Acculturation and Assimilation, both words are related to religion in one or another way. When two religions or cultures collide, assimilation and acculturation occur. Both words are very complicated and are used in sociology and anthropology very often.
Acculturation vs Assimilation
The basic difference between accumulation and assimilation is that accumulation is the act of leaving one’s culture and moving to another new prominent and powerful culture. In accumulation, people learn new things but keep their original values to themselves. On the other hand, assimilation is the act of moving from the minority culture to the majority culture. In assimilation, people forget their roots.
Acculturation is a two-way process. If the culture has gone under a change but it maintained the status of food, tradition, language etc. from the minority culture to be able to distinguish them as distinct cultures then it means the culture has undergone acculturation.
Assimilation is a one-way process. The movement of minority culture to the majority culture is termed Assimilation. And in this process, the minority culture loses all its identity that sets them apart from the minority culture.
Comparison Table Between Acculturation and Assimilation
|Definition||It is the movement of people from one tradition or culture to another tradition or culture.||The movement of people from a minority culture to the majority culture.|
|Example||An example of this one is Yoga which accumulated in North America because of its advantages.||The basic example for this one is Language.|
|Effect||It is a two-way process which means the minority does not lose their identity when entering the majority group. This makes them different from other members of the majority group.||It is a one-way process that means the minority group loses their identity when moving to the majority group.|
|Cause||This might be the result of Population migration.||Assimilation is voluntary but sometimes caused by immigration due to war and scarcity of important things.|
|Outcomes||Acculturation has many outcomes but the most important are rejection, assimilation, marginalization, and integration.||For some groups and some people, assimilation can lead to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and sadness.|
|Benefit||It allows the interaction of tradition between two or more groups without the need of erasing and removing each other’s culture.||Assimilation tends to break the culture barrier by interacting with one another.|
What is Acculturation?
There are various definitions for Acculturation. When two or more cultures interact, they exchange their values with each other but do not leave their root is termed Acculturation. Sometimes, the member of this is referred to as bicultural.
It also means the change in the culture of a minority group when they moved to the majority group but they can retain their original and basic culture markers like language, food, clothing, and tradition. It involves the tendency of humans to learn, prosper, and survive in another culture.
For instance, a person living in the United States of America is of Indian origin. He is trying to adopt the culture of America by maintaining his Indian roots. This type of example comes under the category of Acculturation.
The popularity of chips, burgers, pizzas and other calories related food items among ethnic minorities is also an example of Acculturation.
What is Assimilation
Similar to Acculturation, there are many definitions for Assimilation as well. The dictionary meaning of assimilation is absorbing experience or information and it also means being assimilated.
Assimilation is a process in which a person from one group becomes similar to another group. And they don’t retain their original culture and tradition. When a person gets absorbed in a dominant culture because of migration, he is doing the process of assimilation.
In assimilation, the way of thinking, acting, speaking, and even behaving becomes the part of the dominant group and the ethnic identity disappears. However, it does not mean that they are fully accepted by the dominant group. People who assimilated celebrate their festivals and eat their particular foods.
For instance, the United States of America has become the centre of immigrants from different countries.
No matter to what extent a group adopt the culture of another group, it can never be fully assimilated. Cultural assimilation goes even in governments where these people are given the position of the second tier. This does not mean they don’t have rights. They do have but somewhat lesser than the person who belongs from there.
Main Differences Between Acculturation and Assimilation
- During Acculturation, the identity like tradition and custom of minority groups does not get mitigated. On the other hand, during Assimilation, the people of the minority groups get absorbed in the deeds of the majority group so much that they forget about their original or home culture.
- In the case of Acculturation, the culture of minorities does not change. On the other hand, in the case of Assimilation, the minority culture gets replaced by the majority culture.
- During Acculturation, the majority group gets affected by the addition of a minority group. In simple words, Accumulation is a two-way process, which means both groups gets affected directly or indirectly. On the other hand, in Assimilation the majority group does not get affected by the movement of the minority group. In simple terms, this is a one-way process.
- In Acculturation, the transfer of culture and values takes place between two groups. On the other hand, in Assimilation, the minority group absorbs the culture and values of the majority group.
Acculturation is the process of coexistence of two or more groups together without affecting each other’s group. The adaptation of foreign foods and foreign descent are the most common examples. Assimilation is the process in which a group adopts the culture of another group, and blends in that group completely. The migration of a large number of people from one place to another is a common example of Assimilation.