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Am J Community Psychol. 2008 Dec;42(3-4):343-54. doi: 10.1007/s10464-008-9197-5.

How do organizations and social policies 'acculturate' to immigrants? Accommodating skilled immigrants in Canada.

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Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, 246 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A1.


While the idea of acculturation (Berry 1997) was originally proposed as the mutual change of both parties (e.g., immigrants and the host society), the change processes of host societies are neglected in research. A grounded theory study explored the efforts of human service organizations to 'acculturate' to an increasingly diverse immigrant population, through interviews conducted with service providers serving Mainland Chinese immigrants. Acculturation efforts of human service organizations (mezzo-level acculturation) were often needs-driven and affected by the political will and resultant funding programs (macro-level forces). Even with limitations, human service organizations commonly focused on hiring Mainland Chinese immigrants to reflect the changing demographics of their clientele and creating new programs to meet the language and cultural backgrounds of the clients. To contextualize these organizational efforts, an analysis of how policy changes (macro-level acculturation) interact with organizational practice is presented. Finally, the meaning of acculturation for the host society is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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