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Acculturation is the process of group and individual changes in culture and behaviour that result from intercultural contact. These changes have been taking place forever, and continue at an increasing pace as more and more peoples of different cultures move, meet and interact. Variations in the meanings of the concept, and some systematic conceptualisations of it are presented. This is followed by a survey of empirical work with indigenous, immigrant and ethnocultural peoples around the globe that employed both ethnographic (qualitative) and psychological (quantitative) methods. This wide-ranging research has been undertaken in a quest for possible general principles (or universals) of acculturation. This Element concludes with a short evaluation of the field of acculturation; its past, present and future.
In culturally diverse societies, one of the biggest questions on our minds is 'how shall we all live together?' Mutual Intercultural Relations offers an answer to this fundamental and topical issue. By exploring intercultural relationships between dominant/national and non-dominant/ethnic populations in seventeen societies around the world, the contributors are each able to chart the respective views of those populations and to generate 'general' principles of intercultural relations. The research reported in this book is guided by three psychological hypotheses which are evaluated by empirical research: multiculturalism, contact and integration. It was also carried out comparatively in order to gain knowledge about intercultural relations that may be general and not limited to a few social and political contexts. Understanding these general principles will offer help in the development of public policies and programmes designed to improve the quality of intercultural relations in culturally diverse societies around the world.