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Contemporary Issues, Family Acculturation, Conclusion

The term acculturation was first used to refer to the changes that take place in cultural groups as a result of contact between them: "Acculturation comprehends those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups" (Redfield, Linton, and Herskovits 1936). Later, recognizing that there are psychological changes among the group to which they belong, Graves (1967) coined the term psychological acculturation. At both the cultural and psychological levels, the term has become widely used to refer to both the process of change (over time) and to the longer-term outcomes (often termed "adaptation") of the contact.

Acculturation is different from both enculturation and socialization. The latter terms refer to the process of initial incorporation into one's primary cultural group through an informal enfolding of the individual (enculturation), or by more formal and deliberate teaching (socialization). The former refers to a later involvement with a second culture, which may or may not lead to the incorporation of individuals into it.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily & Marriage Traditions