Chapter 10: living in multicultural worlds:
• Today, cultures are not homogenous entities with clear cut foundries, today there are no longer anywhere that include only the
people from one cultural background even the most homogenous societies contain individual from different culture. Moreover, in
places where most f the research is conducted in the most diverse of all.
Difficulties in StudyingAcculturation
• Acculturation is the process by which people migrate to and learn a culture that is different from their original (or heritage)
• Reaching consistent conclusions is difficult because acculturating individuals have such widely varying experiences
o have varying experience ( fled from war, want to be close to family, get fame, all are reasos)
o People move to a new country for many reasons, to dramatically different kinds of environments (cultural ghettos,
homogenous neighborhood where they stand out), that vary in their similarity to their heritage culture
o Some even move to areas that vary in their similarity to their own heritage culture (i.e. move someplace because particular
country people live their.)
o Individuals have different personalities, goals, and expectations that affect their acculturation experience
o In sum, few commonalities exist for all acculturate individuals to identify common patterns.
What Happens When People Move to a New Culture?
• Moving to a new culture involves psychological adjustment as well. This is due to variety of reasons like new language, learning
new interpersonal and social behavior, new values etc. for example, the more you spend time in a new culture, the more similar
their emotional experiences becomes to those of toher people living in that culture.
Changes inAttitudes Toward the Host Culture
• Migrants, those who move from a heritage culture(home culture) to a host culture ( another culture). Sojourners only intend
to stay temporarily (vacation) , immigrants intend to move permanently
• Lysgaard, 1955 identified an adjustment pattern that he called the U curve. Has three stages.
• Honeymoon stage: In initial months, migrants had an especially positive time. And most people go back to their countries so
they have good memories as this point. But those that stay now move onto the next phase.
• Crisis” or “culture shock stage: Most then begin to have increasingly negative views toward their host culture, between 6-
o Culture shock, the feeling of being anxious, helpless, irritable, and in general, homesick that one experiences on
moving to a new culture. This is often when you realize you are not good fit, language not good, you can’t talk about the
same things etc.
• Adjustment phase: after several months, sojourners start to adjust and enjoy their experiences more
o This U-shaped adjustment curve can occur when sojourners return to their home country what is called the reverse
culture Shock/U curve.
• But this U shaped curve does not shape everyone’s experience. For many, the first week is often a lot of anxiety and so on (new
culture that's why).
• One feature of a host culture that seems to influence the acculturation individual’s adjustment is the ease with which the migrant
can be accommodated by the host culture ( US easy since multicultural but japan is hard since very homogenous thus a lot more
harder. • Hsiao-Ying, 1995) tracked acculturation experiences of migrants to Japan, a very homogenous society.
• - Found an L-shaped curve which shared the honeymoon and crisis stage but found no evidence of the adjustment stage. You
continue to feel negatively about japan many years after.
• Thus, the success depends on the homogeneity of the society to which you are trying to acculturate
Who Adjusts Better?
• The difference between two cultures in their overall way of life. The more you have to learn about a culture the harder it is to
adjust to it. Thus the more the distance between the two the harder it is.
• An indirect measure of acculturation is language performance; one of the best predictors of acculturative success.
• Average scores on TOEFL test higher in countries where the language is highly similar to English (Dutch, German) and lower in
highly distant language groups (Japanese)
• But things other then the language are also important like how to make friends, finding doctors, get driver license, these are
things that are all have to learned. Easier if everything is the same.
• - (Ward & Kennedy, 1995) compared the adjustment of Malaysian university students in New Zealand and Singapore
• - students completed a measure of sociocultural adjustment that assess their daily problems in navigating through the new culture
• - after 3 years of study, Malaysian students had an easier time getting by in Singapore ( which is more culturally similar to
Malaysia) verses the same students in new Zealand. T
• - other studies have found that sojourners from more distant countries suffer from more distress, require more medical
consultations and also have difficulty establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships with members of the host country
• people do not need to leave ones nation to be confronted with the need to acculturate to a new set of values. Various indigenous
groups have had to adjust to a culture imposed on them.
