ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

problematic integration theory

Imagine you have a bunch of different colored blocks and you want to build a tower, but you're having trouble figuring out what order to put the blocks in. That's kind of like what problematic integration theory is about.

When people move to a new country, they often have a hard time fitting in and feeling like they belong. This can happen for lots of reasons, but one big one is that the culture in their new country is different from the culture they grew up in.

Problematic integration theory is a way of studying how people from different cultures try to fit in with each other. It looks at things like how much people try to keep their own culture versus how much they try to adopt the new culture, and how much they feel like they're part of the new culture versus how much they still feel like outsiders.

One of the big ideas in problematic integration theory is that sometimes, when people try really hard to fit in with the new culture, they can end up feeling like they're losing their own culture. For example, if someone moves to a new country and starts speaking the new language all the time, they might forget how to speak their own language or feel like they're betraying their roots.

On the other hand, if someone holds onto their own culture too tightly and doesn't try to adopt any of the new culture, they might have a hard time making friends and feeling like they belong in the new country.

So, problematic integration theory is like a guidebook for people who are trying to figure out how to blend their own culture with a new culture in a way that feels authentic to them and helps them fit in with their new community.