Immigrant acculturation attitudes and host country identification



This study assessed the efficacy of a model predicting the host country identification of members of immigrant groups. The model proposed that host country identification is primarily determined by the positivity of the immigrants' acculturation attitude towards living according to the standards and values of the host country, followed by the degree of acceptance by members of the dominant cultural group, the success immigrants experience in the new country, and the extent to which they choose to live within their ethnic environment rather than the wider society. The study included 602 adult immigrants from a number of countries (Vietnam, People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand), which varied in their cultural similarity to the host country, Australia. Results from a multiple regression analysis of participants' questionnaire responses revealed good support for the model. As expected, acculturation attitude towards Australia was the strongest predictor of host country identification, followed by acceptance by Australians, while extent of ethnic involvement was a significant negative predictor. The results also revealed ethnic identification as a significant positive predictor of host country identification. The importance of the relationship between acculturation attitudes and identification is discussed, together with immigrants' identification processes towards their ethnic group and the host country. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.