How ‘should’ the majority group acculturate? Acculturation expectations and their correlates among minority- and majority-group members

Jonas R. Kunst, Simon Ozer, Katharina Lefringhausen, Kinga Bierwiaczonek, Milan Obaidi, David L. Sam

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Abstract

Do minority-group members welcome or reject that majority-group members adopt other cultures? Acculturation is commonly defined as a process of mutual accommodation. Yet, the acculturation of majority-group members has only recently received research attention. To date, we do not know the extent to which minority-group members expect majority-group members to adopt the culture of minority groups and/or to maintain their mainstream culture. Knowledge is also lacking about how these expectations relate to minority-group members’ own acculturation orientations and symbolic and realistic threat perceptions. We further do not know whether such associations are similar among minority- and majority-group members. To address these gaps, we surveyed 246 Muslim minority-group members and 247 White Christian majority-group members in the United Kingdom. Muslim minority-group members’ acculturation expectations towards majority-group members were normally distributed around the midpoint of the scale, suggesting that they did not reject majority-group acculturation on average. Acculturation expectations were correlated with symbolic and realistic threat perceptions among majority-group members but not among minority-group members. Cluster analyses showed that integrated Muslim minority-group members found it relatively important for majority-group members to adopt minority-group culture and to maintain their own culture. In sum, the results support the idea that minority-group members, at least in some contexts and settings, view acculturation as a mutual cultural change rather than as cultural appropriation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101779
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume93
Early online date22 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Expectations
  • Majority group acculturation
  • Minority group
  • Threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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