• - Tsimshian, engaged in subsistence practices that allowed them to accumulate large quantities of food and establish permanent,
highly stratified settlements
• - Eastern Cree, subsistence practices didn’t allow them to accumulate much food so that some are migratory and have low
• - (Barry &Annis, 1974) reasoned that the complex social stratification of the permanent settlements of the Tsimshian was more
similar to mainstream Canadian culture.
• - Found that the Tsimshian acculturated to mainstream Canadian culture with the fewest difficulties; the Easter Cree had the most
signs of stress; Carrier were intermediate
• cultural fits: The degree to which an individual’s personality is more similar to the dominant cultural values in the host country
• Consider the personality trait of “extraversion”: (Searle & Ward, 1990) found that Malaysians and Singaporeans who scored
high on extraversion demonstrated more signs of psychological well-being while living in New Zealand than those who scored
low • - (Armes & Ward, 1989) found that English-speakers living in Singapore who scored high on extraversion reported feeling more
boredom, frustration, depression, health problems. Thus extraversion DOES NOT always facilitates acculturation. Thus they
extraversion will only benefit you if the host culture prefers extraversion ( in this case Singapore does not).
• self-concept; would seem that people with more independent self-concepts would be a better cultural fit in individualistic
societies (Cross, 1995) investigated how well students from Korea, Japan, and China fared in acculturation to the US/
• Found a positive relation between the independence of one’s self-concept and the likelihood that one engaged in direct coping
• Those that were particularly independent were more likely to use active strategies e.g. making a plan of action to get rid of a
• Thus overall, acculturation is more straightforward if one’s personality fits well with the host environment.
• (Berry & Sam, 1997) proposed two critical issues to the outcome of one’s acculturation.
• 1) Whether people attempt to participate in the larger society of their host culture
• 2) Whether people strive to maintain their own heritage culture and identity.
• Both of these are Proposed to be independent of each other measured by a questionnaire. The four strategies that come about
• Integration strategy involves attempts to fit in and fully participate in the host culture while striving to maintain the traditions of
one’s heritage culture (+/+ for both) most likely to be pursued.
o People using this strategy have Lowest degree of acculturative stress; protective features e.g. lack of prejudice and
discrimination, involvement in two cultural communities and access to two support groups.
• Marginalization strategy involves little or no effort to participate in the host culture or to maintain the traditions of the heritage
culture (- for host/- for heritage culture)
o Least common, involves loss of one’s original culture, rejection of dominant society,
• Assimilation strategy involves an attempt to fit in and fully participate in the host culture while making little or no effort to
maintain the traditions of one’s heritage culture (+ for host and – for heritage)
o Loss of one’s heritage culture and accompanying social support networks, a sense of disconnection with the past
• Separation strategy involves efforts to maintain the traditions of the heritage culture while making little or no effort to
participate in the host culture (- for host and + for heritage)
o Cost of rejecting host culture and its protective features, often accompanied by the individuals being rejected by the host
• Avariety of factors influence which strategy likely be pursued
• Aperson will not strive to fit into the host culture if that culture shows a great deal of prejudice toward the individual’s own
• More physically distinct ethnic groups are likely to experience more prejudice and actively support collective efforts to benefit
their group’s social position • People of low SES or are members of indigenous cultural groups are more likely to pursue separation or marginalization
because the host culture do not provide them with anything.
• Asocietal acceptance for diversity and multiculturalism may increase likelihood of integration or assimilation strategies
• The 4 strategies all lead to different results. Lowest degree of acculturative stress is the integration strategy. (you get the support
of both groups that's why). The least successful is marginalization. (Because you loss both group you have no support) and then
Assimilation and separation are in the middle.
• However, whether migrants tried to preserve their own cultural traditions had no impact on their acculturations, the only variable
that mattered was their attitude towards the host culture. +Attitudes towards host causes better acculturations.
Some Pitfalls ofAcculturation
• Not all things that are picked by the immigrants are good things.
• (Goel et al., 2004) immigrants who lived in the US for less than a year, 8% obese VS. those who lived in the country for 15 years,
• - Latinos who move to the US got heavier and became more likely to engage in less healthy behaviors e.g. smokin