CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER TWO
Chapter Two provides a literature review examining the current body of knowledge on the concept of acculturation, acculturation theories, components of acculturation, and different strategies that are associated with the process of acculturation. This chapter further surveys the relationship between acculturation and mental health or addiction. This chapter also explores the literature on immigrant youth and their acculturation with regards to problem behaviour, as well as the empirical evidence on the role of gender in acculturation. This chapter ends by reviewing motivation and motivational orientation as presented in the second language learning literature.
Migration is a worldwide phenomenon. Individuals and populations have been relocating since the beginning of human existence. For example, the movement of northern tribes prompted China to build its Great Wall to prevent the invasion of its empire; the Middle East has witnessed a long series of occupations, expansions, and invasions since the beginning of civilisation; and the creation of the Persian, Roman, and Ottoman empires were the result of large population drifts (Torkington, 2012). Most of these movements coincided with political power struggles often associated with slavery, colonisation, and other forms of domination. New societies were formed as a result of these events, some with continuing and ongoing conflicts and others with pioneering social arrangements (Torkington, 2012). As a result, there are very few culturally homogeneous societies, which has created opportunities and challenges for immigrants and their host societies.
Immigrants are defined as individuals who have moved from their country of birth and have permanently settled into a new country. These individuals are referred to as first-generation immigrants (Torkington, 2012). First generation immigrants are often forced to leave their friends and family behind and, in many instances, their coping abilities are challenged. However, some researchers have found that this picture is changing and many have argued that while immigration exposes people to a number of challenges, long-term adaptation is often favourable (see Sakamoto, 2007; Schmitz & Schmitz, 2012).
According to the United Nation’s Population Division (2013), most recent data show 232 million people (3.2 per cent of the world’s population) live outside their country of birth. This number only reflects the actual number of people who have physically moved from one country to another; ignored are the almost equal number of children who were born to these immigrants, and who are often perceived as ‘immigrants’ themselves even though they were born in their country of residence. These individuals, sometimes referred to as second-generation immigrants, frequently face the same challenges of transitioning into their adult life that first-generation immigrant youth experience (Portes & Rumbaut, 2006).
The current rate of immigration is unprecedented. Some have left their homeland in hope of finding a safe place to avoid oppression or violence, while others have moved in search of a better and more economically prosperous life. Others still immigrate for political, religious, or personal reasons. Such high rates of immigration result in culturally diverse societies. Many of these societies host first- and second-generation immigrants in numerous ethnocultural communities and neighbourhoods. Many of these societies now need to determine ways to manage their immigration flows and the resulting cultural pluralisation of their communities (Appleyard, 2001; Esposito & Kalin, 2011). According to researchers, these changing societies respond to complex situations in different ways largely due to differences in immigration patterns, culture social, and sociopolitical histories (e.g., Berry & Sam, 1997; Esposito & Kalin, 2011).
Canada, for example, used to be regarded as a bicultural country with Anglo-Europeans forming the majority group and the French forming the minority group. Shortly after the Second World War, many Europeans including Germans, Ukrainians, Italians, Dutch, Hungarians, Czechoslovakians, and Poles immigrated to Canada (Torkington, 2012). In 1978, a new immigration law came into effect that eradicated several discriminatory barriers, and led to a large influx of immigrants from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Since this time, the dominant Anglo-European population has begun to decline, losing its status as the majority group. The same trend is also being documented for French populations.
In the United States, Europeans have historically been considered the dominant cultural group, with African-Americans forming the largest minority. However, in accordance with a new trend, African-Americans have been surpassed by Hispanics, who emigrated predominantly from Mexico and Central America. In fact, after Mexico and Spain, the United States has the world’s largest Spanish-speaking population (Snowden, 2013), and Spanish now has become the most widely taught language after English in schools across the country. An exponential increase in the Hispanic population, caused by immigration and compounded by a higher birth rate (when compared to Europeans and African-Americans), makes it clear that the United States has turned into a bicultural country, comprised of an Anglo-Western majority and a Hispanic minority.
