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Cultural Comparative Paper

Cultural Comparative Paper

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Cultural Comparative Paper

The Nigerian American community in the United States has grown significantly in the last few decades. It has evolved as one of the most outstanding African American communities. It includes immigrants and Americans whose origins can be traced back to Nigeria. According to the American Community Survey, it is estimated that 380,786 residents in the United States are Nigerian Americans. 277,027 of them were born in Nigeria. Nigerians comprise a large number of migrants relocating to the United States (Hauss & Haussman, 2013). Through a detailed review of this community, one will be able to better understand the Nigerian American culture and its contribution to the cultural diversification of the U.S. Nigeria is one of the major countries in Africa with an enormous population of around 186.0 million, according to a survey conducted in 2016. Additionally, in America Nigerians are more popular than migrants from other countries of Africa. Therefore, an evaluation of the Nigerian culture will shed light on the immigrants’ perceptions of the American way of life, the societal and political norms of the country, and their degree of integration into the general community.

Historical Background

Historically, Nigerian Americans were assimilated into the American community through slavery during the 17th century (Hauss & Haussman, 2013). They came in as indentured laborers and slaves from Nigeria, with most of them having being bought from Calabar, which was the central point of slavery in the country. The slaves originated from different parts of Nigeria, with many of them from the villages in the Igbo hinterland. These salves were taken to Bight of Biafra, from where they were transported to Virginia. It was here that they served their white masters. On reviewing historical documentation on slave trade, it becomes evident that records that were created lacked detailed information on the origins of most slaves. This happened because the white masters were simply not interested in documenting the tribal origins of their enslaved workers (Schraeder, 2004). Therefore, many Africans in the United States are unable to trace their origins in Africa or identify their ethnic groups. However, it has been generally established that most Nigerian Americans originate from the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa ethnic groups, with a small number of them tracing their roots to the Edo and Fulani groups.

In terms of geographical placement, many of the slaves in Virginia and Maryland in the 18th century were from the Igbo community. From Calabar, 38,000 African slaves were shipped to Virginia. 30,000 of them were Igbo (Schraeder, 2004). In this century, a large number of Igbo slaves were also taken to Kentucky, thus attesting to the fact that most slaves at that time belonged to the Igbo community. Key characteristics that defined slaves from this ethnic group were high suicide rates, resistance, and rebellion to undo subjugation. To identify those from same ethnic groups, Nigerian slaves often tattooed their bodies with tribal facial marks. By doing this, they tried to ensure reuniting with their ethnic groups in future. Tattooing was a deliberate but secret act that rekindled hope in times of desolation. In a bid to dissuade these tribal customs, the white masters mixed slaves from different ethnic groups to create language barriers. They hoped that such barriers would not allow the birth of rebellions or any form of uprising from a united front, among the slaves that would lead to struggles.

Modern migration has also been attributed to the growth of the Nigerian American Nigerian (Schraeder, 2004). Upon gaining independence, many Nigerian immigrants entered America in search of opportunities to better their lives or gain access to advanced education. Statistics from the United Census Bureau indicate that among PhD holders in the United States, 4% are Nigerians. In addition, 17% of the Nigerian population in America have post-graduation degrees (Schraeder, 2004). The population with undergraduate degrees is estimated to be 37%. This clearly shows how much this community prioritizes education and considers it to be a key instrument in the proliferation of its people. Nigerian Americans understand that only education can give them more access to the immense opportunities that exist in the United States. It is important to understand that many Nigerians are able to access educational opportunities through scholarships offered to them by their government. With most of its students getting admitted to American institutions, academically Nigerians have never had it this good. Naturally, the number of Nigerians migrating to the US has increased manifold since the 1960s.

