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The European Journal of Applied Economics

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A Study of Haitian Immigrant’s Assimilation to Western Practices of Using the Telephony and Internet Technologies / Proučavanje Asimilacije Imigranata Sa Haitija Na Zapadnjačku Praksu Korišćenja Telefonskih I Internet Tehnologija

Borivoje-Boris Đokić
  • Corresponding author
  • Keiser University Graduate School 1900 West Commercial Boulevard, FL 33309, United States
  • Email:
/ Rhonda Polak
  • N.A.B.A. Consulting 2153 Nw 73rd Lane in Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
/ Jeanette D. Francis
  • Lynn University, College of Business and Management 3601 N Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431, United States
/ Bahaudin G. Mujtaba
  • Nova Southeastern University 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, United States
Published Online: 2013-11-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/sjas10-4207

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between the use of technology to stay connected with home country and culture while adapting and integrating into the host culture. Through a survey the authors probe into how Haitian immigrants living in South Florida with varying levels of contact with their home country acculturate into the receiving society, exploring an increasingly salient experience of contemporary global migrants. Immigration is the experience of acculturation by individuals and the emergence of culturally plural societies, where both immigrants and host country citizens can live together in a positive environment. In this study, we report our exploratory findings and insights from a survey conducted among Haitian immigrants in South Florida area, studying the relationship between the scope of their electronic communication, and their level of integration into the mainstream American culture. Considerable research has been devoted to the understanding of immigration, acculturation and adaptation of adults, but much less has addressed these phenomena among Haitian population in reference to the use of communication technologies to keep in touch with their loved ones overseas and being fully adapted to their host country at the same time, asserting both identities. In other words, to what extend Haitians who wish to have contact with American culture, while maintaining their cultural attributes do so through the Internet and telecommunication technologies.

The objective of this study is to explore the correlation between cultural integration process and the level of Internet and telephony technologies usage among Haitians living in South Florida. The Internet and telephones are a necessity becoming central for one’s knowledge of environment, for the retention of one’s social contacts but also for the organization of one’s life. This is especially true for immigrants who often rely on their new and old social networks in order to adjust to the host country. This study looks at five well understood measures or indicators of the acculturation process, namely language proficiency, language use, length of time in the host culture, age, and peer contact. It also looks at the preferences of Internet related tools to contact friends and relatives both in Haiti and the USA by email, text messaging, and social sites. In our study, highly integrated Haitian immigrants are those who are young, have lived here for a long time, are proficient in Creole and English, speak to friends and relatives in both languages, and spend their free time with both Americans and other Haitians.

Rezime

Studija ispituje odnose između koriščenja tehnologije u održavanju veza i očuvanja kulture zemlje porekla tokom prilagođavanja i integrisanja u kulturu zemlje domaćina. Kroz upitnik autori istražuju na koji način se imigranti iz Haitija (koji žive u Južnoj Floridi sa različitim nivoima kontakata sa svojom zemljom) uključuju u društveni život zemlje u koju dolaze, istražujući sve važnije iskustvo savremenih migranata u svetu.

Imigracija se sastoji od individualnih iskustava uključivanja u društvo i formiranja savremenog multinacionalnog društva, gde i imigranti i građani zemlje domaćina žive u zajednici u pozitivnom okruženju. U ovoj studiji, izveštava se о početnim zaključcima i suštini problema na osnovu ankete sprovedene medu imigranatima iz Haitija u oblasti Južne Floride, istovremeno istraživajući odnose obima elek- tronske komunikacije i nivoa integrisanja u glavne tokove kulture SAD. Brojna istraživanja su posvećena razumevanju imigracije, uključivanju i adaptaciji odraslih, ali je mnogo manje radova posvećeno tom fenomenu u Haićanskoj populaciji u vezi sa koriščenjem tehnologije u održavanju veza sa familijama u inostranstvu dok se istovremeno u potpunosti adaptiraju na zemlju domaćina, zadržavajući oba identiteta. Drugim rećima do koje mere, Haićani koji žele da imaju kontakte sa Američkom kulturom, dok u isto veme zadržavaju njihove kulturne karakteristike, čine to koristeći Internet i ostale načine savremene elektronske komunikacije.

Cilj ove studije je da istraži korelaciju između procesa integracije u kulturu i stepen koriščenja interneta kao i telefonskih komunikacionih veza među Haićaima koji žive u Južnoj Floridi. Internet i telefon su potreba koji postaju glavno oruđe kako bi čovek upoznao okruženje, za održavanje već postojećih kontakata ali isto tako i za organizaciju sopstvenog života. Ovo se posebno odnosi na imigrante koji se često oslanjaju na nove i stare društvene mreže kako bi se prilagodili zemlji u koju dolaze. Ova studija istražuje pet dobro poznatih mera odnosno indikatora procesa akulturacije a to su poznavanje jezika, koriščenje jezika, dužina boravka u zemlji u koju dolaze, starost i kontakti sa sličnim društvenim grupama. Ovde se takođe istražuju prednosti koriščenja interneta i sličnih programa, kako bi se kontaktirali prijatelji i rođaci kako na Haitiju tako i u Americi putem e-mail-a, tekstualnih poruka i društvenih mreža.

U našoj studiji, imigranti sa Haitija koji se smatraju visoko integrisanim ljudima su mlađi ljudi, oni koji tu žive duže vreme, koji dobro poznaju i kreolski i engleski jezik, koji govore sa prijateljima i rođacima na oba jezika i koji provode svoje slobodno vreme kako sa amerikancima tako sa drugim Haićanima.

Keywords: cultural integration; immigrant; communication technologies; Internet; telephony technologies; correlation

Ključne reči: kulturna integracija; imigrant; komunikacijske tehnologije; internet; telefonske tehnologije; korelacija

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-02

Published in Print: 2013-10-01


Citation Information: Singidunum Journal of Applied Sciences, ISSN (Online) 2217-8783 , DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/sjas10-4207. Export Citation

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