The dynamics of contact and
acculturation
Rupert Brown
School of Psychology
Sussex University
[email protected]
With: Gulseli Baysu (Istanbul, Turkey); Jens Binder (Nottingham Trent University, UK);
Lindsey Cameron (Kent University, UK); Roberto Gonzalez (Santiago, Chile); Rosa Hossain
(Kent University, UK); Camilla Matera (Firenze, Italy); Dennis Nigbur (Christchurch University,
UK); Elizabeth Okoh (Sussex University, UK); Karen Phalet (Leuven University, Belgium);
Adam Rutland (Goldsmiths, UK); Christina Stefanile (Firenze, Italy); Linda Tip (Sussex
University, UK); Hanna Zagefka (Royal Holloway, UK)
Migration and acculturation: a global
phenomenon
• Over 232 million people (3.2% of world’s population)
live in a country other than that of their birth; in
Europe alone there are 72 million migrants (UN,
2013).
• Such mass migration poses many challenges as
migrants and members of receiving society come
into contact with one another: Migrants - changing
identities, new social mores and values,
discrimination experiences; Receiving society –
perceived economic and symbolic threats
What is acculturation?
“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
cultural patterns of either or both groups”.
Redfield, Linton & Herskovits (1936, p. 149)
What is acculturation?
“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
cultural patterns of either or both groups”.
Redfield, Linton & Herskovits (1936, p. 149)
Note
• Intergroup phenomenon (not just something that
happens to one group)
• Dynamic process (concerned with change)
• Involves intergroup contact
Berry’s framework
From: Sam & Berry (2010)
Berry’s framework: some observations
• Traditional focus: on immigrant or minority groups; majority just seen
as ‘background’.
• What’s best for you? Integration is often the modal preference for
minorities and is thought to yield best adaptation outcomes, but this may
depend on the prevailing societal climate or local context (e.g., Berry et al.,
2006). Experienced discrimination is frequently as a strong (or stronger)
predictor of minority group well-being as acculturation attitudes.
• Very few longitudinal (or experimental) studies: exceptions
Oppedal et al. (2004), Jasinskaja-Lahti (2008); hence, causal inferences
difficult.
• Majority-Minority concordance: Subsequent models stress the
importance of concordance/discrepancy between majority and minority
acculturation attitudes for intergroup relations: Bourhis et al. (1997),
Piontkowski et al. (2002).
• Implications for social adaptation? Traditional focus is on
individual adaptation (e.g., well-being, life chances), but social adaptation
matters too (e.g., quality of majority-minority relations); this was little studied
prior to 2000.
The Contact Hypothesis: some observations
• Traditional focus: on majority group members – what can be done to
reduce their prejudiced attitudes? Minorities little studied (Dixon et al., 2012)
• Allport(1954): classic formulation with its four conditions (equal status,
acquaintance potential, cooperation, institutional support.
• Pettigrew & Tropp (2006): Meta-analysis of 515 studies with 713
samples (N > 250,000). Effect sizes, r = -.20 to -.23 (for contact-prejudice
relationship); minorities and majorities differ (Tropp & Pettigrew, 2005):
stronger effects for majorities (.24) than for minorities (.18).
• Very few longitudinal studies – exceptions, Binder et al., 2009;
Levin et al., 2003; Swart et al., 2011. Hence, causal inferences difficult .
• Is direct contact necessary? The Extended Contact Hypothesis
(Wright et al., 1997): knowing ingroup members with outgroup friends can
reduce prejudice (changed ingroup norms?).
Acculturation & Contact: developing a
dynamic intergroup perspective
Brown & Zagefka (2011) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 129-184
• Contact is a common denominator in both research
traditions (therefore, incorporate both acculturation and
contact variables in the same research design).
• Importance of studying both majority and minority groups
(acculturation is not a one-way process).
• Need for a more dynamic approach (therefore, study
change, including developmental effects, and mutual
intergroup influence).
• Use more longitudinal and experimental designs (greater
causal interpretability).
