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From a typological to network understanding of acculturation

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Item Summary

Title: From a typological to network understanding of acculturation
Authors: Chi, Ruobing
Keywords: acculturation
student
community
Issue Date: May 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract: The focus of this research is acculturation in a multicultural student community. It used full-network analysis to investigate three questions: (1) Defining acculturation as formation of social relations, how did participants acculturate in a multicultural community?; (2) how well did they adapt?; and (3) what is the relationship between their ways of acculturation and their adaptation?
Given the salient cultural diversity in the community studied and its unique location on an island between the East and the West, it is believed that the combination of the dominant bi-dimensional theory and the social network analysis provided the best analytical framework. The study included a full-network online survey about two social relations among those within the community: who the participants socialized with and whom (up to six) they felt closest to. Out of 280, 150 members of the community responded to the questionnaire. Twenty-seven follow-up interviews were conducted to elicit insiders' views on the acculturation phenomenon.
The findings showed that this is a culturally diverse and cohesive community. Different patterns of social relations were observed in network visualization and analyzed as ways of acculturation at individual, dyadic, triadic, and group levels. In addition, unlike conventional wisdom, neither homophily nor proximity appeared to be the major mechanism for the formation of social ties in this community. Interviews suggested that the presence of cultural diversity, the institutionalized community events, and the student association's leadership are the major drives of intercultural friendship. Overall, the students adapted well socio-culturally, psychologically, and academically. The sociability of themselves and that of those they are connected to account for ~50% of the variance of their acculturation outcomes.
This study illustrated how a network understanding of acculturation can advance the theory by going beyond type categorization to a relational view. Its implementation demonstrated the potential of using networks as measures of acculturation in multicultural settings and how making networks visible itself might benefit those in the studied community. Limitations and future research directions were discussed to continue this effort of bringing culture and context back to acculturation research as called for.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/100303
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Communication and Information Sciences



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