Acculturation (Psychology)

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  • A term introduced by American anthropologists, as early as the 1880s, to describe the process of culture change occurring when two different cultural groups come into contact with each other. Acculturation was then mainly seen as a group-level phenomenon, while in more recent times, interest has grown in the study of individual-level phenomena, referred to as “psychological acculturation.”

    Early research on acculturation focused on the pathological symptoms of so-called culture shock, while more recently, acculturation has been studied from a social-psychological perspective, from which researchers examine its cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. Major influences come from work in stress and coping. A seminal model of acculturation was developed by John Berry in 1980, which can best be understood in the context of migration, where it is ...

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