Integrating Immigrants in Today's Globalised Society

Thesis (M.A.), 2006

102 Pages, Grade: 1


Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Immigration - Political Aspects and Social-psychological Theories
2.1 Pluralism Ideology
2.2 Civic Ideology
2.3 Assimilation Ideology
2.4 Ethnist Ideology
2.5 Ingroups and Outgroups
2.6 Social Identity Theory
2.7 Attitudes, Stereotypes, Prejudices & Discrimination

3. Acculturation Models
3.1 Ecology, Enculturation & Socialization
3.2 Acculturation
3.3 Models of Acculturation
3.4 Berry’s Acculturation Model
3.4.1 Assimilation
3.4.2 Integration
3.4.3 Segregation or Separation
3.4.4 Marginalisation
3.5 Studies and Scales
3.6 Bourhis’ Interactive Acculturation Model

4. The Portuguese in Germany
4.1 General Features of Portuguese Emigration
4.2 Brief History of the Portuguese Presence in Germany
4.3 Present Situation of the Portuguese Migrants in Germany
4.3.1 Geographical Distribution
4.3.2 Age and Gender of the Migrants
4.3.3 Duration of the Stay in Germany
4.3.4 Employment
4.3.5 Unemployment
4.3.6 School, Professional Education and University
4.3.7 Marriages, Naturalizations and Births
4.4 Final Observations

5. Methodology
5.1 Design of the Study
5.2 Instruments
5.2.1 Acculturation Attitudes English Version German Version Portuguese Version
5.2.2 Acculturation Experiences
5.3 Sample and Collection of the Data

6. Presentation of the Results
6.1 Age and Gender of the Groups
6.2 Analysis of Items and Scales
6.3 Inter-correlation of the Scales
6.4 Groups and Acculturation Strategies
6.5 Single-items
6.6 Acculturation Strategies and Contact between the groups
6.7 Acculturation Strategies and Experiences between the groups
6.8 Other factors - Language and Education

7. Discussion of the Results
7.1 The Original Scales
7.2 Interscale Relationships
7.3 Predictors of Acculturation Attitudes
7.4 Portuguese and Germans - Conflict or Consensus?

8. Conclusions

9. References

Annex 1 - English Version of the Host Community Questionnaires

Annex 2 - English Version of the Immigrants’ Questionnaires

Annex 3 - Acculturation Scale from Dick, Wagner, Adams & Petzel

Annex 4 - German Version (A) of the Questionnaire

Annex 5 - German Version (B) of the Questionnaire

Annex 6 - Portuguese Version (A) of the Questionnaire

Annex 7 - Portuguese Version (B) of the Questionnaire

1. Introduction

“...You simply melt right in, it doesn’t matter what your skin. It does not matter where you are from,

Or your religion, you jump right in... To the great American Melting pot...”


“And the end of all our exploring

will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.

”T.S. Eliot

The cohabitation of different cultures in the same geographical location originated with the discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and boomed in the twentieth century, mainly due to what nowadays is called globalisation. Indeed, it was precisely in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that the Portuguese started to leave their country to settle somewhere else in the world, leading to one of the biggest diasporas in history, spreading across the five continents. Since the end of the Second World War, these migratory movements have increased within Europe, while trans-oceanic mobility has decreased. One of the most popular destinations of Portuguese emigrants has been Germany, especially since 1964 when the first agreements were signed with Portugal in order to supplement the labour force and contribute to the re- construction of the country. Almost forty years have passed since then and the question arises of how Portuguese immigrants and the host community co-exist in Germany. This is going to be the subject investigated in this project.

To answer this question, social-psychological theories, dealing with in- and outgroups, self-regard, social identity, stereotypes and prejudice, will be mobilised alongside certain governmental trends on immigration issues. An ideological typology will be suggested and later discussed in relation to Germany and its Portuguese immigrants.

