Enculturation vs Acculturation
Enculturation and acculturation are terms used in sociology and social anthropology to describe different processes of absorbing cultural traits by people. Both processes help explain socialization on individuals in a society. Enculturation helps a person living in a society imbibe and immerse social values of the culture that surrounds him. There is another term, acculturation, which is sometimes used for this process and confuses many. There are subtle differences between enculturation and acculturation that will be highlighted in this article.
- Enculturation is the process of socialization that helps a person acquire social norms, values, behaviors, language, and other tools of the culture that surrounds him in a society.
- Acculturation is a process of socialization that takes place whenever there is a meeting of two different cultures, leading to changes at both cultural and psychological levels.
- While enculturation helps an individual to survive and better fit into the culture he finds himself surrounded by, acculturation is a two-way change process that occurs when there is a meeting of two cultures, with changes felt in both cultures.
The process of socialization that helps a person acquire social norms, values, behaviors, language, and other tools of the culture that surrounds him in a society is labeled as enculturation. Much help in this process comes from parents, peers, and siblings that provide the necessary push and pull to make a person learn what makes them socially more or better fit in their society. All people in the society learn about acceptable behaviors and the behaviors they need to avoid.
Acculturation is a process of socialization that takes place whenever there is a meeting of two different cultures. These changes taking place can be seen both at cultural as well as psychological levels. Both the cultures are affected, with changes seen or felt in both cultures. The changes that can be seen easily are the changes in clothing, language, and customs or practices. However, despite claims by anthropologists and sociologists about acculturation being a two-way process of change, there is proof to suggest that changes take place mostly in the norms and values apart from clothing and language of minorities living inside a country rather than affecting majority customs and traditions.
What is the difference between Enculturation and Acculturation?
- Both enculturation and acculturation are processes of socialization taking place in a society.
- Whereas enculturation is a process that helps an individual imbibe social values, norms, customs, etc. of the culture they live in, acculturation is a two-way change process that takes place when there is a meeting of two cultures.
- In acculturation, there are changes felt in both cultures, though mostly it is the minority culture that gets changed by way of changed language, clothing, customs, and practices.
- Enculturation helps an individual to survive and better fit into the culture he finds himself surrounded by.
- No difference between the two terms is accepted in some countries where acculturation is considered the same as enculturation.