The roles of family members in the Nigerian American community are similar to those in the families of traditional African communities. Firstly, families are the basic units of society. Hence, those influence the overall behavior and economy of their community. Each Nigerian American family maintains independence and uniqueness. Each family knows that doing so is imperative for political and societal goals to be met. In every family, members comprise of those from extended families, and include uncles, grandparents, and aunts. They are all related to known ancestors (Payne, 2016). Nigerian migrants have maintained the passing down of their family names, which is always that of the known ancestor. Members of families and communities are expected to abide by customary laws, which encourage self-help and collaboration. In a family unit, the patriarch assumes the responsibility of encouraging collaboration among members of his family. In resolving problems, this individual is expected to seek counseling from within the family. In this way, he gains assistance in settling disputes or in dealing with other pressing matters. The concept of co-responsibility is common in the Nigerian American community. All persons in the community have access to education, clothes, shelter, and protection.

Another feature of the Nigerian American community is the division of ethnic groups. It is believed that clans and families that have the same ancestors originate from a single ethnic group (Dijkhoff, 2014). Therefore, within the Nigerian American community, it is common to observe closeness among the Igbo and Yoruba communities. Relatives from different clans are always available to help members who require assistance. In some cases, members of clans even offer shelter to those belonging to the community. In this regard, it is necessary to point out that every individual in the community has duties and responsibilities towards others, as they are all members of a larger family and societal unit, especially in America, where the need for unity is always acutely felt.

Social Worker Skills

Today, there are more opportunities for social workers to work closely with diverse cultural communities. Hence, they are able to improve people’s lives significantly through various strategies that empower them. There are some core skills that social workers must have to be able to work with different ethnic groups (Kirst-Ashman, 2017). Firstly, based on the requirement stipulated by the National Association of Social Works, assessment skills are imperative, as many social workers need to dedicate their time in case management. To ensure that quality assessments are conducted, social workers should possess these skills. These help social workers to identify particular resources that are necessary for targeted communities. In addition, possessing these skills facilitates their access to various communities, thus helping them to conduct periodic re-evaluations of their services. The second skill that social workers must possess is communication, because it is necessary for correspondence to be conducted in both verbal and written forms (Payne, 2016). For professionals involved in grant writing, it is absolutely necessary to develop proper communication skills because they often fight for the causes of various communities and attain the resources or funding those communities may require. Effective communication refers to the ability to communicate professionally using concise and clear language.

Owing to the fact that most social workers advocate causes of communities or their clients, it is imperative to integrate related skills to ensure proper representation of aggrieved parties (Payne, 2016). The main justification provided in validating the importance of these skills is that through them the parties are able to obtain the much-needed resources for their communities. These skills also bring about positive change in communities and in the lives of clients. The process of empowering communities at local, state, and federal levels is often triggered by these skills. Such skills help immensely in solving problems by addressing all issues that affect communities. Needless to say, social workers must stay loyal to their roles and be able to assess reactions perfectly.

Social workers advocate for their customers every now and then. They possess backing abilities that enable them to legitimately speak to their customers. In the long run, these abilities prompt positive change and cause customers to live empowered lives. The backing aptitudes of social workers are utilized at the community, state, and federal levels, as they battle to save existing projects, create scope for new ones, and expel or modify obsolete approaches (Kirst-Ashman, 2017). A primary objective of social workers is to engage people. Fantastic critical thinking aptitudes are essential for discovering answers for people and networks. Furthermore, social specialists regularly work with restricted assets and tight spending plans. Critical thinking abilities are necessary to conquer budgetary deterrents and fully grasp financial requirements. Applying hypotheses of social work and settling on educated choices encourage experts to serve the needs of people best. Social experts must act in moral and instructed ways, keeping in mind their end goal of serving their associations in the best possible manners (Payne, 2016). This is where the necessity of the skill of basic reasoning comes in. Basic reasoning entails scanning for answers with a receptive outlook. It is also about utilizing data to serve current circumstances best. When utilized accurately, these abilities enable a person to help communities in the best possible manners, using all accessible assets.

