Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Acculturation remains a significant issue in a diverse society. It refers to the process of cultural exchanges as a result of continuous firsthand contact among cultural groups. The primary focus lies in the change occurring among minority group members, particularly immigrants, after adopting the cultural features of the majority group. Change may occur in beliefs, values, behavioral practices, languages, or all of these. Historically, acculturation is conceptualized with a one-dimensional approach. That is to say, individuals must lose cultural traits of their own group to gain characteristics from other groups for adaptation. This approach fits into the larger picture of the straight line model of assimilation. This model maps the process of assimilation in a linear fashion wherein immigrants relinquish their own ethnic culture before taking on (presumably) more beneficial host cultural behaviors. In a series of stages, immigrants first predominantly retain their own ethnic cultures, and as contacts with ...