The relationship between these two ethnic groups will also be subjected to empirical research by means of a questionnaire consisting of two different scales. The first was developed on the basis of work carried out first by Berry and later by Bourhis during the eighties and nineties in Canada and comprises four different acculturation orientations, specified into several items. In cross- cultural psychology, the focus on the phenomena resulting from the contact between groups of individuals from different cultural backgrounds and the subsequent adaptations of their original culture patterns is a relative recent trend. Nevertheless, it has been used intensely in the last two decades and several models have been suggested for the study of the acculturation strategies of both immigrants and host communities in multicultural societies. The most frequent is the bi-dimensional model extended by Bourhis and his co- workers from Berry’s original research, which will here be applied to Portuguese immigrants and their relation to the German host community.

The second part of the questionnaire contains an experimental scale designed to highlight some of the pragmatic manifestations of the acculturation process between these two groups. What exactly happens, where and how often, are questions that we will try to answer through examination of the answers given by the participants.

A statistical analysis will lead us to the discussion of results and will hopefully help to define the acculturation tendencies of these two groups towards each other and provide some sort of framework to enable us to understand the choices made by Portuguese immigrants and their host community in their co- existence in Germany.

2. Immigration: Political aspects and social-psychological theories

Germany is a multicultural society, composed of a dominant host community and several minority groups. The relations between the different social communities are determined by political measures adopted by the government, as well as by socio-psychological factors. We will start this chapter by summarizing the immigration policies of some important multicultural countries (including Germany), going on to present some of the social theories that can be related to this topic.

There are two big trends as far as policies related to immigration are concerned. For one, the governments decide on the number, the type and the national origin of the immigrants who are allowed to enter the country; secondly, they formulate integration policies, designed to improve the interaction between the host community of their country and the immigrants. The relation between these two trends is, nevertheless, unequal. While most countries implement measures to control the number and type of immigrants entering their territory, not all of them act at the sociological level, by adopting integration policies to avoid conflict and accelerate integration.

According to Helly (1992), immigration policies are mostly dependent on geographical factors, such as national borders (which stipulate who is a national citizen and who is a foreigner) and internal boundaries (which determine who should be accepted as a member of the nation). Integration policies are related more to psychological and sociological factors, as they are usually designed to foster the successful integration of the immigrants within the host community. As pointed out by Bourhis et al (1994, 4), “the integration policies of host countries often reflect the ideological orientation of the economically, demographically and politically dominant group of the society in question.

Consequently such policies are often formulated as though immigrants had to shoulder the burden of adaptation to the host society”. In this same article, Bourhis and his research group identified and described the four clusters of ideological orientations towards immigration and integration, ranging from a pluralistic ideology to an ethnic one, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1 - Continuum of ideological orientations regarding immigration and integration

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

These clusters are not mutually exclusive and the countries may be situated anywhere along the continuum or shift from one part to the other throughout their history, depending on demographic and economic conditions.

2.1 Pluralism Ideology

Like the other three, the ideology of pluralism presupposes that the immigrants adopt the public values of the host community, dictated by the civil and criminal law, as well as those included in the Constitution. Their private values however are not determined or controlled by the state, which provides freedom in areas such as community involvement, linguistic and cultural activities, religion, political and economic associations, and leisure activities. In certain cases, the state may even support the ethic groups both financially and socially, while these contribute equally by paying taxes. “One premise of this approach is that it is considered of value to the host community that immigrants and ethno- cultural minorities maintain key features of their distinctiveness while adopting the public values of the host community” (Bourhis, 1994, 4). This means that the ideology of pluralism stresses the importance of cultural diversity for both society and state.

An example of this ideology is Canada’s multiculturalism policy, created to subsidise activities of the immigrant communities who wish to organise cultural activities.

2.2 Civic Ideology

The most striking difference between the ideology of pluralism and civic ideology is that, in the latter, the state adopts a policy of non-intervention in the private values of all social groups, including the immigrants. Nevertheless it respects and accepts the rights of citizens to their own organisations and finances these activities to promote group distinctiveness.

The best examples of this sort of ideology are ethno-culturally heterogeneous states which support the collective interest of individuals belonging to an accepted and ancestral majority, not investing in the immigrant minorities. A country with such an ideology is Great Britain, whose only intervention as regards integration was the creation of anti-discrimination laws.

2.3 Assimilation Ideology

In relation to the previous ideologies, the ideology of assimilation admits that the state has under certain circumstances the right to intervene in some of the private values of its citizens. As far as the immigrants are concerned, they are expected to forfeit their linguistic and cultural distinctiveness in order to adopt that of the dominant group, controlled by the state apparatus.

