Acculturation

  • Created by: anna
  • Created on: 12-05-17 12:04

Definition of Acculturation

Those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns of either or both groups. 

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Groups of individuals having different cultures

Mainstream culture group which is the dominant group, the receiving group, the host culture, the new culture. It is the culture that is dominant where one currently lives. 

Heritage culture group, which is the non-dominant group, the acculturating group, the migrant group, the old culture

Heritage culture is the culture of one's birth or upbringing or the culture that had a significant impact on previous generations of one's family. 

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Continuous first-hand contact

You spend a substantial amount of time in another culture. First-hand rather than remote acculturation, living within the mainstream culture, not through watching media, reading books. 

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Contact hypothesis

Contact hypothesis: contact between dominant and non-dominant groups reduces stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination. More contact with migrants this would result in positive attitudes towards them. 

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Bi-directional change

Changes in both the mainstream and the migrant group. Dominant group changes in terms of diversity, possible prejudice, government policies may be put forward. Superficial changes like curry, chinese food, entertainment. Values, beliefs and customs in the mainstream culture does not change, deep structural beliefs remain in the dominant group. 

Non-dominant group makes make more changes than the dominant group. 

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Why is the Dominant group 'dominant'

They are of higher power in society 

Havemore resources

Have more people

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Individual and group level acculturation

Migrant group: Individual level changes in psychological variables as a result of cultural contact. For example, changes to one's identity, values, attitudes, personality. One may become more egalitarian. 

Group level changes in the non-dominant and dominant group as a result of cultural contact. May focus on intergrating in the new culture, inter-marriages are higher. 

Dominant group could change the economy, more housing, schools, hospitals needed due to higher population, policies, for multiculturalism. 

Individual may not acculturate at the same rate as the group, it depends on their attitudes towards the process of acculturation. 

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Models of acculturation: uni dimensional accultura

Uni dimensional acculturation model: 

People can identify with their heritage culture or the mainstream culture, but not both at the same time. 

Heritage and mainstream identification are negatively correlated. When there is an increase in heritage culture this decreases mainstream culture identification and vice versa. 

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Models of acculturation: uni dimensional accultura

Uni dimensional acculturation model: 

People can identify with their heritage culture or the mainstream culture, but not both at the same time. 

Heritage and mainstream identification are negatively correlated. When there is an increase in heritage culture this decreases mainstream culture identification and vice versa. 

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Models of acculturation: uni dimensional accultura

Uni dimensional acculturation model: 

People can identify with their heritage culture or the mainstream culture, but not both at the same time. 

Heritage and mainstream identification are negatively correlated. When there is an increase in heritage culture this decreases mainstream culture identification and vice versa. 

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Bi directional acculturation model

Heritage and mainstream culture identifications are uncorrelated or weakly positive correlated. Two separate, independent dimensions. You can identify with mainstream & heritage culture at the same. 

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Acculturation strategies: Berry (1980)

Berry stated that when one enters a culture they ask themselves 2 questions: 

1. Is it considered to be of value to mainstream cultural identify and cultural characterstics: Yes - integration 

                         No - Assimilation/ Marginalization

2. Is it considered to be of value to develop relationships with the mainstream group:              Yes- integration

                        No- Separation/Marginalization 

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Integration

The mainstream society must be open to cultural diversity. Maintain heritage culture and seek contact/participation with the mainstream culture. 

For example: Mofarah

This is the most optimal acculturation strategy. Positively associated with life satisfaction, positive affect, self-esteem, academic achievement and career success. 

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Assimilation

Focus on developing relationships with host culture at the expense of heritage culture maintenance. 

They want to fully immerse into the mainstream culture and disregard their heritage culture, become a full member of the dominant culture. It can be seen as the melting pot ideology, where America thinks migrants should shut out their heritage culture and become American. 

Placing more importance on the American culture than heritage culture.

assimilation may be a choice but it may not be a choice as many mainstream cultures expect assimilation.

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Separation

Maintain heritage culture ties and identity, avoid contact and participation with the mainstream culture. This is positively associated with the acculturative stress; less social interactions, may find it hard to get a job and may not speak the right language

Maintain cultural traditions even after years and generations. 

