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Cross-cultural bonds

Migration A–Z


  1. Philippe Couton

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm152

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Couton, P. 2013. Cross-cultural bonds. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


International migration necessarily involves cultural encounters: migrants leave their sociocultural environment and settle in a host country endowed with its own complex culture, to which they must adapt. These cross-cultural encounters can take different forms, resulting in a range of social, cultural, economic, and political formations strongly influenced by historical settings, ideological forces, and local to global trends and events. Though this is not a linear phenomenon, it helps to conceptualize it as a potential continuum, along the lines of the approaches developed to study immigrant incorporation. At one end is the complete disappearance of the culture borne by immigrants, the result of their seamless assimilation into the host society over the course of one or two generations. At the other end is the emergence and persistence of a completely separate and distinct ethno-immigrant social formation able to sustain the imported culture in all its dimensions (language, religion, food, etc.). Neither of these outcomes is very common, with the vast majority of immigrants to most host countries falling somewhere in between (and usually close to the middle), but cases that fit these extremes do exist, historically and contemporarily.


  • cultural diversity;
  • cross-cultural;
  • borders;
  • transnationalism;
  • sustainable development;
  • regional development