The American pattern of conformity to an Anglo-Saxon model, expected of its immigrants until the beginning of the 20th century, is a good example of this ideology.

2.4 Ethnist Ideology

Going even further than assimilation ideology, ethnist ideology defines the members of its state in ethnically exclusive terms, establishing a sort of blood citizenship determined by birth or kinship. Immigrants must not only accept the public and private values of the host community but should also expect that they may never be considered legitimate members of the state.

According to Bourhis et al, “important features of German immigration laws provide a current example of ethnist ideology. Overall, German citizenship is restricted to individuals who can trace their kinship to “German blood” ancestry. Thus, non-German blood immigrants have no claim to legal citizen ship in Germany” (idem, 8). The example given in this article is that of Turkish “Gast Arbeiter” who have more difficulties in acquiring the German citizenship than the German immigrants returning from eastern European countries, who are granted citizenship within a matter of months based on their blood ties, although some of them are unfamiliar with the current German language and culture.

Apart from the political aspects of immigration, it is also important for the present project to provide an overview of some of the most relevant socialpsychological phenomena which influence attitudes and behaviours in multicultural societies.

2.5 Ingroups and Outgroups

According to Forsyth (1999, 2) “groups are the basic building blocks of society”, since very early on, humans (as well as most animals) learned that living in groups made life easier, be it through the division of labour or through interpersonal relations. “However, in addition to the tremendous benefits for individuals in groups, group life also has some disadvantages and complications. (…) Something (…) tends to happen when people form groups: They tend to form closer ties to members of their own group, and they tend to be suspicious and rejecting of members of other groups” (Nelson, 2002, 1). Allport (1954) was the first to establish the difference between an ingroup - a group to which a person belongs - and an outgroup - a group to which a person does not belong. A person can of course be part of several ingroups at the same time, depending on the circumstances at the moment. For example, a woman can identify herself with other women while shopping, with her co- workers at the workplace and with her family at a family meeting. Ingroups are thus not mutually exclusive.

This division between a group to which a person belongs and a group to which one does not belong has implications for interpersonal relations. As stated by Hamilton (1976), humans have a tendency to view the members of an outgroup as being all alike and sharing the same features, while the people belonging to one’s ingroup are perceived as individuals different from each other. This has been called outgroup homogeneity and ingroup bias (favouritism). At first, researchers believed that the fact that one favours one’s ingroup does not necessarily mean that negative characteristics are automatically attributed to an outgroup. However, a series of experiments showed that even when people were arbitrarily assigned to a group and had nothing in common with the other members before the study began, they showed ingroup favouritism and outgroup homogeneity effects (Rabbie & Horwitz, 1969).

2.6 Social Identity Theory

In 1979 Tajfel & Turner published the first comprehensive article on Social Identity Theory, which is based on the assumption that everyone has a need for positive self-regard and that this is the source for cognitive biases in social perception. According to this theory there are two ways to attain this positive self-regard: by recognising one’s own achievements on the individual level, and by participating in the achievements of the ingroups one belongs to. At moments where the individual self-esteem is low and one has the feeling that one has not accomplished enough, positive self-regard may be obtained by relating to one’s social identity i.e. the groups one belongs to. The theory also states that people normally perceive their own groups as being superior to others, a form of perception that creates a bias against outgroups. Thus, people engage in group comparisons, which can lead to outgroup derogation, to enhance their self-esteem.

2.7 Attitudes, Stereotypes, Prejudices & Discrimination

Social Identity Theory is part of a body of research related to four important concepts in multicultural societies: attitudes, stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination. As pointed out by Nelson (2002, 3) “virtually any group (racial, age, gender, religious, etc.) one can imagine has others who have formed prejudices and stereotypes about it.” These concepts are not only similar to each other, but also closely interrelated.

According to Eagly & Chaiken (1993), an attitude is a general evaluation of some object, normally moving back and forth on an axis of good-bad or favourable-unfavourable. The same researchers in 1998 concluded that an attitude has three different components: behavioural, affective and cognitive.

