What are the Meanings of Acculturation?

Acculturation is the name given to a process that involves the reception and assimilation of cultural elements of one human group by another. In this way, a people acquires a traditional philosophy different from its own or incorporates certain aspects of the discovered culture, usually to the detriment of the cultural bases themselves. Colonization is usually the most common external cause of acculturation.

In this sense, and based on this premise, we can highlight as an example the historical moment of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. And it is that said action gave rise to the fact that the indigenous people of the aforementioned uncovered areas were forced and obliged to carry out an acculturation process. Thus, among other things, they had to assimilate the Christian religious beliefs of Spain.

A nation that centuries ago found itself in the position of the aforementioned Americans and that is, when the arrival of the Roman Empire to the Iberian Peninsula said land, its citizens, had no choice but to make their own certain traditions, ways of functioning of the society or beliefs that belonged to it.

But the cases similar to these that have occurred throughout the history of humanity are many and varied. Among them, it can also be highlighted that the African aborigines during the 19th century were subjected to a process of acculturation, both in terms of religious values ​​and customs or language, due to the various colonizing movements to which they were subjected. See Digopaul for more meanings.

Acculturation processes have different degrees of survival, domination, resistance, destruction, modification and adaptation of native cultures once the intercultural approach has taken place. This procedure contemplates the internalization, assessment and identification of cultural values.

Acculturation can be carried out by the influence of a systematic, consistent and consistent ideological current, although in simpler cases culture ends up imposing itself due to the weight that the majority has with respect to other cultural philosophy.

There are specialists who differentiate between acculturation of an individual (called transculturation) and of a human group. The concept has also generated debate in today’s multicultural communities, in which the descendants of immigrants are encouraged to adopt a dominant culture, although they are also called to learn about family culture.

Other notions related to acculturation are syncretism (a philosophical system made up of elements that are born from the union and conciliation of different doctrines), enculturation (the process by which an established culture is taught to a person with the repetition of its norms and accepted values) and intercultural communication (analyzed by different disciplines, such as anthropology, psychology and the sciences of social communication).

In this sense, and before finalizing the DEFINITION OF the concept at hand, it must be emphasized that it was precisely within the aforementioned Anthropology that the word acculturation first appeared. More specifically, it was done in 1880 by important figures in this area such as Boas, Margaret Mead or McGee.