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culture changes resulting from contact among various societies over time. Contact may have distinct results, such as the borrowing of certain traits by one cultureculture,
in anthropology, the integrated system of socially acquired values, beliefs, and rules of conduct which delimit the range of accepted behaviors in any given society. Cultural differences distinguish societies from one another.
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 from another, or the relative fusion of separate cultures. Early studies of acculturation reacted against the predominant trend of trying to reconstruct cultures of presumably isolated societies. Such work was faulted for implying that various cultural groups enjoyed an unchanging, precontact period. In this view, the anthropologist's job seemed quite simple, since each culture could be perceived as a unitary whole. Interactions with other peoples have, in fact, always been a significant feature of social life. Early studies of contact called attention to resulting social and individual psychological disturbances. Studies today often call attention to the development of one complex world system, in which some societies dominate others economically, politically, and socially. Many cultural theorists also observe the ways in which cultural groups resist domination, often working against acculturation in the process. Syncretism occurs when a subordinate group molds elements of a dominant culture to fit its own traditions. Acculturation differs from assimilation, in which different ethnic groups combine to form a new culture.


  1. (especially in CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY) a process in which contacts between different cultural groups lead to the acquisition of new cultural patterns by one, or perhaps both groups, with the adoption of all or parts of the other's culture.
  2. any transmission of culture between groups, including transfer between generations (although in this instance the terms ENCULTURATION and SOCIALIZATION are more usual).



the process of mutual influence of cultures; the total or partial acceptance by one people of the culture of another, usually more developed, people.

The term acculturation first received scholarly usage in the USA in the 1930’s in connection with a study of the contemporary culture of the American Indians. Later, American ethnographers also studied the acculturation of the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Oceania, using the term to conceal the enforced assimilation of oppressed peoples.

After the war the problem of acculturation occupied a prominent position in the works of scholars in India and Latin America—that is, in countries where national consolidation involved a population made up of groups with diverse origins and various levels of cultural and historical development.

The study of the processes of acculturation demands a historical approach to the culture of the peoples being studied. In Soviet literature the term acculturation has not been given an independent meaning, but the processes it designates have been successfully studied by Soviet ethnographers as processes of assimilation and rapprochement of peoples.


Bakhta, V. M. “Problema akkul’turatsii v sovremennoi etnograficheskoi literature SShA.” In the anthology Sovremennaia amerikanskaia etnografiia. Moscow, 1963. (With bibliography.)


References in periodicals archive ?
Once we answer the acculturation framework questions, the next step is to decide on an acculturation strategy by choosing from one of the following four strategies:
Based on this empirical research, we predict both that narratives will affect normative beliefs and that this relationship will be moderated by Latinas' level of acculturation.
Acculturation to western lifestyles includes adopting an unhealthy diet, with increasing consumption of processed food, saturated fat, sugars and soft drinks, continued Miss Jin.
Does the Puerto Rican physical health literature reproduce the main criticisms of the culture of poverty and the critiques of the acculturation literature?
Additional research is warranted to understand how some Latina/o students' ethnic identity and acculturation levels lead to increased self-efficacy beliefs and reduced career barrier perceptions.
To allow participants to freely describe their personal acculturation experience, we used two rounds of in-depth, semistructured interviews (Seidman, 2012).
Acculturation refers to the changes in personal values, beliefs, behaviors, and ways of living that an immigrant or minority individual makes as a result of adapting to the mainstream cultural or behavioral norms (Berry, Kim, Minde, & Mok, 1987).
One possible explanation to these contradictory findings, in terms of the role of media in the acculturation and adaptation process, relates to the accuracy of content in these mediated channels.
By definition, acculturation refers to "a dual process of cultural and psychological change that takes place as a result of contract between two or more cultural groups and their individual members" (Berry, 2005, p.
Acculturation can be defined as continuous firsthand contact between differing cultures, resulting in changes in the cultural patterns in one or both groups (Redfield, Linton, & Herskovits, 1936).
The purpose of this paper is to answer the question: based on current research, what is the association between acculturation and smoking behaviours in Chinese immigrants to North America?
In addition, this study explores the acculturation of Korean students by examining participant ethics and self-expressed values, based on their responses to two questions about important values in one's own life and for the next generation.