Definition of acculturation
1 : cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture the acculturation of immigrants to American life; also : a merging of cultures as a result of prolonged contact
2 : the process by which a human being acquires the culture of a particular society from infancy
acculturationalplay \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
acculturativeplay \ə-ˈkəl-chə-ˌrā-tiv, a-\ adjective
What is the difference between acculturation, assimilation, and amalgamation?
Acculturation is one of several forms of culture contact, and has a couple of closely related terms, including assimilation and amalgamation. Although all three of these words refer to changes due to contact between different cultures, there are notable differences between them. Acculturation is often tied to political conquest or expansion, and is applied to the process of change in beliefs or traditional practices that occurs when the cultural system of one group displaces that of another. Assimilation refers to the process through which individuals and groups of differing heritages acquire the basic habits, attitudes, and mode of life of an embracing culture. Amalgamation refers to a blending of cultures, rather than one group eliminating another (acculturation) or one group mixing itself into another (assimilation).
Origin and Etymology of acculturation
ad- + 1culture + -ation ◆Word introduced by the American soldier, geologist, and explorer John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) in Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages (Smithsonian Institution, 1880), and used by him subsequently in a number of essays.
First Known Use: 1880See Words from the same year
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