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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the core meanings of the process of acculturation and its consequences for groups and individuals. At the cultural group level, acculturation involves changes in social structures and institutions and in cultural norms. At the individual psychological level, it involves changes in people’s behavioral repertoires and their eventual adaptation to these intercultural encounters. Three key issues are examined: how people choose to acculturate, how well they adapt to intercultural living, and whether there are any systematic relationships between how people acculturate and how well they adapt. The most common finding is that pursuing the integration strategy is related to higher levels of well-being. This chapter attends in particular to the health outcomes of acculturation, and seeks to outline the key features of this process that may permit the achievement of positive health and social outcomes following intercultural contact.

Keywords: acculturation, acculturative stress, adaptation, integration, assimilation, separation, marginalization, cultural maintenance, intercultural contact, multiculturalism

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