In Western Europe, the immigration trend was different than it was in the Americas mainly because each country has its own language and its own specific immigration history (Koopmans, 2013). In the mid-1960s, there was a large flow of immigrant ‘guest workers’ from Turkey and North Africa to Germany, France, and the Netherlands, where they established Muslim communities. Currently, Muslims comprise nearly 10% of the population in Western Europe, and these numbers continue to grow (Martinovic & Verkuyten, 2012).
Australia has historically been considered one of the most Anglo-dominated countries in the world. According to a census from 1970, the majority (nearly 85%) of its population originated from the British Isles, while the rest came from Italy, Greece, and Germany (Koopmans, 2013). However, a dramatic change in Australia’s immigration policy in the early 1970s opened the doors to an immigration boom from mostly non-European countries such as China and Vietnam. Asians make up nearly 10% of Australia’s current population (Hugo, 2003). In 1986, Australia officially introduced a national policy of multiculturalism, similar to the one used in Canada.
Notably, immigration is no longer limited to what we consider as ‘classic’ immigrant-receiving destinations, such as Canada, Australia, the United States, and Western Europe, but is also a reality for regions such as Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, which are relatively new to the immigration experience (Koopmans, 2013). For example, a large number of Indians immigrated to Africa and the West Indies, while many Italians, Arabs, and Jews immigrated to Argentina and Columbia, and hundreds of thousands of Iranians fled to Turkey during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
According to statistics from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Iran has produced more than three million refugees since the 1979 revolution that led to the Iran-Iraq war (UNHCR, 2004). Because of the social and cultural turmoil caused by the war, and because of the strains associated with immigration and adjustment to a new society, Iranian immigrants have experienced a wide array of changes. Some of these include changes in family status and structure, finances, language, and social status (Bagheri, 1992; Jafari, Baharlou, & Mathias, 2010; Hassen & Sardashti, 2000; Shirpak, Maticka-Tyndale, & Chinichian, 2011; Nouroozifar & Kantini, 2004; Zangeneh, Sadeghi Sharp, 2004;). Consequently, this wave of Iranian immigrants was identified as being prone to psychosocial stress and psychological symptoms (Emami et al, 2000; Jafari et al., 2010; Martin, 2009; Zangeneh, Nouroozifar & Kantini, 2004; Zangeneh, Sadeghi & Sharp, 2004). These factors are assumed to have interfered with their integration into the host society by alienating them from their surroundings.
These country-specific examples suggest that migration is not a new reality, nor is it restricted to certain parts of the world. As noted above, migration is often triggered by several circumstances, including: wars, economic considerations, human rights violations, and natural disasters (Koopmans, 2013). Such circumstances put significant pressure on an individual’s capacity to cope and, as a result, make them more susceptible to maladaptation. The extent that migration influences maladaptation for individuals and groups depends on many factors, including: 1) motivation for immigration; 2) the existing psychosocial conditions in the country of settlement; and 3) the cultural differences between the country of origin and the country of settlement (Berry, 2013).
Accordingly, one can suggest that a person’s vulnerability may be heightened under stressful situations, making them susceptible to the risks associated with migration.
A common theme emerging from the existing literature indicates that the extent of acculturation experienced by immigrants is one of the most useful predictors of successful adjustment to the host society (Berry, 2013). However, most of these studies focus on one specific ethnic group. On the basis of these studies, it is very difficult to ascertain any general principles as to how the process of acculturation occurs or how well these individuals adapt to their new home. In addition, there is an absence of studies that seek to identify and examine the specific attributes that may undermine or strengthen the adaptation process of immigrants. In spite of this insufficiency, some studies have offered important and valuable insights into the impact of acculturation, which is vital to understanding how various elements, such as age, gender, and motivational orientation, impact the acculturation process, and how the process modulates each element (Berry, 2013; Koopmans, 2013). Unfortunately, the numbers of these studies are small, quality is poor, and few attempt to examine how relationships among these various elements impact the acculturation experience.
