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Cross Cultural Pysch- Chapter 10- Living in Multicultural Worlds
Cultures= not homogenous entities with clear-cut boundaries= no large societies
that include people from only one cultural background= striking difference in
modern times as most people now encounter other cultures
Difficulties In Studying Acculturation
Acculturation= process by which people migrate to and learn a culture that is
different from their original or heritage culture
Difficult because acculturating individuals have very varying experiences
oPeople move to new countries for different reasons (study, fortune,
oMove to dramatically different kinds of environments (ghettos of their
original culture, or homogenous areas where they’re the only different
oMove to cultures that vary in similarity to their heritage culture
oDifferent individuals= different personalities/goals/expectations
oOverall= few commonalities for all acculturating individs
i. What happens when people move to a new culture?
Moving to a new culture involves psychological adjustment over a wide variety of
domains= language, interpersonal/social behaviors, values, adjustment to self-
Longer time spent in new culture= more similar emotional experiences become to
those of that culture
1. Changes in Attitudes toward the host culture
migrants= those who move from a heritage culture (original culture) to a host
culture (new culture)
oinclude those who intend to stay only temporarily= sojourners
oand those who intend to stay permanently= immigrants
STUDY Norwegian scholars in US
RESULT U-shaped curve
2. U-shaped curve
oY-axis= positive migrants feel about host country
oFirst few months= especially positive time= “honeymoon stage”
Allows for tourism to be a thriving business
oLater/ 6-8 months= increasingly negative views= “culture shock”/ “crisis”
Migrants often realize language skills are not good enough to fully
Initially interesting people no longer see them as exotic/different
change of convo about hometown to local culture recent migrants
don’t have enough info
Homesickness can become strong= long for little things
Culture shock= the feeling of being anxious, helpless, irritable
and in general homesick that one experiences when moving to a
new culture
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oLater= “Adjustment”
Think more and more like locals
Extends over a number of years
Become more proficient in functioning in new culture
Make enduring friendships
U shaped curve= not limited to being in a foreign country= can also happen when
they go back home= with same elation initially and then “reverse culture shock”
setting in as things may not seem the same as they used to= eventually adjustment
and acclimatization
A lot of research found evidence consistent with this pattern of adjustment in
many migrants= but TIMING of the stage can vary considerably
Some research= found that “honeymoon” stage is not evident for many sojourners
as first few weeks can cause a lot of anxiety preventing excitement
Societal feature of HOST country that influences acculturating individuals
adjustment= ease with which the migrants can be accommodated by the host
culture = homogeneity of the host society
oTrying to adjust a migrant to an ethnically homogenous culture is
inherently more challenging as they would always stand out more
regardless of how well they learn the language or customs (Ex. US vs.
Japan= 98% Japanese)
STUDY migrants to Japan did not replicate the U-shaped curve instead found an
L-shaped curve with the honeymoon and culture shock/crisis stage but no
adjustment stage those living in Japan for more than 5 years were equally
negative as those who had been there for just 1 year= in deep crisis stage
ii. Who Adjusts Better
Factors that influence how people will adjust to their acculturation experiences
Cultural Distance, Cultural fit, Acculturation Strategies
Cultural distance= the difference between two cultures in their overall ways
of life= the more the cultural distance, the more difficulty a person will have
acculturating because more learning needs to be done
STUDY compare performance on language performance (an indirect measure of
acculturation)= one of the best predictors of acculturative success many
similarities between language and culture so if it is easier for a migrant to learn
the language, the better they should fare in the acculturation process use TOEFL
RESULTS scores vary based on participants own mother language those who
speak languages highly similar to English (Dutch, German) perform better than
those who grew up speaking more distant languages (Ex. Romance languages=
French, Spanish)
Cultural distance= encapsulates more than learning a language
STUDY Malaysian students in New Zealand vs. Malaysian students in Singapore
Results Malaysian students in Singapore= fit better after 3 years as they reported
fewer difficulties in daily problems
Also, sojourners from more distant cultures= suffer more distress, require more
medical consultations, more social difficulties in general
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Acculturation without leaving own country= colonialism of indigenous native
STUDY Tsimshian, Eastern Cree, Carrier tribes of Canada where Tsimshian
social stratification and permanent settlements were most similar to mainstream
Canadian culture as opposed to migratory patterns of Cree, with Carrier being in
RESULTS Tsimshian acculturated to mainstream Canadian culture with the
fewest difficulties Cree had most stress Carrier were intermediate
Overall= cultural distance= useful variable to predict who will fare better in
Cultural Fit= the degree to which an individual’s personality is more similar
to the dominant cultural values in the host culture= the greater the cultural fit
of a person with the host culture, the more easily they would acculturate
Personality trait of “extraversion”= general orientation to active stimulation=
more likely to migrate, particularly to urban areas
oCountries with large immigrant populations= should have increased
number of extraverts
o Extraversion= should facilitate conversation everywhere= extraverts
should always fare better
STUDY Malaysians/Singaporeans in New Zealand who score high on
extraversion show more signs of psychological well-being
STUDY English Speaking expats in Singapore who score high on extraversion
feel more boredom, frustration, depression and health problems than those who
scored low
OVERALL extraversion does NOT always facilitate acculturation only fare
better when they fit well with the culture because the culture/country has higher
levels of extraversion overall
STUDY people with more independent self-concepts suffer less distress in
acculturating to the US than those with more interdependent self-concepts
Acculturation= easier if one’s personality fits well with one’s host cultural
Acculturation Strategies
a. Berry et. al
2 issues critical to acculturation outcomes:
odo people try to participate in larger society of host culture
oare people striving to maintain their own heritage culture and identity as
members of that culture
These two issues= independent, can be positive for one and negative for another
4 different acculturation strategies that people might have= SAMI
oIntegration strategy= includes attempts to fit in and fully participate in
host culture WHILE trying to maintain the traditions of one’s heritage
Positive views towards host and heritage culture
Most common strategy
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