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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 ?
Because of such acculturative stressors and trauma, Arab Americans are more likely to be at risk for mental health problems, among them depression and anxiety (Laffrey, Meleis, Lipton, Solomon, & Omidian, 1989).
The two subscales are Acculturative Distress (AD) and Intercultural Competence Concerns (ICCC).
European students, for example, report experiencing less acculturative stress than the ones from Asia, Central/South America, and Africa (Yeh & Inose, 2003).
Acculturative stress: The experience of the Hispanic immigrant.
Old home and new home are still present at the top of the cylinder and are influential in the child's life; however, once the child has gone through the acculturative growth process, the new home becomes more prominent (i.
Acculturative stress, anxiety, and depression among Mexican immigrant farmworkers in the midwest United States.
The primary purpose of our study was to examine the relationship between racial identity and acculturative stress among African American graduate students in counselor education training programs.
As noted in Somani's study, their initial effort at using TV sports as an acculturative tool gradually helped these immigrants enculturate into the American culture.
The Effects of Acculturative Variables on Asian American Parent-Child Relationships.
Moreover, the literature shows that such areas as acculturative stress and family violence, sociocultural factors (including cultural and familial conflicts), demographics (such as gender and education), and the support network substantially affecting the psychological well-being of Chinese immigrants (Huntsinger & Jose, 2006; Mak & Zane, 2004; Yick, 2000) all deserve more research.
Also, acculturative stress directly and indirectly related to the historically related trauma experienced by AI/ANs have been shown to result in poor mental health outcomes (Duran & Duran 1995).
contributes to CLED students' acculturative stress, atypical behavior, disinterest in school, which leads to truancy, and eventually to the disengagement from all school activities, and