Impact of the Group of Co-migrants on Strategies of Acculturation: Towards an Expansion of the Berry Model

Erik H. Cohen

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    22 Scopus citations


    This article proposes expanding Berry's theory of acculturation strategies into a three-fold model to be applied to the case of acculturation among migrants. The expanded model includes the community of co-migrants as a distinct referent. It addresses the dynamic and multi-directional relationship between the three referents and the individual migrant, which all interact to create the experience of acculturation among migrants. An expanded typology is presented representing positive or negative attitudes toward each referent. The typology delineates eight possible strategies of acculturation among migrants, namely positive attitudes towards all three referents, negative attitudes towards all three, and the six possible variations between these extremes. Though not previously conceptualized and formalized, examples of all eight strategies were found in the existing literature. Some examples are cited, supporting the assertion that in the socio-psychological phenomenon of acculturation among migrants, the community of co-migrants plays a role which may be differentiated from the home culture and the host culture referents of the Berry model. The model provides a structure for exploring expression of these acculturation strategies among various sub-groups within a community of co-migrants. The current article is essentially a hypothesis paper, citing support for each of the proposed strategies of acculturation from published empirical studies carried out among a wide variety of migrant populations. A preliminary testing of the typology (Taieb, 2008) found that the cultures of the home, host and co-migrant communities do play distinct roles in the acculturation process, and verified that the eight profiles may be recognized in an empirical study. Directions for further empirical verification and refining the preliminary model are suggested.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-22
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Migration
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Aug 2011


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