75% of HINDU Gujarti's in the UK retained traditional arranged marriages. They feel it is important to maintain their full heritage. 

Separation may be a choice. 

In-group favouritism

But it may also be enforced by the mainstream culture, due to prejudice and discrimination directed at ethnic groups. 

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Marginalisation

Stuck between two, cultural worlds

Little contact and identification with mainstream culture or maintenance of heritage culture

Result of discrimination and colonisation

Positively associated with acculturative stress and substance abuse

Most research and media coverage focus on percieved marginalisation from the mainstream culture group

Feel like they do not belong or confused about where they fit in with society. 

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Can intragroup marginalisation explain terrorism

Approximately 3000-4000 bicultural individuals in an EU natinality have travelled to Syria to fight with ISIS. Many are young, well educated, bicultural indviiduals who only become radicalised in recent years.

The westernised individuals who join ISIS are as removed from Muslim communities as from the mainstream culture in which they live in.

Intragroup marginalisation is percieved exclusion by heritage culture members, they may face accusations of betraying their heritage culture by assimilating into the mainstream culture. 

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Associations of attachment style with intragroup m

Insecurely attached individuals who are high in anxiety and avoidance are more likely to perceive intragroup marginalisation. As children, primary caregivers were inconsistently responsive. As adults, they fear abandonment and are sensitive to rejection threats. 

Links between insecure attachment/intragroup marginalisation

Insecurely attached individuals may compensate for feelings of rejection by heritage culture members by endorsing extreme pro-group behaviour. For example, willingness to fight or die for the group. 

People who were insecurely attached had increased percieved marginalisation from friends and family. Increased marginalisation from friends predicted endorsement of extreme pro-group actions. 

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Individual predictors of acculturation strategies

Age: There is a sensitive period of acculturation, people at a younger age immigrated fully to Canada and had a mainstream culture identification. There is a critical period and not the same for people who immigrate when they are older. 

Gender: More difficult for women who immigrate from a more traditional culture to a less traditional culture.

Education:  Higher education correlated with lower stress. They are better at problem solving and integrating into a culture would be easier, they can find a job easier and work on computers. Attend language classes, greater occupational status. They have more knowledge about values and the culture which provides them with guidance on how to adapt to the new culture. Students who learn about the new culture, before going to a uni abroad tend to adapt better to the mainstream society compared to those who are less knowledgeable

 

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Individual predictors: acculturation strategies

Personality: mainstream identification having a lot of contact and participation with the main culture is linked to greater conscientiousness, extraversion and openness/lower neuroticism. Maintaining heritage culture is linked to greater conscientiousness/lower neuroticism. 

Attachment: secure attachment linked with greater mainstream/heritage identification. They have greater integration, more positive outgroup attitudes, exploratory  behaviour and form new relationships but still maintaining the old ones. 

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Group level predictors

Cultural distance: Larger perceived cultural distance between heritage and mainstream culture associated with poorer migrant adjustment. This is referring to language, climate, food, values, economic development. 

Presence of vibrant ethnocultural community:  larger community eases adaptation. Share your cultural heritage in the mainstream offer social support, help finding housing ethno cultural community can help you and help migrants adjust easily. 

Dominant groups sense of threat:  Realistic threat may think migrants may steal jobs from natives or overuse health care or benefits. They have a harder time adjusting, there will be pressure to assimilate. Symbolic threat and sense of threat to national values and identity for instance UKIP. 

Acculturation expectation: Dominant group members preferences for what they think migrants should do in the mainstream society

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Multicultural ideology

Multicultural ideology: to what extent should dominant group members view about their society should accomodate for multiculturalism. Includes; attitudes towards multiculturalism policies that adapt national institutions such as education, health or labour.

Unidimensional construct either assimilation or multiculturalism. Dominant group members who favour assimilation also tend to be higher in prejudice, ethnocentricism and intergroup bias. 

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Mainstream-minority assimilationist model

One dominant mainstream culture then around it contains minorities and fringe groups. 

Forced assimilation rather than choice

There is a view that the fringe groups are deficient and need to be more common with mainstream society for instance speaking the language. 

