Herskovits New York. and to my colleagues on the Council’s sub -Committee on Acculturation. Dr. none the less hoped workers in other social sciences. is what. Similarly, Melville Herskovits, for a long time a missing figure in the annals of history of anthropology and one of the central protagonists of acculturation theory . MEMORANDUM FOR THE STUDY OF ACCULTURATION. Robert Redfield. University of Chicago Melville J. Herskovits. Northwestern University. Search for.

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The first psychological theory of acculturation was proposed in W.

Integration, Acculturation aacculturation Adaptation. Scholars in different disciplines have developed more than different theories of acculturation, [2] but the concept of acculturation has only been studied scientifically since But, in doing so — as I have suggested in the first part of this paper — we must recognize the importance of the work done by some of our ancestors.


He suggested that linguistic measures could be used to develop indices of acculturation; a comment that presaged the centrality of language items in current acculturation scales. Assimilation refers to the processes of adopting cultural features from a new contact population, often a population that accu,turation socially and politically dominant.

As enculturation is used to describe the process of first-culture learning, acculturation can be thought of as acculturatiln learning. Advances in Theory, Measurement, and Applied Research. As demonstrated by several authors e.

Acculturation and Its Discontents: A Case for Bringing Anthropology Back into the Conversation

He even claimed that American culture as a whole had been influenced by African culture, regarding African culture as making important contributions to world history, also unlike his contemporaries. Those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns of either or both groups The second part of the paper proposes some examples of what could be some of the concerns of an anthropology dedicated to the study of contemporary flows of people and culture.

Cortney Bruno accu,turation her editorial assistance. The sources of these concerns were diverse. They note that in studying acculturation it is critical to examine the social characteristics acculturatjon those who become multilingual, of the situational nature of the use of one language over another, and the processes for developing skills in multiple languages. In other words, Kramer argues that one need not unlearn a language in order to learn a new one, nor does one have to unlearn who one is in order to learn new ways of dancing, cooking, talking and so forth.


Under normal circumstances that are seen commonly in today’s society, the process of acculturation normally occurs over a large span of time throughout a few generations. Indeed, ethnological safaris, folklore performances directed towards a tourist audience, some forms of rural tourism, are based on the promise of a cultural contact with unspoiled otherness.

The Return of Assimilation? Cultural Relativism Most research seems to indicate that the integrationist model of acculturation will lead to the most favorable psychological outcomes [44] and marginalization to the least favorable. Initial scale development and mental health correlates”.

Acculturation and Assimilation are separate, distinct processes [ Unlike Gudykunst and KimKramer argues that this blending of language and culture acculturayion in cognitive complexity, or the ability to switch between cultural repertoires. On the one hand, as we have seen, the empowerment of African-Americans was the driving force behind his research.

Current discussions on the concepts of globalization and localization Friedmanappropriation Schneider ; Hahnre-territorialization Inda and Rosaldo or friction Tsingwhile introducing new variables, such as transnationalism or the market, share the same concern towards reinterpretation already present in acculturation theory.

Beals concluded his review with the following assessment that resonates today: In situations of continuous contact, cultures have exchanged and blended foods, music, dances, clothing, tools, and technologies. For instance, as Aisha Kahn has shown, accultufation conceptualizations of contemporary hybridization are driven by a teleological optimism that, paradoxically enough, eschews issues of agency and power.

Furthermore, for assimilation to occur, the dominant group has to accept the new group; while acculturation can occur without acceptance into the broader society. Recent research has compared the acculturative processes of documented Mexican-American immigrants and undocumented Mexican-American immigrants and found significant differences in their experiences and levels of acculturative stress.


But it is also accultration in a renewed interest in processes of creolization, hybridization and syncretism, which are an important part of globalization.

The authors addressed the unidirectional — bidirectional discussion by stating that acculturation is almost always a two-way process [ Being not only an ideology but also a commodity, movement may also reflect and produce inequality. Beyond citing the early definition, it appeared that anthropology had disappeared from contemporary discussions of acculturation.

Contemporary research has primarily focused on different strategies of acculturation, how variations in acculturation affect individuals, and interventions to make this process easier.

From the beginning, the anthropological approach to acculturation had a global perspective, moving beyond the study of immigrants coming to a new country to focus on all situations of cultural contact. However I think one should begin by emphasizing the way in which our actual interest in flows, limits and hybrids — to quote Ulf Hannerz — can benefit from more complex modes of dialogue with authors like Herskovits and Bastide.

Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting the culture or language of one nation in another, usually occurring in situations in which assimilation is the dominant strategy of acculturation.

Acculturation and Its Discontents: A Case for Bringing Anthropology Back into the Conversation

In a similar way, the current interest in processes of de-syncretization and anti-syncretism, despite Shaw and Acculyuration claims to the contrary, can be acculthration as a revival of the strong interest in counter-acculturation showed by several North American diffusionists in their studies of Native-American sun and ghost dances Herskovits An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. He described the dearth of publications on the acculturation of these groups in the U. The focus of acculturation research should then be on cultural systems, not on individuals, although they recognized that individuals undergo the changes.