Teaching Social Studies in Virtual Space/Cultural Anthropology/Cultural Imperialism/g3

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Group 3: Cultural Imperialism in America[edit]

Directions: Divide the work up between your group members and remember to cite your sources.

What is acculturation? Give an example of acculturation that you see within the dominant American culture.[edit]

Acculturation is brought about through continuous contact between two different groups or individuals with different cultures. The result being cultural features are exchanged and modified while the groups still stay distinct or separate. Usually one culture is dominant.[1]

One example often referenced and research of acculturation are minority groups in the U.S. While a rather simple definition, many refer to this as “trying to fit into the dominant culture while still maintaining ones individual culture. Research has shown that the stress of acculturation may be so high that it leads to self-directed violence or youth violence. For an overview of current research see Medscape Today[2]. Dress attire and clothing in general is often a common example of acculturation. For example , Native Americans often wore European attire to try and fit in.

What is cultural assimilation? Give an example of cultural assimilation that you see within the United States.[edit]

Cultural assimilation is the socio-political phenomenon which works to incorporate minority groups into the dominant culture. It is the opposite of the “multicultural” approach. Cultural assimilation works to eliminate differences between cultures and instead take on the majority opinion. The Free Dictionary says cultural assimilation is, “a process by which members of an ethnic minority group lose cultural characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant cultural group or take on the cultural characteristics of another group.”[3] [4]


One example of cultural assimilation that is visible in the United States is immigrants moving from around the world and they are expected to speak English and follow our cultural traditions.

What is cultural resistance or backlash? Give an example that you see within the United States.[edit]

1. a sudden, forceful backward movement; recoil. 2. a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change: a backlash of angry feeling among Southern conservatives within the party.[5]

Some examples in American history are the rise of the KKK during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement[6], the wave of anti-immigration feeling today, and the Civil War. Additionally, some examples in world history are; the Spanish Inquisition (as a backlash against the multi-religion region after the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula)[7] anti-capitalist, anti-American terrorists, the recent protests and coups in the Middle East (Egypt, Yemen), and the Holocaust.

References[edit]