Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Acculturation and Health
The term acculturation has been used to describe the changes in cultural attitudes, values, and behaviors that occur upon contact between two formerly autonomous population groups, such as a colonized and a colonizer group, or an immigrant group and its host society. It is often assumed that only the culture of the subordinate (minority) group changes, while the culture of the dominant (majority) group does not change. However, some acculturation studies do acknowledge the bidirectionality of acculturation, that is, that both the minority and the dominant culture may change upon contact with one another (Redfield, Linton, & Herskovits, 1936; Social Science Research Council, 1954) It has been noted that among immigrants, acculturation shows an association with health outcomes. This finding, along with the centrality of acculturation in the immigrant experience, has heightened interest in studying the effect of acculturation on health. Importantly, the concept of acculturation refers both to how ...