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Dimensions and Outcomes of Intercultural Contact


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-Acculturation and Contemporary Theories
-Ward et al. (Lesson 3)

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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Dimensions and Outcomes of Intercultural Contact

  1. 1. Dimensionsand Outcomesof Intercultural Contact Acculturation & Contemporary Theories
  2. 2. Intercultural Contacts• Within-Society contacts and Multiculturalism (migration & refugees)• Between-Society contacts: when a person from one society travels to another country with a particular objective in mind (assist, work, study, play, exploit)
  3. 3. Social contact between culturally disparate individuals is difficult• Similarity-attraction hypothesis• Culture-distance hypothesis• Social categorization process (in/out groups)• Stereotyping• Primary socialization process• Cultural syndromes
  4. 4. Dimensions of Intercultural Contact•Time-span-Long term-Short or Medium term•Purpose-Make a life/study in (Immigrants, overseas students, subcultures)
  5. 5. Dimensions of Contact•Type of Involvement- Participate, Exploit, Contribute, Obs erve, Convert (Majority/minority, Immigrants, Trad ers, Experts, Tourists, Missionaries, Di plomats)
  6. 6. Group Level Outcomes of Contact•Genocide of original inhabitants-between societies (American Indians)•Genocide of newcomers by outsiders- within societies (Nazi Germany) Refugee movements often result from attempted genocide, premigration trauma
  7. 7. Group Outcomes (cont.)•Assimilation of out-groups by in- group-within societies (migrants in melting-pot)-between societies (‘Cocacolonisation’)‘swallowing-up’ of one culture by another—gradually adopt dominant culture’s norms/valuesGlobalization: diversity reduced, assimilation policies may be inherently racist
  8. 8. Group level outcomes•Self-segregation of out-groups by in- group-within societies (Tribal lands, the US South- west)-between societies (East Germany during cold war) Majority may seek to exclude minority or minority groups demand separate states, cultural enclaves, special schools, etc.
  9. 9. Group Outcomes (cont.)•Integration-within societies (pluralistic society like Australia)-between societies (United Nations, third cultures) Results when different groups maintain their respective core cultural identities while merging into a superordinate group in other respects
  10. 10. Individual OutcomesAsk yourself:1) Is it considered to be of value to maintain one’s cultural identity and characteristics?2) Is it considered to be of value to maintain relationships with the larger society?
  11. 11. Answers:• “Yes” to both questions: Individual is integrating (health and well-being)• “No” to both questions: Individual is marginalized (adverse effects on well-being)• “Yes” to issue 1, “No” to issue 2: Individual is in the separation category (unhappiness/distress)• “No” to issue 1, “Yes” to issue 2: process of assimilating
  12. 12. Outcomes of contact: dependent variables• Behaviors• Perceptions• Feelings• Beliefs• Attitudes• Self-references
  13. 13. Independent and mediating variables Determinants of outcomes
  14. 14. Outcomes most studied:• General satisfaction of sojourners w/new lives• Changes in emotional adjustment over time (culture shock)• Extent to which sojourners interact with and engage in host culture• Adverse psychological consequences of failing to adjust• Ability of sojourner to manage transition• Degree of competence in new setting
  15. 15. Individual Outcomes• Berry’s Model: Integration, Assimilation, Separation, Marginalization• Ward’s Model: Passing, Chauvinistic, Marginal, Mediating At the personal level, both models consider acculturation as signifying changes in the person’s behavior, attitudes and cognitions.
  16. 16. Individual Outcomes (dependent variable > cultural-identity)• Passing: if second culture has higher status, one may reject his/her individual culture and adopt the new one (assimilation)• Chauvinist: an individual may reject second culture influences as alien, retreat into culture of origin and/or become militant nationalist (separation)
  17. 17. Individual Outcomes• Marginal: individuals vacillate between two cultures, feeling at home in neither• Mediating: individuals who are able to synthesize various cultural identities and acquire bicultural or multicultural identities (Integration)
  18. 18. Historical Perspectives•Linked migration and mental health•Clinically oriented and strongly related to medical models of sojourner adjustment
  19. 19. Contemporary Perspectives•Culture-Learning Approach: cross- cultural exposure is a dynamic learning experience both for sojourn and host problems arise because of difficulties in everyday social encounters; adaption is measured by skills acquisition; focuses on preparation, orientation and acquisition of culturally relevant skills, not therapy-
  20. 20. Culture-specific variables in the adaptation processGeneral knowledge about a new culture;Length of residence in the host culture;Language or communication competence;Quantity and Quality of contact with hostnationals; Friendship networks; Previousexperience abroad; Cultural Distance &Cultural Identity; Temporary vs. permanentresidency; Acculturation modes and Training
  21. 21. Stress & Coping Model• Conceptualizes cross-cultural transition as a series of stress-provoking life changes that require coping responses• Framework incorporates both characteristics of the individual and the situation (that may help or hurt adjustment)• Variables studies include personality factors, cognitive appraisals of change, social support, homesickness, premigration stressors etc.
  22. 22. Social Identification Theories• Highlights aspects of ethnic or cultural identity• Linked to studies that define and measure acculturation• Influenced by social psychology and significance of intergroup perceptions/relations• Cognitive in flavor (attitudes, expectations, values, attributions)
  23. 23. Contemporary Approaches• Theories are more comprehensive than earlier approaches• Consider Affective, Behavior and Cognitive components of an acculturation process that occurs over time (ABCs)• Highlight shift from negative, reactive features of culture contact towards adaptive and active coping• “Shock” now seen as skills deficits
  24. 24. Culture ShockThe term we use to refer to themeeting of individuals and groups whodiffer in their cultural, ethnic, orlinguistic backgrounds.Culture Shock is studied within the broader framework of acculturation theory
  25. 25. Acculturation Process• Changes that occur as a result of sustained first- hand contact between individuals of differing cultural origins• May also be studied within-societies (ethnic groups in plural societies)• Conceptualizes cross-cultural transition as a significant life event in which difficulties are described in terms of debilitating stress or social skills deficits
  26. 26. Adaptation• Debate about appropriate criteria for the assessment of cross-cultural adaptation (what is a successful transition?)• Psychological adaptation is based on affective responses, refers to feelings of well- being/satisfaction during transition.• Sociocultural adaptation is situated within behavioral domain, ability to ‘fit in.’