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Soc Sci Med. 1987;25(7):839-47.

The process of acculturation: theoretical perspectives and an empirical investigation in Peru.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois, Chicago 60612.


World-wide migratory patterns have led to an increasing interest in acculturation processes and their psychosocial and psychiatric sequelae. This paper reviews alternative theoretical approaches to the study of acculturation and identifies gaps in the current knowledge base. We then present empirical research on acculturation processes experienced by both Indian rural to urban migrants and White-Mestizo non-migrants in Lima, Peru. The study examined overall acculturation and five sub-dimensions: language use, customs, sociability, perceived discrimination and ethnic identity. The data show that second generation migrants are more highly acculturated across sub-areas and perceive less ethnic discrimination than first generation migrants. The first generation varied in acculturative level across sub-dimensions as a function of their age at the time of migration. Contrasts between the migrant and dominant group depicted a two-way process of culture change, but a process characterized by an inequality in the content exchanged in each direction. Socio-demographic correlates of acculturation were also found. These results are discussed in terms of the potential psychological consequences of alternative acculturative adaptations within the Peruvian social-structural context.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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