Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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In this paper we explore mutual acculturation among Australians from Indigenous, majority, immigrant and refugee backgrounds. Our aims were: to develop Berry’s acculturation scales for use in Australia and from multiple perspectives and to explore acculturation expectations and strategies from these multiple perspectives. We conducted in-depth interviews (n = 38) in Perth, Western Australia. We investigated participants’ views, guided by the two dimensions underlying Berry’s model of acculturation: cultural maintenance and intercultural contact, and models of culture learning. We found that participants had different acculturation expectations for different groups, as well as different preferred strategies for themselves, although most indicated a preference for integration. In particular, the extent to which groups were seen as voluntary to intercultural contact was regarded as an important factor; participants had considerably different expectations of Indigenous Australians than for immigrants to Australia. This was consistent with the strategies of most immigrant participants who regarded the responsibility for integrating as resting with them by virtue of their decision to migrate. The findings highlight the importance of the multi-way approach to investigating acculturation in multiethnic and post-colonial societies such as Australia and have been used to develop acculturation scales for future quantitative studies.


This research was supported by grants from the Edith Cowan University (ECU) Collaboration Enhancement Scheme and the ECU Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science. The authors acknowledge the contributions made to this research by Associate Professor Rogelia Pe-Pua, Professor Colleen Hayward AM, Kirra Rauchelle and Dr Mary Edwards. We thank the participants who generously donated their time, thoughts and experiences.

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