Insightful social workers have the capacity to apply hypothesis to assess data and utilize distinctive methodologies and points of view. This scholarly procedure requires the use of basic reasoning abilities and a strong grip on morals (Dijkhoff, 2014). These requirements indicate that logical and systematic steps are necessary for formulating a clear pathway that can guarantee success. In most cases, methodologies act as tools for generating interest on predisposed ideas and hypothesis. They also confirm their relevance. Obviously, the extent of the calling is related to the end goal. Singh adds that it is extremely critical to know how and when to handle difficult circumstances. The handling of all aspects of challenges adequately goes a long way in determining success or failure of the methodologies adopted.

Before entering into the field of social work, it is vital to consider the abilities that are fundamental for being an effective worker. As indicated by the National Association of Social Workers, countless laborers invest half of their energy in useless manners and misguided purposes. In order to achieve a specific end-goal, it is essential to perform quality evaluations (Kirst-Ashman, 2017). The process of appraisal uncovers which customers require help. Additionally, it enables a social specialist to remain focused even when administrations stay compelling. Correspondence in social work includes composed and verbal correspondence with customers and different experts. For instance, social laborers seeking stipends should speak to relevant authorities and advocate for their causes, thus acquiring necessary subsidies for their programs. Clear, concise, and effective communication helps social workers to maintain distance from defeat, especially in emergency circumstances.

Social specialists serve large and diverse cross-sections of customers in various societies. This variety brings with it numerous difficulties. However, it also offers qualities that can be used to defeat hindrances (Kirst-Ashman, 2017). A social specialist who comprehends this can adequately serve customers, and this expands his or her chances to enhance networks. Social laborers consistently intercede in crisis circumstances to better the lives of their customers. Intercessions are best offered in ways that enable customers to draws on their accessible qualities. This helps them to build their own qualities and use those when issues emerge in future. Ultimately, they are better able to deal with their lives. All aspects of social work require experts to archive discoveries about their customers (Dijkhoff, 2014). For instance, in many cases there is the involvement of a post-trial supervisor. He or she is expected to possess a particular set of qualities and be able to handle certain responsibilities. He or she must have the capacity to assemble, dissect, assess, and provide courts with necessary data if and when required. Without the aptitude for documentation, finishing such undertakings would be impossible. Social laborers archive appraisal data, emergency intercessions, and all other correspondence with their customers or different experts. It is important that the process of documentation is intensive, precise, and convenient. The goal must be to profit both the customer and the administrations.

Social specialists must sort assets, stay determined about keeping careful and precise records, and use powerful time-administration aptitudes as well. Exceeding expectations in associations require figuring out how to disentangle a workplace, organize undertakings, utilize basic leadership practices, and keep a date-book of essential occasions or ventures. Finally, social laborers must comprehend that this field of activities is about human connections. Couples, families, companions, and networks are all essential components of emotionally supportive networks individuals cling to in time of emergencies (Kirst-Ashman, 2017). If a social laborer does not grasp the relationship-based practices, assets will be remembered fondly but issues would regularly be difficult to determine. Understanding this is critical for a social worker to become proficient. Acing vital aptitudes upgrades a social specialist’s capacities in this extremely testing field. Instruction, practice, and individual revelation help a person in exceeding expectations in these territories.

 

 

References

Adams, R. (2008). Empowering communities and political systems. Empowerment, participation and social work, 152-171. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-05053-3_8

Damachi, U. G. (1972). Nigerian modernization: The colonial legacy. New York, NY: The Third Press.

Dijkhoff, T. (2014). Social Welfare and Family Support: The Nigerian Experience. The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare11(3), 276-294. doi:10.1080/09649069.2014.933590

Hauss, C., & Haussman, M. (2013). Comparative politics: Domestic responses to global challenges. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

In Hardwick, L., In Smith, R. S., & In Worsley, A. (2016). Innovations in social work research: Using methods creatively. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2017). Introduction to social work & social welfare. Australia: Cengage Learning

Payne, M. (2016). Modern social work theory. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Schraeder, P. J. (2004). African politics and society: A mosaic in transformation. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

 

 

 

 

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