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Interactive acculturation


The Interactive Acculturation Model (IAM) seeks to integrate within a common theoretical framework the following components of immigrants and host community relations in multicultural settings:

The framework of these established among a structural political/governmental environment. Ultimately, the goal of the model is to present a non-determinist, more dynamic account of immigrant and host community acculturation in multicultural settings.

Essentially the model takes both sides of immigration (host and immigrant) and compares the values and desire to hold on to historical and cultural ties of the immigrant population versus the desire or degree to which the host population is willing to accommodate the immigrant influx. Examples of questions posed to the host population include:

The model derives two important pieces of data:

The model essentially categorizes the population, based on the responses, as being in favor of integration, assimilation, or separation. When cross compared with the level of accommodation the host society is willing to provide, the model predicts whether the immigrant population will become fully assimilated, marginalized, or even isolated from the host society.

In the past, acculturation has been described in both a macro level where there is emphasis on processes and effects on populations and at a micro level where it describes the psychological effect on individuals. Bourhis et al., reference the earlier work of both Graves and Berry in the identification of individual psychological change that the immigrant experiences during their integration into a host culture. These changes are observed in the individual who is influenced by the new culture as well as participating and interacting within the new culture. To further understand the social and psychological effects of immigrant acculturation, the Bourhis team starts their model with an analysis of structural policies that address immigration, particularly in host nations.



  • Berry, J.W. (2003). Conceptual approaches to acculturation. In K. Chun, P. Balls Organista, & G. Marín (Eds.), Acculturation: Advances in theory, measurement, and applied research (pp. 17–37). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Berry, J. W . (1974). Psychological aspects of cultural pluralism: Unity and identity reconsidered. Topics in Cultural Learning, 2, 239-252.
  • Berry, J .W., Kalin, R., & Taylor, D. (1977). Multiculturalism and ethnic attitudes in Canada. Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services.
  • Breton, R. (1988). From ethnic to civic nationalism: English Canada and Quebec. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 11, 85± 102.
  • Breton, R., & Reitz, J.G. (1994) . The Canadian mosaic and the American melting pot: Is there really a difference? Toronto: CD Howe Institute.
  • Drieger, L. (1989) . Alternative models of assimilation, integration and pluralism. In O.P. Diwivedi, R. D’ Costa, C.L. Stanford, & E. Tepper (Eds.),Canada 2000: Race relations and public policy. Guelph, Ontario: University of Guelph.
  • Drieger, L. (1996) . Multi-ethnic Canada : Identities and inequal ities. Toronto: Oxford University Press.4.
  • Helly, D. (1992) . L’ immigration pourquoi faire? Quebec: Institut quebecois pour la recherche sur la culture.
  • Helly, D. (1993) . The political regulation of cultural plurality: Foundations and principles. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 25, 15± 35.
  • Helly, D. (1994) . Politiques al’ e gard des minoritees. Sociologie et societes, 26, 127± 144.
  • Kaplan, W. (1993) . Who belongs? Changing concepts of citizenship and nationality. In W. Kaplan (Ed.), Belonging: The meaning and futu re of Canadian citizenship. Montreal: McGill-Queen’ s University Press.
  • Kim, Young Yun. (1979). Mass media and acculturation: toward Development of an Interactive theory. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 5–7, 1979)
  • Padilla, A. (2003) Acculturation, Social Identity, and Social Cognition: A New Perspective. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. Stanford University:34-55
  • Padilla, A.(1980.), Acculturation: Theory, Models and some new findings. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 84, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 466–467
  • Taft, R. (1953). The shared frame of reference concept applied to the assimilation of immigrants. Human Relations, 6, 45± 55.
  • Bourhis, Richard Y., Moise, Lena Celine, Perreault, Stephanie, Senecal, Sacha. Towards an Interactive Acculturation Model: A Social Psychological Approach. International Journal of Psychology, 1997, 32 (6), 369± 386.
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