[ home | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z || help | about ]

A process of cultural transformation initiated by contacts between different cultures. At a global level, acculturation takes place as societies experience the transforming impact of international cultural contact. The global trend towards modern economic organization and developed market economies has been accompanied by a process of cultural transformation. A key change is towards a transformation of economic organization, the great majority of individuals come to generate their income through employment or running businesses, rather than from economic bonds with family and community. In the modern world, there is great ease of international communication and interaction between cultures, but sociologists have generally focused attention on the global impact of the capitalist western world on other societies. While each society experiences a unique process of cultural and economic transformation, there are some common trends that appear to be linked to the development of complex market economies, a wage employment system and urbanization. Individuals experience acculturation when their social roles and socialization are shaped by norms and values that are largely foreign to their native culture. Educational and occupational experiences are the primary agents of the individual's acculturation process. Some sociologists use the term to refer simply to the process of learning and absorbing a culture, making it synonymous with socialization, but ‘enculturation’ is a more appropriate word for that meaning. See: SOCIALIZATION / .

Last updated 2002--0-9-

[ home | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z || help | about ]

Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
Athabasca University and

*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names