‘Acculturation’, as defined by Gordon-Larsen, Harris, Ward, and Popkin (2003), is “the acquisition of dominant cultural norms by members of a non-dominant group” (p. 2028). Acculturation requires continuous, first-hand contact between cultures and some change in psychological or cultural phenomena (Berry, 1990), which occurs when immigrants leave their homeland, enter a new society, and must learn to adapt and integrate their minority culture into the dominant culture. The level of acculturation experienced by individuals can be influenced by several factors, including the nature of the host society (pluralistic or monistic) (Schmitz & Schmitz, 2012) and the ability of the host society to meet the needs of the immigrant; generational status and age (Georgas, Berry, Shaw, Christakopoulou, & Mylonas, 1996); the number of personal contacts with the host society; the nature and pleasantness of these contacts; and the immigrant’s evaluation (positive or negative) of these contacts (Berry, 1990; Berry, 2013).
Acculturation has been conceptualised in many ways and various measurement tools have been used to assess general and mental health outcomes, scholastic performance, feelings of acceptance, and cultural behaviours (Berry, 2005; Ra Cho & Hummer, 2013). Although the acculturating group experiences many changes, changes at the individual level are idiosyncratic. Graves (cited in Berry, 1992) suggested the term psychological acculturation to describe the changes seen in an individual who is experiencing acculturation. The idea of psychological acculturation is particularly important when we consider that acculturation can occur unevenly across different domains of behaviour and social life (Berry, 1990; Berry, 2013). In a similar model, Ward et al. (2011) make a distinction between psychological and sociocultural adaptation. In their work, psychological adaptation focuses on the affective part of acculturation. Works by Berry and his colleagues are examples of such a focus (e.g., Berry & Lapoce, 1994; Berry & Sam, 1997; Berry & Kim, 1998). On the other hand, sociocultural adaptation mainly deals with the behavioural aspects of the acculturation process and is conceptualised in terms of social skills (Kosic, 2002). An example of such an approach includes work done by Furnham & Bochner (1982), who examined the social difficulty and social psychology of intercultural encounters.
Components of acculturation
One way to explore the meaning of acculturation is through an analysis of its three components: contact, reciprocal influence, and change (Redheld et al., 1936). The first component, contact, refers to how people of different cultures come in contact with one another, such as through face-to-face interaction, virtual communication, or mass and social media exchange. The contact may be continuous (such as in the permanent migration of individuals from one country or another), short-lived (such as when ethnographers have visited isolated tribes), or intermittent, such as when contact is neither isolated nor continuous (such as sojourner). Berry (1990) has further subdivided contact along three dimensions: voluntary (legal immigrants) or involuntary (refugees), sedentary (immigrants) or migrant (sojourners), and permanent (indigenous people) or temporary (sojourners).
Intercultural contact is not a new phenomenon (Kramsch & Uryu, 2014). A quick glance of recorded history reveals that people have migrated as far back as a hundred thousand years ago (‘Out of Africa’ theory) for a variety of reasons, including: searching for food, fleeing from catastrophes (natural disasters), engaging in trade (silk road), escaping prosecution (Zoroastrians’ move to India from Iran or Jewish immigrants’ move to Yemen from current Israel), or because of forced displacement (Palestinians from current Israel). These migrations lead to the intermingling of people from different cultural backgrounds, resulting in the diversification of cultures and the formation of new societies (Kramsch & Uryu, 2014). This process of cultural change for immigrants has come to be known as acculturation (Berry, 1990).
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE
1.3 OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM
1.4 STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS
1.5 THEORECTICAL FRAMEWORK
1.6 CHAPTER ONE SUMMARY
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER TWO
2.3 ACCULTURATION RESEARCH
2.5 GENDER AND ACCULTURATION
2.7 CHAPTER TWO SYNTHESIS OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH METHODS
3.1 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER THREE
3.3 RESEARCH METHOD
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS
4.1 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER FOUR
4.2 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS
4.3 MULTIVARIATE ANALYSES
4.4 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION
5.1 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER FIVE
5.2 SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
5.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
5.4 SUMMARY OF STUDY APPROACH
5.5 SUMMARY OF STUDY DEMOGRAPHIC
5.6 CONSIDERATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
5.7 SURVEY STUDY DESIGN
5.8 SAMPLING STRATEGY AND SAMPLE SIZE
5.10 THEORETICAL ASSUMPTIONS
5.11 UNDERSTANDING ACCULTURATION THEORY
5.12 IMMIGRANT YOUTH CONTEXT
5.13 MOTIVATIONAL ORIENTATIONS
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