Institute of Applied Psychology

This is an aplication of psychology to life


Valeri Belianine
(a plan for lectures delivered in the Spring-Autumn of 2002 in Culture Link)


1.1. Definitions and types: Emigration / Immigration
1.2. Departure from / entry to another culture or country
1.3. Recent vs. remote (e.g. Hispanic immigrants have come to North America recently as compared with African-Americans who were brought to this continent long ago.)
1.4. Forced vs. voluntary
1.5. There is temporary immigration and permanent immigration. Most of newcomers come to Canada as permanent immigrants, though some of them go to USA afterwards.
1.6. Length of time since immigration: you become more aware of your possibilities
1.7. Acculturation / Adaptation / Assimilation
1.8. Acculturation: the process of accepting new knowledge and some values from another culture. Acculturation literally means "to move toward a culture"
1.9. The main factors that affect acculturation is
1.10. Prior level of cultural competence. One should be open-minded. One should be able to accept different points of view.
1.11. Adaptation is more than acculturation. The immigrant should have positive perception of life in a new country and be ready to adapt to its norms, to live according to them.
1.12. Adaptation means alterations (changes) in behavior that will result in functioning in a new environment.
1.13. Assimilation: the process of becoming a full member of a culture or society
1.14. Different groups strive for different levels of assimilation
1.15. High assimilation example: European immigrants to US and Canada are easily losing their identity, they blend into the new society.
1.16. Low assimilation example: Latino families in US and Canada/
2. Bilingualism / Biculturalism / Multiculturalism. Bilingualism (mastering two or more languages).
2.1. Biculturalism: Having two cultural identities, or a single cultural identity that is an integration/blending of two or more cultures.
2.2. Multiculturalism = diversity of cultures.
2.3. What is Canadian food? American hamburger with maple Indian syrup?
2.4. Melting pot (USA) ’! mosaic (Canada) = metaphor.
2.5. “Charter of Rights and Freedoms” (Canafda, 1982) Equity: ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, class.

3.1. Language / Language Skills // Culture // Religion
3.2. The acquisition of the language of the host country is vital.
3.3. reading + listening ++ writing + speaking E.g. Chinese read better, than listen.
3.4. What is easier: to speak or to listen?
3.4.1. The pronunciation and the spelling, grammar rules, the vocabulary. And the idioms and colloquial expression.
3.4.2. Besides language literacy there exists functional literacy: yu should be able to fill in the Canadian documents. You may know the language but there are certain rules which are besided language rules.
3.5. The accent and poor knowledge of grammar may be understood as lack of professionalism.
3.6. If someone does not understand what is said they may lose a job opportunity.
4. Linguistics shock
4.1. Your name may be not good enough for the new environment
4.1.1. (Chinese got used to having another Europeans name)
4.2. e.g. I have English version and French version of my name and my signature was in my native language. I am mixing them sometimes. Besides, my name “Valery” is mostly feminine in Canada. I am calling myself Val.
4.3. Paralinguistic features of speech, such as speed of speech. Canadians speak very quickly.
4.4. Language is part of culture. Names, titles of the books, dates of historic events, formulas of politeness, topics of small talk, taboos – all this is language too.
4.5. I mean the lack of knowledge of the language is combined with the lack of knowledge of the code system of a culture.
5. Culture / Intercultural Skills
5.1. Canadian society is developing an increasingly respectful attitude towards different cultures and traditions. Almost everywhere in Canada immigrants see cultural diversity and they feel comfortable.
5.2. They may even live in a condominium where everybody speaks their native language. If they want.
5.3. And this positive attitude is not only evident in national declarations, but is really everywhere.
5.4. Time management. You should not be late here in Canada.
5.4.1. E.g. a person have received a call from a company and thy asked him: “Can you start working tomorrow?” He answered: “I shall call you back soon”. And then he called somewhere about the shoes with metal plates. And then he called back to the company. But the position was already taken. He lost the job. Things are going here sometimes too fast.
5.5. Rules and restrictions
5.6. Parking rules. P ’! crossed = in the future = forward. = 150 CDN.
6. Culture shock
6.1. for some immigrants from Europe it is a shock to see so many immigrants from other countries. Because on the international arena Canada is still more white (White American S Protestants)
6.2. private land (private lake shore, private forest)
6.3. French as an official language
6.4. Turning on red signal right
6.5. Riding on the right side of the road instead of moving along the left (as in English colonies:), etc..
7. Religion is not a barrier in Canada. You can practice any religion in case it does not prevent you from working for example on Friday.
7.1. Education and qualification. Objective difficulties.
7.1.1. NOC = National Occupational Classification. You should know that there are 4 figures::
7.1.2. 1-st stands for
7.1.3. 2-nd is for
7.1.4. 3-rd is for
7.1.5. 4-th is for
7.2. Socio-economic class = the amount of money people earn. New Canadians are starting a new life and they are not so rich as other people. This is a fact.
7.3. Status of the immigrant = landed immigrant. You don’t have Canadian passport.
7.4. Once I was asked: “Where did you come from?” I said honestly: “From Russia”. No,- was the answer. “Where from Toronto are you?”. “Oh, I see. East York”. Seems nobody is interested where did you really come from.
7.5. some immigrants still say “In my country we did such and such things….”. The questions are “What is your country?” “Who are “We””? = Loss of identity.
7.6. Information
7.6.1. How to use TTC
7.6.2. Where to go on holidays? and even
7.6.3. When are the holidays?
7.6.4. e.g. there is a holiday “Boxing Day” in December ­ ­­­– One new Canadian said: “I am not a fan of boxing. I don’t like sport”. And he missed the opportunity of buying something that he does not need but for very low price.