This holistic perspective of an attitude is shared by the majority of the researchers, who attribute to each of the components one of the above concepts. Thus, Hamilton & Sherman (1994) asserted that stereotypes stand for the cognitive component of an intergroup attitude and most of the social cognition researchers agree that a stereotype is a generalization of attributes towards a group of people. Assuming that stereotypes form a sort of cognitive structure, Ashmore & Del Boca defined them as being “a set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people” (1981, 16).

If stereotypes are the cognitive component of an attitude, prejudices correspond to its affective part. Allport’s definition states that a prejudice is “an antipathy (intense dislike) based upon a faulty and inflexible generalization. It may be felt or expressed. It may be directed to a group as a whole, or toward an individual because he is a member of that group” (Allport, 1954, 9). This definition presupposes that a prejudice is essentially a type of affect, involving above all negative emotions. However, this definition would exclude the sort of positive prejudice that happens in favour of one’s ingroup (ingroup favouritism). Therefore, prejudice research has lately been considering prejudices as an evaluation, either positive or negative, more concretely “as a biased evaluation of a group, based on real or imagined characteristics of the group members” (Nelson, 2002, 11).

Discrimination, on the contrary, is not cognitive or affective, but consists of a form of negative behaviour directed toward an individual based on his/her membership of a group. Consequently, it consists of the transposition of these two intellectual parts of an attitude into tangible practical acts.

In the chapter dedicated to the analysis and interpretation of the data collected through the questionnaires, we will see how both the German political orientation and the social attitudes of the Portuguese immigrants interact and relate to each other.

3. Acculturation models

“Take it easy darling”, he would say. “We’ve got to be absorbed into these customs. We’re still too tough to be ingested quickly,

but we’ve got to try and soften ourselves. We’ve got to yield”

Anthony Burgess

3.1 Ecology, Enculturation & Socialization

One of the first theoretical approaches in cross-cultural psychology focused on the lifelong processes of individual development, which involve changes and continuities of the human organism in interaction with the surrounding cultural and ecological environment. According to this theory, the total cultural context affects these processes, resulting in the development of similarities within and variations between cultures in their socialisation patterns, and therefore also in the psychological characteristics of the representatives of these cultures. Consequently, the differences between the various ethnic groups were mainly due to biological and ecological situations, which then influenced cultural transmission. During the eighties, cultural transmission was held to be a result of enculturation and socialization processes “by which developing individuals acquired (either by generalized learning in a particular cultural milieu, or as a result of specific instruction and training) the host of cultural and psychological qualities that are necessary to function as a member of one’s group” (Berry, 1993, 272). The most influential entities responsible for the cultural transmission were, according to this model, parents and the members of one’s own cultural group.

One of the current trends in cross-cultural psychology focuses nonetheless on the results caused by the contact with other cultures on developing individuals. These other cultures, especially if they have a dominant position in society, may have important consequences on both psychological outcomes and behavioural acts. As a result, in a monocultural society, in order to construct a definition of one’s cultural group, ethnic identity is not really necessary. In fact, as pointed out by Aboud (1981), part of an individual’s identity is not ethnic in nature. Nevertheless, in a multicultural society, such as Germany, England or Canada, ethnic identities take on central importance for individuals and groups. In a national survey carried out in the last of the above-mentioned countries, it was concluded that ethnicity carries a great deal of importance in the self-perception of most Canadians, independent of their origin.

These ethnic groups living together are the so-called acculturating groups.

3.2 Acculturation

The term acculturation was introduced by American anthropologists, as early as 1880, to describe the process of culture change between two different cultural groups who come into contact (Sayegh & Lasry, 1993). However, the first major anthropological studies on acculturation were only carried out in the 1930s, and the first classical definition of acculturation was presented by Redfield, Linton, & Herskovits in 1936. According to these researchers, “Acculturation comprehends those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups” (Redfield, Linton and Herskovits, 1936, 149). Under this definition, acculturation is to be distinguished from culture change (of which it is but one aspect) and assimilation (which is at times a stage of acculturation). It is also to be differentiated from diffusion, which, while occurring in all instances of acculturation, frequently takes place without the occurrence of the types of contact between peoples specified in the definition above, and constitutes only one aspect of the process of acculturation.

