10 Difference Between Enculturation And Acculturation

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Culture is generally described as the shared practices constructed and accumulated over generations by a group of people in their effort to create a better physical and social living environment for the group. They include the common language, religion, ways of thinking and acting, material and cognitive tools as well as social institutions and organizational structures. The terms enculturation and acculturation are simply process of culture learning. They both roughly describe the adaptation of an individual into social groups by absorbing the ideas, beliefs and practices surrounding them. 

What Is Enculturation?

Enculturation is the process through which the individual acquires the culture of his group, class, segment or society. In other words, enculturation is the process by which people learn the dynamics of their surrounding culture and acquire values and norms appropriate or necessary to that culture and its worldviews. As part of this process, the influences that limit, direct, or shape the individual (whether deliberately or not) include parents, other adults, and peers. If successful, enculturation results in competence in the language, values, and rituals of the culture.

What You Need To Know About Enculturation

  • Enculturation is the process of culture learning whereby an individual comes to learn about the rules, values and behavioral patterns of his/her own native culture.  
  • Enculturation is the first step in the process of culture learning.
  • In enculturation, a person learns or acquires one’s own culture, to which he/she belongs.
  • Enculturation is an integral requirement for an individual to survive in a society.
  • Enculturation does not result to change or modification in the existing culture.
  • In enculturation, only a single culture is learned.
  • With enculturation, there is no risk of assimilation.
  • An individual experiences enculturation as they grow up within the region or their place of birth.
  • Other people’s cultures have no influence on one’s culture in enculturation.

What Is Acculturation?

 Acculturation is a process through which a person or group from one culture comes to adopt the practices and values of another culture, while still retaining their own distinct culture. This process is most commonly discussed regarding a minority culture adopting elements of the majority culture, as is typically the case with immigrant groups that are culturally or ethnically distinct from the majority in the place to which they have immigrated.

However, acculturation is a two-way process, so those within the majority culture often adopt elements of minority cultures with which they come into contact. The process plays out between groups where neither is necessarily a majority or a minority. It can happen at both group and individual levels and can occur as a result of in-person contact or contact through art, literature, or media. At this group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, religious practices, health care, and other social institutions. There are also significant ramifications on the food, clothing, and language of those becoming introduced to the overarching culture.

What You Need To Know About Acculturation

  • Acculturation is the process of culture learning where the members of a particular cultural group get influenced by another culture, by coming in contact with it and adopts it to some or great extend.
  • Acculturation process comes long after enculturation has happened.
  • In acculturation, one’s culture is subsumed by another culture.
  • Acculturation is not essential for survival but one can learn other’s culture just for the purposes of knowledge.  
  • Acculturation results to change or modification of one’s culture.
  • In acculturation, there could be amalgamation of two or more cultures that are learned.
  •  With acculturation, there is high risk of assimilation, especially where it has continued for prolonged period.
  • An individual experiences enculturation when residing in a foreign region or new cultural environment.  
  • Dominant culture influences other cultures in acculturation.

Difference Between Enculturation And Acculturation In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON ENCULTURATION ACCULTURATION
Description Enculturation is the process of culture learning whereby an individual comes to learn about the rules, values and behavioral patterns of his/her own native culture.     Acculturation is the process of culture learning where the members of a particular cultural group get influenced by another culture, by coming in contact with it and adopts it to some or great extend.  
Nature Enculturation is the first step in the process of culture learning.   Acculturation process comes long after enculturation has happened.  
Process In enculturation, a person learns or acquires one’s own culture, to which he/she belongs.   In acculturation, one’s culture is subsumed by another culture.  
Necessity Enculturation is an integral requirement for an individual to survive in a society.   Acculturation is not essential for survival but one can learn other’s culture just for the purposes of knowledge.    
Effect Enculturation does not result to change or modification in the existing culture.   Acculturation results to change or modification of one’s culture.  
Number of Cultures Involved In enculturation, only a single culture is learned.   In acculturation, there could be amalgamation of two or more cultures that are learned.  
Risk Of Assimilation With enculturation, there is no risk of assimilation.   With acculturation, there is high risk of assimilation, especially where it has continued for prolonged period.  
Occurrence An individual experiences enculturation as they grow up within the region or their place of birth.   An individual experiences enculturation when residing in a foreign region.  
Influence Other people’s cultures have no influence on one’s culture in enculturation.   Dominant culture influences other cultures in acculturation.