8.1. Education and The Job Market
8.2. Both the migrants and experts generally agree that the chances of migrants’ climbing the social ladder are much lower than average.
8.3. Migrant children are still under-performing at a disproportionate level. At the beginning.
9. Speaking about job market I should say that data show that a certain level of discrimination still exists in recruitment policies. In some schools, for example.
9.1. There is general agreement that migrants are often employed in jobs which they are over-qualified. And this is a source of frustration as well. A lot of newcomers with higher education have to make assessment of their documents and even take some courses which are very expensive.
9.2. Hidden job market = networking
9.3. Isolation
9.4. One of the problems the young migrants most frequently encountered, is the lack of adequate information and communication channels. They have a strong need for places in which to meet people. The feeling of marginalisation and loneliness may prevail. Newcomers need to be encouraged. That is my point.
10. (Book)
10.1. This isolation is "social" and can be ascribed to the general condition of the immigrant.
10.2. Opportunities and possibilities of newcomers are really reduced.
10.3. Immigrants encounter many difficulties in communication. It is a well-documented fact. And it is well-known that “the psychological health of strangers is directly linked to their ability to communicate and the accompanying functional fitness in the host society".
10.4. The ability to communicate here has not only linguistic meaning (not solely in terms of language). There is the need to communicate not only informatively but in a human way as well.
11. Experienced trauma
11.1. For example there is data for SE Asian refugees: 40% of them suffered from depression, 35% from anxiety, and 14% from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Certainly it is more difficult for them to adapt to new life.
11.2. Mental health crisis
12. Aggression
12.1. Although it is not often mentioned directly, the theme of aggression is ever-present as an underlying issue of emigration. Certainly mostly there are subtle forms of aggression experienced, for example those caused by communication problems or cultural misunderstandings. Aggression is experienced in two types
12.2. as an external, threatening force, because a person may feel aggression from outside.
12.3. And also aggression is an internal drive caused by frustrating experiences or emotional discomfort. A person may be aggressive himself.
12.4. I hope it is not the issue in our group. Here and Now.
12.5. Aggression is sometimes provoked by frustration which is caused by
12.6. Dependence – including economic dependence – and this factor is strongly operative in the case of immigrants.
12.7. But not here and now when you feel comfortable and relaxed.
13. Social and Political Participation
13.1. Immigrants are deprived of political life of their country and they are not able to participate in the new life for some period. (3 years).
13.2. [Leaflet = not for me]

14.1. Pre-departure phase
14.2. An emigrant is losing a lot: relatives, friends, neighbors, houses, job
15. Euphoric period
15.1. Hopes and Expectations
16. 3.1.3. Gaining – new prospects, new status, new challenges
17. Mental health crisis
17.1. Longer time shows less relation between stress and depression
17.2. Distress and dissatisfaction at difficulties encountered
17.3. Depression, somatization, phobia and low self-esteem
17.4. Coming to terms
17.5. <table of rollercoaster>

18.1. I may give you some recommendations are drawn up for the migrants
18.2. Information / Orientation
18.3. Look for information
18.4. Read newspapers (“Metro today” is free, some newspapers after 5 p.m. are free as well. Take one.)
18.5. talk to people of your origin. Ask them for help. Do not be desperate. Do not be pushing. Do not expect them to help you. Just ask for some assistance.
18.6. Education. Think of education for yourself and your children (if any).
18.7. Or start your own business. The less you know the better. You may always hire a professor (like me:)
18.8. Education institutes should provide tailored programmes, or even support courses for immigrants of different cultural background. Teachers should be better versed in multicultural education and in order to be able to promote equal opportunities.
18.9. Participate in cultural life: go to museums (Royal Museum of Canada has free Friday evenings with concerts).
18.10. Never give up searching for employment or a better job. Nobody knows the future.
18.11. Think of becoming a volunteer for some time.
18.12. Decisions for problems, stress-management.
18.13. Make your thinking positive. Understand yourself.
18.14. Think of what you have, and not of what you do not have.
18.15. But do not be satisfied with what you have.
18.16. There are no problems, only targets.
18.17. e.g. Barriers may be called Areas for Improvement
18.18. When you are asked: “How are you?” Answer: “Fine!” This is not a question. It is a ritual. A game. Play the game.
19. What color is the parachute?
19.1. It is no mater what color is our parachute
19.2. We have landed safe.
19.3. And we are alive.
19.4. And we are going to live a happy life.
20. Good luck!

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