This broad definition was in 1954 reviewed by the Social Science Research Council, which defined acculturation as culture change that is initiated by the conjunction of two or more autonomous cultural systems. Acculturative change may be the consequence of direct cultural transmission; it may result from non- cultural causes, such as ecological or demographic modification induced by an impinging culture; it may be delayed, as with internal adjustments following the acceptance of alien traits or patterns; or it may be a reactive adaptation of traditional modes of life. Its dynamics can be seen as the selective adaptation of value systems, integration and differentiation processes, the generation of developmental sequences, and the operation of role determinants and personality factors.

According to these definitions, acculturation involves contact, a process and a state, i.e., there needs to be dynamic activity during and after continuous and first-hand contact or interaction between the cultures, and is a result of the process that may be relatively stable, but which may also continue to change in an ongoing process (Berry, 1989). Thus, from the beginning, acculturation has been understood as a bi-directional process with the changes occurring within both groups in contact.

Although the concept of acculturation originated within the disciplines of anthropology and sociology, and has most often been treated as a cultural group phenomenon, the original formulations also included the terms "individuals" and "peoples" in contact. This fact was mostly noticed within cross- cultural psychology, as the field of acculturation also became an area of inquiry in the 1960s. The group and individual levels were clearly distinguished, with the subsequent introduction of the term "psychological acculturation" to replace the anthropological use of the term "acculturation". This distinction was originally made by Graves (1967) when he described the process of psychological acculturation as the changes that an individual experiences as a result of being in contact with other cultures, and as a result of participating in the process of group-level acculturation that his/her cultural or ethnic group is undergoing. Following Graves (1967) and the early definitions of acculturation as applied to acculturating individuals, acculturation was later also conceptualised within psychological disciplines as a process of resocialisation involving psychological features, such as changes in attitudes, values and identification; the acquisition of new social skills and norms; changes in reference- and membership-group affiliations; and adjustment or adaptation to a changed environment (Berry et al., 1992).

Finally, in the recent literature on acculturation and adaptation, a distinction has also been drawn between two types of adaptive outcomes, psychological and sociocultural (Ward & Kennedy, 1994). The first type refers to a set of internal psychological outcomes, including good mental health, psychological well- being, and the achievement of personal satisfaction in the new cultural context; the second type refers to a set of external psychological outcomes that link individuals to their new context and means the acquisition of the appropriate social skills and behaviours needed to successfully carry out day-to-day activities.

3.3 Models of Acculturation

A sociologist, Gordon (1964), proposed a unidimensional assimilation model to describe the cultural changes undergone by members of a minority group. In his model, acculturation is presented as a sub-process of assimilation, with biculturalism representing only a transitory phase of the process from complete segregation to total assimilation. The underlying assumption is that a member of one culture loses his or her original cultural identity as he or she acquires a new identity in a second culture. Moreover, in this model, problems of acculturation experienced by immigrants are attributed to the members of the minority group themselves, who are held responsible for their failure to assimilate into the host society (Bourhis, Moïse, Perreault, & Senécal, 1997). Similar unidirectional models of acculturation have been developed within social psychology to describe individuals' acculturation on the continuum from approval of total heritage maintenance to approval of total assimilation. Since then, unidimensional theories have continuously influenced research on acculturation and they even seem to have made a forceful comeback in recent work by social and cross-cultural psychologists.

Criticism of the unidimensional models has led to the development of bidimensional models of acculturation, in which immigrants' identification with two cultures is assessed on two independent dimensions, and change is measured along each dimension (Sayegh & Lasry, 1993; Bourhis et al., 1997). Within cross-cultural psychology, Zak (1973, 1976) and Der-Karabetian (1980) were the first to propose and test the hypothesis that heritage and host cultural identities do not fall at either extreme of one bipolar dimension, but are orthogonal and independent of each other. On the basis of his findings, Zak (1973, 1976) proposed that a person may identify him/herself positively or negatively on both identity dimensions, or positively on one dimension and negatively on the other and vice versa. These results were later confirmed by Der-Karabetian's (1980) study, where the relationship of the two identities was also found to be dependent on the phenomenological situation in which the members of a minority find themselves.

