Concept and theories of Acculturation

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Describe the Concept and theories of Acculturation


Acculturation is defined as cultural adjustment of a person or a group of people by adjusting to or copying characteristics of different culture. It has been discovered to have negative and positive outcomes. Research has demonstrated that the adverse effects of acculturation include stress, prolonged depression and smoking termination. These changes may occur as a result of most intercultural contact for instance globalization, acculturation is most frequently studied in people living in regions or countries away from where they were born i.e., among refugees, immigrants, sojourners and asylum seekers. Acculturation research generally focuses the mentioned groups of people, as they are presumed to be lastingly settled in their new region (Alvarez Valdivia et al., 2016).

Models of Acculturation

Acculturation was initially hypothesized as a one-dimensional procedure in which preservation of the cultural heritage and gaining of the culture being received were considered as opposing ends of a single scale. In accordance with this one-dimensional model, as migrants learned the beliefs practices and values of their new motherlands, they were expected to abandon those from their heritage culture. The immigrants who followed this concept were integrated easily but those who did not were criticized.

Literature has demonstrated that psychologists of culture have acknowledged that acquiring the practices, values and beliefs of the recipient country does not spontaneously indicate that an immigrant will abandon their practices, values and beliefs their country of origin. In 1980 a model of acculturation was developed by Berry whereby the receiving-culture acquirement and cultural heritage preservation are cast as autonomous dimensions.


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