Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Assimilation

  • Mark Agius
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_55

It is almost inevitable that when an immigrant moves from his or her home culture to a different culture, there will be some tension between the cultures of the home and host countries, which will influence the immigrant’s behavior.

Culture may be viewed as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an organization, institution, or group. Cultures have evolved over centuries and continue to do so. Furthermore, culture may provide a strong sense of identity to members and may inform how members view themselves and others. Some immigrants find it challenging to navigate potentially discrepant home and host cultural beliefs and practices.

Acculturation is a dynamic process. It reflects the degree to which the original culture is retained while adapting to the new culture. There are four different patterns of acculturation: integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization. Assimilation may be described as “unicultural acculturation.” Assimilation...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Agius, M., Shah, S., Ramkisson, R., Persaud, A., Murphy, S., & Zaman, R. (2007). Three year outcomes in an early intervention service for psychosis in a multicultural and multiethnic population. Psychiatria Danubina, 19(Suppl), 29.Google Scholar
  2. Agius, M., Shah, S., Ramkisson, R., Persaud, A., Murphy, S., & Zaman, R. (2008). Three year outcomes in an early Intervention Service for Psychosis in a multicultural and multiethnic population. Psychiatria Danubina, 20(4), 494–499.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Agius, M., Shah, S., Ramkisson, R., & Zaman, R. (2006, October). Three year outcomes of management of patients with first episode psychosis in a multicultural and multiethnic setting. Proceedings of First World Conference on Cultural Psychiatry, Beijing, China.Google Scholar
  4. Anbesse, B., Hanlon, C., Alem, A., Packer, S., & Whitley, R. (2009, November). Migration and mental health: A study of low-income Ethiopian women working in Middle Eastern countries. The International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 55(6), 557–568.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Berry, J. W., Phinney, J. S., & SamDL, V. P. (2006). Immigrant youth in cultural transition. Acculturation, identity, and adaptation across national contexts. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  6. Bhugra, D., & Becker, M. A. (2005). Migration, cultural bereavement and cultural identity. World Psychiatry, 4, 18–24.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Cantor-Graae, E. (2007). The contribution of social factors to the development of schizophrenia: A review of recent findings. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 52, 277–286.Google Scholar
  8. McGrew, W. C. (1998). Culture in nonhuman primates? Annual Review of Anthropology, 27, 301–328.Google Scholar
  9. Selten, J. P., & Cantor-Graae, E. (2005). Social defeat: Risk factor for schizophrenia? The British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 101–102.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. What different cultures can teach us – Mental health: ethnic minority carers experiences. http://www.healthtalkonline.org/mental_health/mentalhealthcarers/Topic/3487/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Agius
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge, South Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust, Weller Wing Bedford HospitalBedfordUK