Some years later, Hutnik (1986) provided a new social psychological perspective on ethnic minority identity, in which, consistently with Zak's and Der-Karabetian's studies, she suggested that "the two dimensions - ethnic minority identification and majority group identification - must be used in conjunction with each other, in order to arrive at an accurate understanding of the various styles of cultural adaptation" of ethnic minority individuals (Hutnik, 1991, 158). In her quadri-polar model, developed and tested on a sample of Indian girls living in England, Hutnik (1986, 1991) proposed four strategies for the individuals' ethnic self-identification: Assimilative (i.e., the individual concentrates on the majority group label of his/her identity), Acculturative (i.e., the individual categorises him/herself with a hyphenated identity), Marginal (i.e., the individual is indifferent to ethnic group identifications or chooses to identify with neither group), and Dissociative (i.e., the individual defines him/herself entirely within the bounds of the ethnic minority group). She also pointed out that these four styles should not be seen as static in nature, but rather as dynamic (Hutnik, 1991).

The only bidimensional model of acculturation within social psychology that is clearly based on social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986) is the mobility model of cultural integration developed by Moghaddam (1988). In this model, acculturation is not, however, a central concept, and cultural or ethnic minorities are not viewed differently from other socially and economically disadvantaged groups. In particular, this model examines strategies used by individual immigrants to get ahead economically and socially in Canada by measuring their position along two dimensions: assimilation versus cultural heritage maintenance, and normative versus non-normative behaviours. The model proposes four mobility strategies: Normative / Assimilation, Normative / Heritage culture maintenance, Non-normative / Assimilation, Non-normative / Heritage culture maintenance, with normative assimilation being the most appropriate integration strategy for immigrants.

The bidimensional model of acculturation developed within clinical psychology by Szapocznik and his colleagues for Hispanic-American youth (Szapocznik, Kurtines, & Fernandez, 1980) focuses, in turn, on the behaviour and values of the individual when assessing his or her level of acculturation. The first dimension in this model measures biculturalism on a bipolar scale, from involvement in the heritage or host culture only to involvement in both cultures simultaneously. The second dimension measures the intensity of cultural involvement, from cultural marginality to cultural involvement. Four styles of acculturation are possible from combinations of the two dimensions: 1) the bicultural individual with a high degree of involvement in both cultures; 2) the monocultural individual with a high degree of involvement in either heritage or host culture; 3) the marginal monocultural individual with a low degree of involvement in heritage or host culture; and 4) the marginal bicultural individual with a low degree of involvement in both cultures.

However the best-known acculturation model of this type is the one proposed within cross-cultural psychology by Berry and his colleagues.

3.4 Berry’s Acculturation Model

Berry et al. pointed out, “(…) it is known that acculturating individuals are likely to hold attitudes towards the ways in which they wish to become involved with, and relate to, other groups they encounter in their acculturation arena” (Berry et al., 1989, 186). Having as a starting point this metaphor of an arena where different ethnic groups come together and interact with each other, Berry and his research group focused their research on the attitudes resulting from this cultural contact.

Basing their research on intergroup attitudes, “that is, the relative values placed on interacting with and getting along with the other groups in society, or, alternatively, turning away from them (ibidem)”, Berry and his co-workers developed a model upon the observation that in multicultural societies individuals and groups must deal with two main issues. On the one hand they must decide on whether or not to maintain and develop their own ethnic distinctiveness, i.e., if their own cultural identity and customs are of value and should be retained. On the other hand they must also define their inclination towards inter-ethnic contact and decide on whether positive relations with other social groups are of value and should be held.

This model has the purpose of changing the implicit bias in the direction of research on multicultural societies, which rarely presents evidences of minorities’ attitudes to mainstream groups or of minorities’ attitudes towards each other. In the multicultural model from Berry et al. it is assumed that “each ethnic group is capable of holding attitudes towards all groups (including itself), and these should be fully represented in the research (Berry et al, 1993, 278)”. As a result, the model allows us to assert on mutual influences leading to changes in both minorities and majorities in contact with each other.

