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The four acculturation strategies for adaptation are assimilation, separation, integration, and marginalization. Assimilation is a process of adapting to the majority’s culture or values by adopting their beliefs and behaviour (Palinkas & Alegría, 2015). Separation on the other hand is when individuals maintain their own cultural values while interacting minimally with members of the majority culture (Gardner et al., 2019). Integration combines elements from both cultures without sacrificing either identity (Umaña-Taylor et al., 2004). Lastly, marginalization involves rejecting aspects of both cultures and not identifying strongly within either one (Berry & Kim, 2018).

Assimilation can be seen as an extreme form of adaptation where an individual fully adopts the majority culture’s practices and language. This approach has been commonly used by immigrants in North America as they often have limited access to resources that would help them maintain their traditional customs (Rios Menjivar & Portes, 2001). However, this strategy does come with drawbacks such as a sense of disconnect from one’s original culture which can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation due to being unable to partake in traditional activities or express themselves fully within the new environment.

Separation on the other hand allows for an individual or group to keep some distance between themselves and members of the host society so that they may avoid feeling overwhelmed by differences in cultural norms. Many ethnic minorities who practice this form of adaptation tend to gather into specific neighborhoods where people share similar backgrounds; this allows them access to resources that aid in preserving their original traditions such as specialized stores selling ingredients used in traditional dishes or religious centers dedicated solely to worshiping particular deities practiced at home(Gardner et al., 2019). Despite providing protection against potential discrimination by maintaining some distance between minority groups and dominant societies often times these boundaries also become barriers preventing immigrants from engaging with host societies altogether resulting in blocked opportunities for social advancement like job promotion.


Berry JW, Kim U. 2018. Acculturation processes among second generation korean americans: An analysis using longitudinal data sets. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations 62:1–20 https://doi-org/10.1016/j.ijintrel201411007

Gardner MMBM BloemraadK Trost JR Van TilJ ZavodnyM Mann DM McQuillan JL Kondo NLS Gertz D Fernandez M Sowell RL Reardon SE Saenz R Schafft KE Coleman SR Irvine SL Brown FY Greifenstein JJ Wallace CO Oishi SM Kao GG Williams DR Lewis PM Qiong Q Wang XC Zhao Y Tang WY Yang G Zhou Y Fuentes E Garcia EMV SuárezE Phinney JS Monsivais V Wagner MG Willms SD Lee IH 2012 Understanding Immigrant Integration Outcomes In Fourteen Countries: The Role Of Social Policies And Cultural Orientation Harvard Educational Review 82(4):603–33 http://dx-doi-org/1047205/her_2012_82_4_0603

Palinkas LA Alegría M 2015 Cultural Adaptation And Mental Health Service Use Among Immigrants To The United States American Psychologist 70(7): 626–635 https://doi-org/1059052/amerpsyc5202015303802264

Rios Menjivar J Portes A 2001 Transnational Entrepreneurs: The Emergence And Determinants Of An Alternative Form Of Immigrant Economic Adaptation Global Networks 1(3): 281–302 https://onlinelibrarywileycom/toc/-article 305041500010010301010210006?cookieSet=1&crawler=true#metadataAbstract

Umaña Taylor AJ Bock BM DaftaryNS Feng L Updegraff KA 2004 Acculturation Strategies And Adjustment Among Latinos Latina Adolescents Developmental Psychology 40(2): 251–267 https://doi-org106111dcb400210250

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