Some recent illustrative research
• [A] Acculturation and minority group adaptation: the importance of
intergroup context
• Young ethnic minority children’s acculturation attitudes and well-being in UK
• African migrants to UK: acculturation attitudes, discrimination, well-being
• Acculturation attitudes and well-being among Muslims in UK & Netherlands
• Acculturation attitudes, school climate and educational achievement in
Belgium
• [B] Acculturation and mutual adaptation: intergroup dynamics
• Indigenous and majority group acculturation preferences in Chile
• Experimental analysis of effects of perceived immigrant acculturation
attitudes on Italian majority intergroup attitudes
• Direct and indirect contact as antecedents of acculturation attitudes among
Peruvian migrants and Chilean majority
• Prejudice as an antecedent and consequence of acculturation attitudes in
three European countries
[A] Acculturation and minority group
adaptation: the importance of
intergroup context
Acculturation as a process: a developmental study
Brown et al. (2013) Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1656-1667
• Study of British ethnic minority children (N = 206, age 5 –
11 years), primarily from S Asia (e.g., India, Sri Lanka)
• Measures: acculturation attitudes; adaptation (e.g., self
esteem, emotional symptoms (teacher ratings))
• Three wave study, 6 months between testing
Acculturation attitudes by age
Brown et al. (2013)
5-7 yrs
8-11 yrs
Changes in self-esteem for immigrant children (2nd
generation) with different acculturation strategies
Brown et al. (2013)
3,30
3,22
3,20
3,10
SELF ESTEEM
3,10
3,02
2,98
3,00
2,98
2,90
2,80
2,91
3,02
3,00
ASSIMILATION
2,95
2,93
2,93
2,70
2,60
TIME2
SEPARATION
MARGINAL
2,83
TIME1
INTEGRATION
TIME3
Effects of an ‘integrationist’ orientation on
emotional symptoms (teacher ratings)
Brown et al. (2013)
t2
t1
‘Integrationist’
orientation
Emotional
symptoms
+.18**
+.65**
Emotional
symptoms
Acculturation attitudes and well-being
among African migrants in UK
Okoh & Brown (in prep)
• Sample: N=228 African migrants to UK (Mage = 21.6, range
12-42), incl. many Muslims
• Measures: acculturation attitudes, well-being (PANAS,
General Health), contact with majority, perceived
discrimination
• Design: cross-sectional survey
Acculturation attitudes
Okoh & Brown
Acculturation attitudes and well-being
Culture
Maintenance
+.22**
PANAS
Discrimination
-.22**
Acculturation attitudes and well-being
Culture
Maintenance
+.22**
PANAS
Discrimination
Culture
Maintenance
Discrimination
-.22**
+.19**
-.21**
+.21*
Contact (with
majority)
R2 = .13
Gen Health
R2 = .16
Acculturation attitudes and well-being: a
longitudinal study
Tip & Brown (under review)
• Design: Two longitudinal (internet-based) studies of
Muslims (UK, Netherlands): Ns = 209, 70 ‘matched’, UK;
230, 70 ‘matched’, Netherlands. Mage = 27.4, 29.9 years;
122/163F, 87/67M; ~6 weeks time lag.
• Measures: Culture Maintenance (CM), Desire for
Contact (DC), in both Public (and Private) domains;
perceived discrimination; well-being (PANAS).
Acculturation attitudes and well-being: a
longitudinal study: cross-sectional
results
In both studies: pubCM, p < .01, pubCM X Discrim interaction, p < .05
Acculturation attitudes and well-being:
longitudinal results
t1
t2
+.29* (UK), +.26* (Ne)
Public CM
Well-being
R2 = .74 (UK), .65(Ne)
In both studies, the only significant longitudinal predictor, controlling for
the DV at t1, was Public CM, p < .05; reverse paths were ns.
Acculturation, adaptation and intergroup climate
Baysu, Phalet & Brown (2011) Social Psychology Quarterly, 74, 121-143
• According to Berry, adaptation outcomes of minority group
acculturation depend on social climate; if this is antithetical to
multiculturalism, Integration might not be optimal strategy.
• Study of Turkish immigrants in Belgium (N = 576, age 18 – 35
yrs);
– adaptation = educational outcomes (final level of
school/college achieved), controlling for secondary school
entry (academic vs vocational);
– acculturation measured via identification (Ethnic group,
National group); four classic Berry ‘strategies’ derived from
crossing Ps’ levels on those two measures (Hi vs. Lo).
– key moderator: level of perceived discrimination
experienced at school (intergroup climate)
Acculturation, adaptation and intergroup climate
Baysu, Phalet & Brown (2011)
Probability of academic success
[B] Acculturation and mutual
adaptation: intergroup dynamics
Perceptions of majority members’ acculturation
preferences can shape minority members’ own
acculturation preferences: evidence from Chile
Zagefka, Gonzalez & Brown (2011) British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 216-233.
• Samples: Mapuche school students (age 14 – 23 years), Ns =
566 (Study 1) and 394 (Study 2). The Mapuche are the largest
single indigenous group in Chile.
• Design: cross-sectional surveys conducted in Santiago and
Temuco
• Measures:
– own acculturation attitudes (desire for contact/culture maintenance);
– perceived acculturation attitudes of the majority for the Mapuche (desire for
contact/culture maintenance).
Association between perceived (majority)
acculturation attitudes and own acculturation
attitudes
Zagefka et al. (2011)
Influence of perceived acculturation attitudes of
outgroup
Matera, Stefanile & Brown (2011) Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 776-785
• Context: majority attitudes towards immigrants in Italy
• Two experimental studies: (Ns = 220*, 135, native
Italians): the perceived acculturation preferences of an
African immigrant were manipulated via a fake – but
seemingly real – newspaper interview. He expressed
(independently) preference for Cultural Maintenance (or not)
and Contact (or not) in 2 X 2 design.
