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Acculturation Processes and Communication

Young Yun Kim


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Millions of people cross cultural boundaries each year (→  Migration and Immigration ). Immigrants and refugees seek a new life away from their familiar grounds, along with various groups of temporary sojourners – from employees of multinational corporations, missionaries, diplomats, and military personnel, to professors, researchers, high school and college students, musicians and artists, and doctors and nurses. Although individual circumstances may differ widely, all strangers in a new environment embark on the common project of acculturation . Research on acculturation has been extensive across social science disciplines. The term was first adopted in the 1930s by the Social Science Research Council to represent the new inquiry in cultural anthropology. The Council provided the parameters for this new field of inquiry, which dealt with “those phenomena which result when groups of individuals have different cultures and come into first-hand contact with subsequent changes in the original pattern of either or both groups” ( Redfield et al. 1936 , 149). Early anthropologists such as Herskovits (1958) observed the dynamics of change in traditional cultures and the presence of kin, friends, and social organizations within immigrant communities. Sociologists such as Glazer and Moynihan (1963) have addressed issues pertaining to the processes in which minority groups are integrated ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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