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Pre-School First Generation Immigrants and Mass Media

Introduction

Immigrant children who are born to immigrant families face a number of challenges as they try to assimilate and integrate in society. They have turned out to be the highest developing and most culturally assorted fragment of America’s child population (Appadurai, 1997). These first generation immigrant children are different from their immigrant parents and lack the significant relationship to their background. First generation pre-school immigrants are the newcomers to the American society and they have to face the essential procedure of acculturation which is not only important to them but also to the society where they will be hosted.

Importance of Role of Mass Media

The mass media of the host country plays an essential role in immigrant acculturation. The mass media is the medium through which the immigrants are informed about the new culture in which they have migrated too. Migration to different cultures can lead to the adoption of values in the new society. The pre-school first generation immigrant’s communal ability to acquire knowledge, awareness and behaviors are developed with respect to the new host country’s mass media. Messages obtained from different mediums of mass media such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, internet etc are essential because they would help the first generation pre-school immigrants to understand their new host culture. It is essential for them because these media materials will help them to understand the essential elements in their everyday social life (Katz, Blumler & Gurevitch, 1999).The first generation pre-school immigrants have the urgent need to understand the new American culture.

Various scholars have investigated the role of mass media and how it affects the pre-school first generation immigrants. Studies have shown that first generation pre school immigrants are more likely to use U.S media rather their ethnic language media. The preference of the first generation pre school immigrants for U.S media is at a high level because they would be brought up in the American society and would not have connection with their place of birth (Appadurai, 1997). Studies were conducted which demonstrated that first generation pre-school Korean immigrants residing in United States are more likely exposed to American mass media. Studies have found that the mass media provides information and knowledge about the American culture and receiving knowledge about the American cultural traditions and systems. The mass media would enable these pre-school immigrants to use it as a weapon for learning how to acknowledge their new American culture (Soruco, 1996).

The Impact of American Mass Media on First Generation Pre-school Immigrants

Development of American Identity

The immigrant first generation children in the United States have been positively impacted by the mass media messages communicated. There are number of studies which have revealed that most of the pre school first generation immigrants have adopted and adjusted into the American culture with the help of mass media. This has had led to the contribution towards the development of American identity and being part of the American culture (Katz, Blumler & Gurevitch, 1999) (Soruco, 1996). The American Mass Media has influenced the important turning point for the transformation in ethnic and national self-identities in first generation pre-school immigrants. For this generation, the procedure for becoming American today witnessed a new turn. As more television shows, radio programs, news channels, internet websites, magazines are being produced in United States, the more it will affect the first generation pre- school immigrants. The first generations of immigrants who have not resided in their birth country are more prone to speak American accented English (Katz, Blumler & Gurevitch, 1999) (Soruco, 1996) (Appadurai, 1997).

The Socializing Role of Media in the Lives of Pre-school First Generation Immigrants

As mentioned earlier, mass media constitutes one of the most essential factors in cultural and social amalgamation of first generation pre-school immigrants. Studies have indicated that the today’s media acts as a medium for socializing agents of society’s cultures, actions and perceptions. Hence, mass media plays an active role in the construction and development of pre-school first generation immigrant’s identities. Studies conducted in United States compared American children to foreign children. It was concluded from the research that the foreign children are more likely to utilized more of their time watching television programs and they expressed a more constructive and encouraging approach towards learning programs(Katz, Blumler & Gurevitch, 1999).

Moreover, these immigrant pre school children are more prone to learn about others and they display considerably better recognition with mass media and express persuasive belief in the reality of people and events. With this learning process, the pre-school first generation immigrants learn to adapt to the new society and the new language surroundings. Media can be effectively used as a means for assimilating and integrating immigrants. This has been proven by a number of research publications which have studied the link between migrants and media. By means of American media consumption, immigrant children understand the culture which they cannot learn from practical life. Secondly, the American media is an excellent resource for immigrant children that seek to learn the American culture. way to learn about the new culture (Soruco, 1996).

American Mass Media in Integration Process of First Generation Pre-School Immigrants

Studies have been conducted by various researchers on preschool first generation immigrants and found out that the mass media in their native and American languages has played a major role in the incorporation and modification of immigrants in United States of America. The mass media of America has successfully contributed in the integration of the first generation preschool immigrants (Appadurai, 1997).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the mass media of United States of America has played an essential role in shaping and restructuring the lives of many preschool first generation immigrants. The American media has a strong presence in these children lives and have enabled them to learn about the new culture in which they are living. It has helped to adapt themselves according to the new culture and has led to their American identity development. The mass media has enabled them to think that America is their home and that they belong to the American culture. At the same time, it has helped them to mingle with American children. In short, the mass media of America has Americanized the pre-school first generation of immigrants.

References:

Appadurai, A. (1997). Modernity at large: cultural dimensions of globalization.

Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Katz, E., Blumler, J. & Gurevitch, M. (1999). Utilization of Mass Communication by

Individual. In J. Hanson, & D. Maxcy (Eds.), Sources Notable Selections in Mass

Media (pp. 51-59). Guilford, Connecticut: Dushkin/MaGraw-Hill.

Soruco, G. R. (1996). The mass media in South Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

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