking on some of the behaviors of the U.S.. Language is an issue for her. Even though she has transformed by adhering to some of the norms and values of this country, she wouldn’t have even followed these without being told by her children to do so. The language barrier has kept her from getting a job since English is the only language used in the larger society. This problem has explicitly resulted from the lack of resocialization and driver’s license. Addition, she is not able to go to a doctor’s appointment without an interpreter. By accepting new transitions and social relationships, resocialization changes individuals from their old behaviors and way of life to the new patterns.
Another problem associated with subcultures is ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism can lead to bad things for many different reasons. It often puts down a certain group or culture. Subcultural groups can feel ethnocentric when they have to learn the language of the bigger society. In addition, following their norms and values has been prioritized. Ethnocentrism also leads a group to thinking they are righteous and better than other groups. This happens at my workplace when working with some employees from the dominant culture. I had small talk one day with one of my coworker and come up with one of the norms of culture to compare with another from the large culture. I felt he implicitly preferred the norms of that subculture. Sometimes ethnocentrism does not have a negative impact, rather it has advantages. For instance, it can create patriotism. Even though we consist of different societies with different beliefs, values, norms, and knowledge, we still have common norms, values and symbols that bring us together. For instance, the flag symbolizes unity and shows love of the country and obedience to the rules and regulations. The flag encourages people to be patriotic for the country whether an individual is from the dominant culture or subculture.