The Golden Age of Acculturation
We had an interesting discussion at the just concluded keynote diversity panel, part of the American Advertising Federation (AAF)’s ADMERICA! 2012 conference. Building off the central theme of ”Golden Age”, our panel was aptly titled “The Golden Age of Cross-culturalism” to focus on diversity issues in the advertising industry. The discussion focused on diversity of talent in agencies, diversity in the workplace, diversity in leadership and diversity in the thought processes of agency and corporate professionals.
Cross-cultural being the newly pushed phrase was a hot topic at the AAF’s flagship event. I am, however, not fully convinced about the industry’s take on the cross-cultural concept just like I’m not convinced about how the intercultural, pancultural and multicultural concepts have been phrased and positioned in the past. On the outset, they all seem to be right, each with it’s own relevance. Look deeper and they appear to be different positioning of the same idea. Something that works within and/or across cultures. Why rehash the obvious? Why not see culture in a new light? Why not see us as the new “us”?
We live in a diverse society where the population keeps getting increasingly heterogeneous. Call the approach by whatever name, it is about communicating meaningfully with this evolving and rapidly changing America. Diverse segments no matter where they are on the cultural spectrum, get assimilated and acculturated into our society with time. It is about where you are on an acculturation spectrum, than anything else. The way I see it, we are at “the golden age of acculturation” where our cultural assimilation is being realized more consciously than ever before.