Acculturation: a Review of the Literature

Literature related to the cultural adaptation of strangers to a new culture is examined. Definitions, models and cultural studies are discussed. The article concludes with an assessment of communication variables contributing to acculturation among immigrants. Communication is viewed as the major underlying process as well as an outcome of the acculturation process. This article reviews the literature related to the acculturation of strangers to new cultures. The emphasis is on immigrants versus short-term visitors, also known as sojourners. The role of communication in acculturation research will be examined. Acculturation is not a new area of study, since scholars have studied and researched the area since the 1930s. Unfortunately though, a communication approach to the study of acculturation has been minimal and only in recent years a focal point of acculturation research. Yet, communication is essential to acculturation. Communication is the tool assisting immigrants to satisfy their basic personal and social needs in the new host culture. To acculturate themselves to the new culture, immigrants must acquire the host cultural patterns and develop working relationships with the new environment. This cultural awareness process and then necessary adaptation is facilitated by communication. To the extent immigrants master the communication process of the host culture, they will become acculturated.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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