Acculturation is the process of cultural adaptation that occurs when distinct ethnic groups come into direct and sustained contact with one another. Groups that experience acculturation undergo changes in practices, values, and/or ways of life as a result of interaction with groups that are culturally different. This entry examines the nature of the acculturation process, explores different modes of adaptation, and describes factors that influence how groups adapt as a consequence of acculturation.


Acculturation refers to the process of cultural change; cultural adaptation is the result of acculturation. In its most basic form, acculturation leads to the acquisition of new cultural traits. For example, when an African American practices Tae Kwon Do or a Pakistani American makes tamales, it is said that these individuals have undergone ...

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