difference between z

Difference between Acculturation and Assimilation

Difference between Acculturation and Assimilation

Acculturation and assimilation are two buzzwords often used interchangeably when discussing subjects related to the interaction between cultures, societies, and people. Although these terms can be thought of as similar in some ways, understanding their technical meaning and how they differ is an important part of understanding the complexity of intercultural dynamics. In this blog post, we’ll look in-depth at what the differences between acculturation and assimilation, why it’s so important to differentiate them accurately, and practical examples that will help underscore our points. So buckle up — let’s dive into this interesting topic!

What is Acculturation?

Acculturation is a process of cultural exchange that happens when two cultures meet and influence one another. It usually involves changes in behavior, language, and beliefs, meaning that members of the two cultures learn to adapt to the customs of the other. Acculturation is unique among cross-cultural exchanges because it often creates mutual adaptation between two different cultures.

As cultures become more alike through acculturation, people better understand each other’s differing ideals and norms—and in some cases may even gain an appreciation for them. Acculturation is an ongoing process that can lead to greater mutual understanding between individuals and groups.

What is Assimilation?

  • Assimilation is the process of integrating into a new culture, language, or tradition. Assimilating occurs when an individual or group adopts to a certain ‘majority’ and loses their unique characteristics in the process.
  • Assimilation can lead to identity crises for those who grew up with different customs than the majority in their new environment, as well as power struggles between dominant and minority cultures.
  • Assimilation requires all parties involved to practice patience and tolerance in understanding one another’s values, while also recognizing that diversity enriches the collective whole. Assimilation should always be respectful and voluntary in order to ensure fairness and equality.

Difference between Acculturation and Assimilation

Acculturation and assimilation are two important concepts in the realm of sociocultural diversity.

  • Acculturation refers to the process of cultural exchange that results when groups come into contact with one another.
  • When people in a minority culture adopt practices from the majority culture, or when those in the majority adopt aspects of the minority culture, this is an instance of Acculturation.
  • Assimilation, on the other hand, is a much more total and complete process wherein members from a minority culture transfer their loyalties to favor the majority culture.

Though Acculturation can lead to Assimilation, Acculturation does not necessarily require members of a minority group to completely abandon their original identity. Acculturate behaviors may be adopted selectively by each individual member while underlying attitudes and values remain unchanged.


The two concepts of acculturation and assimilation are often confused by people. It is important to understand the difference between the two because they have different effects on individuals and groups. Acculturation involves changes in one’s behavior or values as a result of contact with another culture. On the other hand, assimilation occurs when an individual or group completely adopts the values of another culture. Assimilation is a more drastic change than acculturation and usually results in the loss of one’s original cultural identity.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email