• Tolerance: towards Africans, combination of evaluative
and affective measures (r = .71).
* Study 1 used non-student Ps
Influence of perceived acculturation attitudes of
outgroup (Study 1)
Matera, Stefanile & Brown (2011)
6
Tolerance
5
4
Lo Maint
Hi Maint
3
2
1
Lo Contact
Hi Contact
ANOVA: Contact (F = 120.62***, η2 =.36); Maintenance (F = 10.71***, η2 =.05);
Interaction (F = 18.91***, η2 =.08).
Effects of Contact on Tolerance were mediated by Symbolic Threat and Metastereotypic perceptions (what the outgroup thinks of Italy)
Contact, norms and acculturation attitudes
Gonzalez, Zagefka, Brown et al. (in prep)
• Context: Intergroup attitudes between Peruvian
immigrants and Chile majority members; Peruvians are
one of the largest immigrant groups to Chile.
• Longitudinal design: time lag, 5 months; Ns = 475
(majority, Chileans), 112 (minority, Peruvians).
• Measures: direct contact (# outgroup friends),
extended contact (# friends with outgroup friends),
norms about contact (friends’ approval of contact with
outgroup), acculturation attitudes, positive feelings
towards outgroup
own preference for
culture maintenance
[t2]
0.147 **
0.276 *
friends approval for
contact
with
.141
outgroup[t1]
Positive affect
towards outgroup
[t2]
0.075 ns
0.086 ns
Direct
Contact[t1]
0.190 ***
own preference for
contact [t2]
Control: t1 of all variables
measured at T2
own preference for
culture maintenance
[t2]
0.147 **
0.276 *
0.200**
Extended
Contact [t1]
R2=.0.361
0.300 ***
-0.006 ns
friends approval for
contact
with
.141
outgroup[t1]
Positive affect
towards outgroup
[t2]
0.075 ns
0.199 ***
0.086 ns
Direct
Contact[t1]
0.190 ***
own preference for
contact [t2]
Control: t1 of all variables
measured at T2
Chilean. RMSEA=0.067; SRMR=0.056; CFI=0.971; Chi=31.598; p=0.000; n=475
own preference for
culture maintenance
[t2]
-0.160 *
0.147 **
-0.199 Ϯ
0.276 *
0.142 ns
0.200**
Extended
Contact [t1]
0.311 ***
0.300 ***
0.026 ns
-0.006 ns
friends approval for
contact
with
.141
outgroup[t1]
R2=.0.395
R2=.0.361
Positive affect
towards outgroup
[t2]
-0.100 ns
0.075 ns
0.077 Ϯ
0.199 ***
Direct
Contact[t1]
-0.017 ns
0.190 ***
Control: t1 of all variables
measured at T2
0.585 *
0.086 ns
own preference for
contact [t2]
Peruvian. RMSEA=0.000; SRMR=0.036; CFI=01.00; Chi=9.177; p=0.515; n=112
Chilean. RMSEA=0.067; SRMR=0.056; CFI=0.971; Chi=31.598; p=0.000; n=475
Prejudice as an antecedent of acculturation
attitudes (and vice versa)
Zagefka, Binder, Brown et al. (in press) European Journal Social Psychology
• Sample: N = 1655 (1143 majority, 512 minority) school students
(16-18 yrs) from Be, De and GB
• Design: longitudinal, 6 month time lag
• Measures:
– acculturation attitudes (desire for heritage culture maintenance, desire for
majority culture adoption);
– prejudice towards the outgroup (social distance + negative intergroup emotions);
– prior contact included as a control
Reciprocal effects of prejudice and
acculturation attitudes
Zagefka et al. (in press)
T1
T2
-.27***
CMaint
Prejudice
+.21***
CAdoption
Majority
Reciprocal effects of prejudice and
acculturation attitudes
Zagefka et al. (in press)
T1
T2
-.27***
+.05
CMaint
R2 = .41
R2 = .25
CAdoption
R2 = .33
R2 = .33
Prejudice
+.21***
-.09*
Majority
Minority
Reciprocal effects of prejudice and
acculturation attitudes
Zagefka et al. (in press)
T1
T2
-.27***
+.05
CMaint
R2 = .41
R2 = .25
CAdoption
R2 = .33
R2 = .33
Prejudice
+.21***
-.09*
CMaint
-.05*
+.07°
CAdoption
+.06*
-.06°
CM X CA
-.03*
+.03
Prejudice
Majority
Minority
R2 = .66
R2 = .40
T1 values of DV
controlled
Policy implications
• Intergroup contact: contact – both actual and desired is positively implicated in several studies; therefore need
to promote more opportunities for the development of
cross-group friendships (e.g., school diversity policies;
single faith schools)
• Reciprocal perspectives: both majority and minority
perspectives matter! Multiculturalism interventions
should target both groups and should take account of
possible (perceived) differences in their acculturation
preferences
• Cultural climate: Institutional and normative climates
may be crucial for success of Integration (or other)
strategy
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