A new route towards more harmonious intergroup relationships in England? Majority members’ proximal-acculturation

Katharina Lefringhausen, Nelli Ferenczi, Tara C. Marshall, Jonas R. Kunst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Although the ways that immigrants relate to UK culture has been a hot topic since the EU-referendum, little attention has been given to how majority group members such as Host Country Nationals (HCNs) relate to immigrants’ culture. Thus, we explored English HCNs’ globalisation-based proximal-acculturation – the extent to which they prefer to adopt aspects of immigrants’ cultures and/or maintain their national culture. Using two-step cluster analysis, a pilot study (N = 63) revealed a separated, integrated, and undifferentiated cluster, with separated HCNs perceiving cultural diversity more as a threat and less as an enrichment. Using latent profile analysis in a second study (N = 220) also revealed a three strategy-solution, identifying assimilated, integrated and separated profiles. Again we examined how these strategies differed across perceptions of cultural threat and enrichment as well as other psychosocial characteristics: identifying with fellow English citizens, recognizing cultural differences whilst not being culturally embedded (constructive marginalization), and various forms of intergroup contact. Separated HCNs identified more with fellow English citizens, endorsed less constructive marginalization, perceived less cultural enrichment yet more cultural threat than HCNs following some of the other strategies. These results stress that the onus of cultural adoption lies with both groups – minorities and majority members – with English HCNs showing distinct proximal-acculturation strategies. Lastly, when exploring a variable-centred approach, proximal-acculturation orientations (cultural maintenance/adoption) mediated the relationship between cultural threat, cultural enrichment, and intergroup contact on positive feelings towards immigrants. Thus, the ways that HCNs acculturate may provide a new route towards harmonious intergroup relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Early online date17 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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