Acculturation Experiences of the Ethiopian Diaspora in USA: The Case of Las Vegas, Nevada
Research findings indicate that migration from homeland is commonly associated with different kinds of acculturation problems. Other evidences indicate that migration is an opportunity for better life particularly when life at home is seriously negotiated. The third view holds that the outcome of migration is rather a function of the personal journey of the immigrant per se as well as the accommodative characteristics of the host country. Along these lines of arguments, the objective of this study was to assess the acculturation experiences of the Ethiopian Diaspora in Las Vegas. A total of 118 participants were drawn to constitute the sample from among the Ethiopian diaspora living in Las Vegas at the time of data collection. Both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interview) tools were used to generate data. The questionnaire constituted the ‘Acculturation Strategy Scale’ (Berry,2006), ‘Self-Evaluated Language Proficiency Scale’ (Marin and Gamba, 1996),‘Acculturative Stress Scale’(Mena et al. cited in Tafoya, 2011) and ‘Coping Scale’(Carver, 1997). Interview guide was developed and held with some immigrants to explore their acculturation experiences. Descriptive statistics, one sample t-test, independent t-test, correlation analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were successively employed to analyse the quantitative data. Major findings indicated that Ethiopian immigrants in Las Vegas were well integrated into the American culture, had high level of language proficiency, weren’t vulnerable to acculturative stress and employed positive coping to dealing with stressful experiences and migration related difficulties. It was recommended that establishing and strengthening an Ethiopian Community in Las Vegas may even boost these acculturation experiences further. It was also recommended to take lessons from Las Vegas and scale up support strategies to Ethiopian diaspora in other parts of the Globe.
Keywords: Acculturation experience, acculturation strategy, acculturative stress, coping, Ethiopian Diaspora, language proficiency, migration
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