Making sense of acculturation: self-reports and personal experience of international students

Nigbur, D. (2014) Making sense of acculturation: self-reports and personal experience of international students. In: Social Psychology Section conference of the British Psychological Society, 9-11 September, 2014, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.


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It can be argued that a genuinely psychological perspective on acculturation – that is, individual or collective change as a consequence of intercultural contact – requires approaches that go beyond quantitative measurement and prediction (see Chirkov, 2009). The present study uses an embedded mixed-methods design to examine how measurable attitudes towards acculturation relate to the experience and sense-making of individuals – in this case, international students who have recently arrived in the UK. In individual semi-structured interviews with a researcher who shared their migrant identity, participants talked about their individual acculturation experience and general views on the negotiation of cultural heritage and intercultural contact (see Berry, 1997). Only at the end of the interview were participants invited to complete some commonly used quantitative questionnaires to measure acculturation attitudes. Participants reflected on the association between these attitude scales and their own views. The results identify some links between the general attitudes assessed by the questionnaires and the individual perspectives of participants, and contribute both to a better understanding of acculturation processes from an individual perspective and to potential improvements to the ecological validity of questionnaire measures of acculturation attitudes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Dr Dennis Nigbur
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 15:43
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2015 15:43

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00