1. (noun) The gradual process of an individual or group learning and adapting to the norms and values of a culture (or subculture) in which they are immersed (e.g., learning a new language or clothing style).
2. (noun) Learning how to become a member of a society or culture.
- A foreign exchange student learning to navigate a new educational system, local customs, and new foods.
- Refugees adapting to a new place after fleeing their homeland.
Audio Pronunciation: (en·cul·tur·a·tion)
Download Audio Pronunciation: enculturation.mp3
- Plural: enculturations
- Enculturation can be intentional or unintentional and formal or informal.
- Enculturation can occur due to cultural contact or innovation and can lead to social acceptance.
- In contrast to enculturation, acculturation is the process of change that occurs when two or more cultures come into contact.
- Enculturation is similar to socialization and often used synonymously. The distinction between the two is enculturation is learning cultural norms and socialization is learning societal norms, however, neither process occurs independent of the other. Enculturation typically refers to “people” in general and is informal and socialization typically refers to children and is formal or deliberate.
- Some sources list acculturation, enculturation, and socialization as synonyms, while these terms are similar and easily confused, they are not synonyms in an academic context.
- Variant form: inculturation
- Enculturation used in a sentence: Governments enculturation tools to assist immigrants.
- Enculturation is the process by which a culture or (noun) enculturator (verb) enculturates an individual (adverb) enculturatively through an (adjective) enculturational or (adjective) enculturative process to become (adjective) enculturated.
- “The kind of person we become depends greatly on what we learn during our formative years from our surrounding social groups and social environment” (Kendall 2006:105).
- Blum-Kulka, Shoshana. 1997. Dinner Talk: Cultural Patterns of Sociability and Socialization in Family Discourse. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Chari, Sharad, and Stuart Corbridge. 2008. The Development Reader. London: Routledge.
- Cherry, Andrew L. 1994. The Socializing Instincts: Individual, Family, and Social Bonds. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Flanagan, Cara. 1999. Early Socialisation: Sociability and Attachment. London: Routledge.
- Grusec, Joan E., and Paul D. Hastings. 2008. Handbook of Socialization: Theory and Research. New York: Guilford.
- Maynard, Ashley E. 2005. Learning in Cultural Context: Family, Peers, and School. New York: Springer.
- Morawska, Ewa T. 2009. A Sociology of Immigration: (Re)making Multifaceted America. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Ponterotto, Joseph G. 2010. Handbook of Multicultural Counseling. Los Angeles: SAGE.
- Rogoff, Barbara. 2003. The Cultural Nature of Human Development. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
- Sussman, Nan M. 2002. “Testing the Cultural Identity Model of the Cultural Transition Cycle: Sojourners Return Home.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 26 (4): 391-408.
- Verkuyten, Maykel. 2007. “Social Psychology and Multiculturalism.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass. 1 (1): 280-297.
- Word Origin of Enculturation: Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.