Acculturation is the name given to a process that involves the reception and assimilation of cultural elements that one human group may have on the part of another. In this way, a people acquires a traditional philosophy different from their own or incorporates certain aspects of the culture they are learning, usually deteriorating their own cultural foundations . Colonization is often the most common external cause of acculturation. Acculturation can be carried out by the influence of a systematic, consistent ideological trend that is maintained over time.

What is acculturation?

The acculturation is the process by which a human group or community acquired adopts or assimilates, usually unintentionally, certain values outside their tradition . It is the process in which a person or a group of them acquire a new culture . It is a process of adopting another culture and adapting to it, especially with the loss of one’s own culture.

  • History of acculturation
  • Types of acculturation
  • Detailed process
  • Examples of acculturation

History of acculturation

Seen from this point of view, and starting from this premise, we can highlight as an example the historical moment when the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus occurred . And it is that this action gave rise to the indigenous people of the aforementioned discovered areas being obliged and in need of carrying out a process of acculturation . Thus, among other things, they had to assimilate the Christian religious beliefs of Spain . The processes of acculturation have different degrees of survival , of great domination , resistance , destruction ,modification and adaptation of native cultures. This procedure contemplates the internalization, assessment and identification of cultural values.


Types of acculturation

There are many types of acculturation, the most common are the following:

  • Acculturation : Cultural leisure process that has a decisive influence on the personality of the person who acquires the characteristics of another culture different from his own, such as habits, customs, values, traditions generating a cultural change.
  • Deculturation : This term is applied on occasions when there has been a ‘low culture’ , when a group of people or a person gradually lose the level of culture they had acquired. They influence several specific factors that depend on the circumstances in which each individual, or group of individuals and the place where they live.
  • Enculturation : It is the process where an established culture teaches an individual to be accepted by society through the repetition of its accepted norms and values .
  • Endoculturation : It is the process by which theolder generation transmits their ways of thinking, knowledge, customs and rules to the younger generation.

Detailed process

The term acculturation refers to the process by which continuous or intermittent contact between two or more groups of different cultures mutually affects the cultural responses of each of these. It is the process by which a person acquires or assimilates the cultural traits of another community. When a community of people assumes a foreign culture as their own, a process of acculturation takes place . This process can be conscious or unconscious, peaceful or by force.

Examples of acculturation

A clear example of acculturation is Japan , one of the furthest countries from the East, with a millenary and very rich culture that, however, has managed to perfectly assimilate many traits that have to do with comfort and lifestyle western .

Some minority cultures are in danger of extinction as a result of the influence of larger and more imposing cities. Some communities in Latin America experience a gradual process of loss of identity as a people.

When the Australian territory was occupied by the British , the aboriginal peoples were victims of a slow cultural extermination . Another example that we can observe within the historical framework happened many years ago with respect to the American aborigines who lost their culture in favor of the European one, imposed in a compulsive way.

In Ecuador , for example, acculturation has originated from the need of some indigenous peoples to join commercial exchange systems and professional life to improve their means of subsistence . The culture of Ecuador has been practically forgotten by this process, and the publicity that it has generated against it has it in decline.

Among the examples, it is worth mentioning that there is also a type of peaceful or passive acculturation in which one culture changes to another in a non-violent way. An example can be found in Halloween celebrations in Latin American countries . A few decades ago, that celebration was strictly carried out in the United States and certain European countries , but the American influence in the Latin American countries along with globalization was peacefully penetrating the culture resulting in the celebrations and parties of that Celtic custom. .

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