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Multicultural model

Is the idea that there is NO 'one' dominant group. The cultural groups are merged as a whole. Valuable culture and a more integration acculturation strategy, not pushing out any particular group but coming together and valuing each other's cultures and traditions. 

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outcomes of acculturation

Behavioural shifts: there is a behavioural change, individuals will learn the cultural language, dress like the culture. There may be a clash between your new behaviour and old behaviour, choosing one of the cultures over the other, to adapt, these adaptive ways reduce stress. 

Acculturative stress: Culture shock, when our behaviour has to change erratically it can become maladaptive to cope with cultural change. Psychosomatic problems, sleep deprivation, depression/anxiety

Some people are able to deal with the stress by forming a social support network, have a friend from the new culture to deal with and cope with acculturative stress.

There could be severe negative effects; clinical depression, anxiety disorders. These maladaptive consequences can arise when you throw yourself into a culture without any knowledge about the mainstream values, beliefs, customs and language. Unprepared and large cultural distance between mainstream and heritage. 

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Outcomes of acculturation shift

Psychological adaptation: refers to physical, psychological and emotional well-being of migrants. Ferenczi and Marshall (2014) found that high subjective well-being, life satisfaction, positive affect and low negative affect. High flourishing and absense of acculturative stress. 

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outcomes of acculturation

Sociocultural adaptation: This is more behavioural rather than psychological and physical. Behavioural cultural learning and how much you have learnt from the culture, managing daily life in the new culture and fitting in. Some indicies: social competence, forming quality friends and relationships acquiring the new language and competence to work or adjust to school. Maintaining relationships is a positive predictor of acculturation outcomes. 

Sociocultural adaptation predicted by Wilson; learning and cultural knowledge predicts sociocultural adaptation, degree of contact, positive intergroup attitudes as they want to participate with the culture, length of residence and previous cross-cultural experience. 

The longer you spend in the culture the more you fit in. Cultural traditions before tend to adapt better for example going on a social exchange programmes gives you experience in another culture and how to adapt. 

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Types of acculturating groups: Sojourners

Sojourners: migrant, voluntary, temporary for example: international students. 

Temporariness, cultural distance, may not adjust as well as it is temporary and they are not planning to stay that long, and may not learn the language and make relationships and maintain them, to enhance adaptation. 

Lysgaard's U curved hypothesis= is good to relate to international students.  At the start the student is excited and happy to move to a new culture, once they are in the new culture this decreases due to acculturation stress, challenging well-being than increases over time once they have adapted to the new culture. 

Then when back at the heritage culture, you start to make cultural comparisons and well-being fluctuates then once adapted back well being is increased, as you re-acculturate over time. they may feel dissatisfied with heritage culture. 

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Types of acculturating groups: Refugees

Refugees = Involuntary, migrant and temporary

Psychopathological adjustment as a result of acculturation this includes: post-traumatic stress. Poorer adjustment in elderlly people; age is a risk factor and have lower general adaptability. 

Youths have a double transition, especially teens, they have to adjust to the new culture and adjusting to adolescence at the same time.

Integration, social support and welcoming acculturation expectations help buffer against acculturative stress. 

If entering a culture where you are not wanted this can emote adaptation to the new culture. 

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Challenges to universalist perspective on accultur

Non-Europeans, non-white immigrants experience acculturation differently, facing more or less prejudice and social exclusion depending on heritage culture. 

They put forward simplisitic, limited overview on acculturation when it is more complex due to what cultural group you belong to

Discriminating immigration laws: chinese head tax in Canada. 

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Challenges to universalist perspective on accultur

Non-Europeans, non-white immigrants experience acculturation differently, facing more or less prejudice and social exclusion depending on heritage culture. 

They put forward simplisitic, limited overview on acculturation when it is more complex due to what cultural group you belong to

Discriminating immigration laws: chinese head tax in Canada. 

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Challenges to universalist perspective on accultur

Non-Europeans, non-white immigrants experience acculturation differently, facing more or less prejudice and social exclusion depending on heritage culture. 

They put forward simplisitic, limited overview on acculturation when it is more complex due to what cultural group you belong to

Discriminating immigration laws: chinese head tax in Canada. 

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