Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Floyd W. Rudmin
Acculturation refers to the psychological and cultural changes that are caused by continuous contact between people of different cultures. A culture comprises the norms, values, beliefs, information, and skills that people in a society share, and these are manifest in the visible behaviors, physical implements, and social systems that the society expresses. Thus, different nations and ethnic groups have different languages, laws, religions, gender roles, manners, foods, clothes, architecture, and so on. We are unaware of most aspects of our cultures until they are seen in contrast with other cultures. We think of ourselves as acting “naturally” and other people as acting “differently,” because of their cultures. A culture must have some adaptive utility to help a group of people survive and to transmit their way of life to future generations. However, all cultures have some maladaptive aspects due to cultural inertia in the face of changing natural and Cultural ...