The basis of Berry’s research is a fourfold model, where each of the four cells is considered to be an acculturation strategy available in multicultural societies and towards which individuals may hold attitudes. The model comprises two basic questions: a) Is it considered to be of value to maintain cultural identity and characteristics?; b) Is it considered to be of value to maintain relationships with other groups? As we can see, one of the questions involves the decision to maintain one’s culture of origin and the other is related to the extent to which the immigrants wish to establish contact and participate in the mainstream culture.

These two questions are then dichotomously answered with yes or no, resulting in four different acculturation strategies.

3.4.1 Assimilation

When the first question has a negative answer and the second a positive one, then the resulting strategy is called assimilation. It occurs when immigrants put aside their own culture and adopt the public values of the host society. This can happen by way of absorption of a non-dominant group into an established dominant group or by the merging of many groups to form a new society (a similar concept to the “melting pot” metaphor). According to Mielke (1997) “the attitude of assimilation reflects an ideology which was predominant up to the middle of this century in the prototypical immigration country, the New World, i.e., the USA. Assimilation was expected of new immigrants to be accepted in the USA, and assimilation meant anglo-conformity (Mielke, 1997, 4).”

3.4.2 Integration

This option takes place when both questions are answered positively, which means that it “implies the maintenance of the cultural integrity of the group, as well as the movement by the group to become an integral part of a larger societal framework (Berry, 1989, 188).” This strategy has also been called “adopting the best of two worlds” since, on the one side, the value of maintaining one’s cultural identity is stressed and on the other, relationships with other groups take on a high value. In a typical integrational society, there are a number of distinguishable ethnic groups, participating within a larger social system.

3.4.3 Segregation or Separation

This occurs when the question regarding maintenance is answered with a yes and the one related to inter-group contact with a no. The difference between segregation and separation depends on which group (the dominant or the non- dominant) controls the situation. When the strategy is imposed by the mainstream group, then segregation takes place. However, to lead a life parallel to the larger society maintaining an independent existence may also derive from a group’s desire to live separately. For Berry, “segregation and separation differ only with respect to which group or groups have the power to determine the outcome (ibidem).”

3.4.4 Marginalisation

This last acculturation option is the hardest one to define as its main features are feelings of alienation, loss of identity, confusion and the so-called acculturative stress. It occurs to groups or individuals which have lost the links both to their own culture and traditions and to the larger society. Again in this case it is important to distinguish between the dominant and non-dominant groups. When marginalisation is the result of a group’s decision or attitude, it constitutes a situation of marginality; when imposed by the host community it is equivalent to social exclusion or even ethnocide.

Three additional aspects should be pointed out in relation to this model. First, these options concern both individual and groups living in plural societies. This does not mean that all the individuals in a so-called group hold the same attitudes towards acculturation strategies. However, “choices among the options are not entirely independent. At the group level, if all of one’s groups pursues assimilation, one is left without a membership group to identify with, rendering the other options meaningless; and if group assimilation is widespread, the culturally plural character of the larger society is eliminated, again voiding the other options (idem, 189).”

Second, these strategies assume a very different character, depending on whether or not they are pursued by a politically dominant group. The best example for this difference is that between separation and segregation: the first is a wish to set up an independent society, whereas the second occurs when this social division is forced by a dominant group.

Third, these options should be seen both in a diachronic (flux) and in a synchronic (inconsistency) perspective. The first case occurs over time and presents a sort of evolutionary pattern of an individual or group’s experimentations with strategies. Inconsistency takes place at a single point in time when, quoting Berry’s example, an individual accepts linguistic and economic assimilation but rejects it in other areas of his life.

Figure 1 shows a summary of Berry’s conceptual acculturation model.

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Figure 1 - Four modes of acculturation based on orientation towards issues of cultural maintenance and intergroup contact (Berry, 1989, 187).

3.5 Studies and Scales

In the 1970s, Berry and his co-workers started developing scales to be used in surveys and which would measure the four acculturation strategies resulting from the model. One of the first preliminary studies was done with the aim of finding out how Australian aborigines related to the larger Australian society. In this study the first scales were developed and tested, expressing only the notions of Assimilation, Integration and Separation. The scales were then expanded and applied in other studies until later on the Marginalisation strategy was also included. In the following studies carried out in Canada, Berry proved the reliability and validity of these instruments designed to understand the views of native communities.

