The IB Guide (2017) explains that acculturation refers to when “People change as a result of contact with other cultures in order to assimilate with a new culture”

This is not an especially useful way of thinking about acculturation as Berry talks about four acculturation strategies, although one of these is called assimilation, there are three other strategies as well. Not everyone assimilates with the new culture they find themselves in.

Berry (2005) defines acculturation as “the process of psychological and cultural change that results from contact and interaction between cultures.” Berry acknowledges that both the dominant and the non-dominant culture may be undergo change as a consequence of this process.

Think: Why do you think acculturation is a growing field in socio-cultural psychology? This links to the HL extension.

Living successfully in two cultures:

Read about acculturation and third culture kids here: Strangers_in_their_own_land


A useful 30 minute lecture about acculturation:

An interview with Berry:

Further reading links 

Powerpoint to view ahead of lessons: acculturation 2019

mui and kang

Here is the structured interview schedule used in Mui and Kang to measure depressive symptoms. 

Acculturation booklet: acculturation-booklet-1

Research studies Powerpoint: Acculturation, Age and Stress

Questionnaire used to measure depression in Kaplan and Marks: 

Acculturative strategies: card sort (show you understand the strategies by sorting these statements taken from Barry’s (2001) ‘The East Asian Acculturation Measure (EAAM)’ questionnaire: acculturative styles card sort

Study notes Lackey (2008): Lackey 2008 study notes

Inductive Content Analysis activity: Lackey (2008): Inductive Content Analysis and Lackey

SAQ: SAQ-acculturation3 : This SAQ has the command term ‘explain’ – at the moment it is rather long – which details can be cut but still ensure that the command term is addressed?

ERQ: Acculturation ERQ : This essay is around 1700 words long – what can you cut without jeopardising  your chances of hitting all 5 top band criteria (A,B, C, D and E).

Further interesting studies:

International aid workers in Nepal:

Just a thought: Not a study of acculturation however Berry (1967) provides an interesting counter-argument for an acculturation essay: he found that people who had experienced a Western education./employment despite being Temne (Sierre Leone) behaved no differently from Temne people with no Western experience in the conformity task, suggesting in this experiment at least that exposure to Western (IDV) values had apparently made little impact. Perhaps this could be discussed in terms of acculturative strategies such as separation (whereby the people did not identify as Western and rejected the values despite being exposed to them). This has some similarities to the way that the children behaved in the Charlton (2000) study in St Helena where exposure to Western values on TV made no difference to their playground behaviour, perhaps because they simply did not identify with the characters and maintained their own cultural identity .