Sociology

Acculturation

Acculturation is the name given to a process that involves the reception and assimilation of cultural elements that one human group may have by another. In this way, a person acquires a traditional philosophy different from its own or incorporates determined aspects of the culture they are discovering, usually deteriorating their own cultural bases. Colonization is usually the most common external cause of acculturation. Acculturation can be carried out by the influence of a systematic, consistent and sustained ideological current.

What is acculturation?

Acculturation is the process by which a human group or community acquires, adopts or assimilates, usually involuntarily, certain values alien to its tradition. It is the process in which a person or a group of people acquire a new culture. It is a process of adopting and adapting to another culture, especially with the loss of one's own culture.

History of the 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 took place. And it is that this action gave rise to the indigenous people of the mentioned discovered zones were seen in the necessity and obligation to carry out an acculturation process. Thus, among other things, they had to assimilate Spain’s Christian religious beliefs. Acculturation processes have different survival degrees, of much domination, resistance, destruction, modification and adaptation of native cultures. This procedure contemplates the internalization, valuation and identification of cultural values.

Types of acculturation

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

Detailed process

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. It is the process by which a person acquires or assimilates cultural traits of another community. Acculturation occurs when a community of people takes on a culture of others as its own. This process can be conscious or unconscious, pacific or by force.

Examples of acculturation

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

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

When the Australian territory was occupied by the British, Aboriginal peoples were victims of slow cultural extermination. Another example that we can observe within the historical framework happened many, many years ago with respect to the Native Americans, who lost their culture because of the compulsive European culture.

In Ecuador, for example, acculturations have originated from the need for some indigenous peoples to join trade systems and professional life in order to improve their livelihoods. Ecuador’s culture has been virtually forgotten by this process, and the publicity it has generated against it has it in decline.

Examples include a type of peaceful or passive acculturation in which one culture changes to another in a non-violent manner. An example can be found in Halloween celebrations in Latin American countries. A few decades ago, this celebration was carried out strictly in United States and certain European countries, but the American influence in Latin American countries along with globalization was penetrating peacefully into the culture resulting in celebrations and festivals of this Celtic custom.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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