Extended versions of the first scales were developed and applied to various ethnic groups in Canada in order to test their generality in plural societies. The results are presented below in Table 2.

Table 2 - Sample means from the four minority groups subjected to the application of the scales.

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As we can see, the preferred acculturation strategy of the four groups is Integration. However, two other aspects should be singled out from the analysis of this Table: 1) the Franco and Hungarian Canadians, apart from Integration, also placed a high value in Assimilation and Separation; 2) on the other side, for Korean and Portuguese Canadians, Integration is the only possibility for acculturation.

Another important aspect of the scales is their correlations. A general expectation is that they represent diagonal opposites in the model and should be negatively correlated (Integration-Marginalisation; Assimilation-Separation). Figure 2 shows the interscale relationships in the four samples:


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2 - Correlations among the four concepts in the samples.

The correlation between Integration and Separation is in all groups positive, which shows us that in both strategies the tendency is towards the perseverance of the original cultural identity. Also verifiable in all the groups is the negative correlation between Integration and Assimilation, which proves that the maintenance of ethnic identity of the first one is not compatible with its abandonment implicit in the second case. The relation between Integration and Marginalisation is more problematical to interpret in Figure 2 as there are clear differences among the four groups. In the French-Canadians, the correlation is highly negative, while it is slightly positive in the case of the Portuguese- Canadians. This can indicate the difficulties arising from the conceptualisation of Marginalisation.

Berry and his research group applied these scales to other ethnic groups in Canada always improving and adapting them. The complex literature on acculturation has been the subject of numerous conceptual frameworks, which attempt to systematise the process of acculturation and to illustrate the main factors that affect it on an individual level. In this respect, the acculturation framework proposed by Berry (1989), which is largely based on his two- dimensional acculturation strategy, has been recognised as one of the most comprehensive. This framework combines cultural-level (mainly situational variables) and psychological-level (predominantly person variables) phenomena, as well as structural and process features of acculturation. According to Berry (1997), the main point of the framework is to show the key variables that should be attended to in studies of immigrants' psychological acculturation, with particular attention given to the prediction of acculturative stress. However, as Berry notes, his framework is not theoretically integrated, empirically testable and refutable, but rather "a composite framework, assembling concepts and findings from numerous studies" (Berry, 1997, 16) or "a ´skeleton´ onto which various ´bits of flesh´ have been fitted, in order to attain a broader understanding of acculturation and adaptation" (Berry, 1997, 63).

In the 1990s, another group of Canadians, following the critical reception of Berry’s, work introduced various improvements to the model.

3.6 Bourhis’ Interactive Acculturation Model

In 1993 Sayegh & Lasry suggested that the two questions operating as the basis for Berry’s model do not focus on the measurement of the same thing. The first dimension, i.e. the identification with the heritage culture, measures attitudes, while the second one, focusing on the contact with the members of the host community, assesses behaviour. Bourhis and his co-workers concentrated on resolving this inconsistency and ended up by altering the second question in order that it might assess attitudes and not behaviour.

Bourhis also criticised the fact that Berry’s model did not offer an interactive view of immigrant and host community integration strategies because it did not illustrate the dynamic interplay between host community reactions to immigrants and the integration strategies used by immigrants to adjust to the host community. Based on this fact, Bourhis asserts that “A brief review of the literature shows that the dynamic nature of immigrant and host community interactions is the most neglected aspects of existing models of immigrant adaptation to the host environment” (Bourhis, 1994, 26). Consequently, he proposed a more dynamic model, which he called the Interactive Acculturation Model.

The first adjustment made to Berry’s model concerned the inconsistency spotted by Sayegh & Lasry and resulted in a change of the original behaviour- question to: “Is it considered to be of value to adopt the culture of the host community?” (Bourhis, 1997). Accordingly, the model suffered some changes, presented in Figure 2.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3 - Revised bi-dimensional model of immigrant acculturation strategies (Bourhis, 1994)


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Integrating Immigrants in Today's Globalised Society
University of Hamburg  (Institut fuer Allgemeine erziehungswissenschaft)
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Integrating, Immigrants, Today, Globalised, Society
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Joana Duarte (Author), 2006, Integrating Immigrants in Today's Globalised Society, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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