Fading Majority Cultures: The Implications of Transnationalism and Demographic Changes for Immigrant Acculturation


Correspondence to: Jan Pieter van Oudenhoven, Department of Psychology. Grote Kruisstraat 2/1 9712TS Groningen, Netherlands.

E-mail: J.P.L.M.van.Oudenhoven@rug.nl


Processes of globalisation, migration, and increasing cultural diversity within nations have resulted in a growing need to understand intercultural relations in plural societies. Accordingly, this paper highlights the relations between immigrants and members of host societies and considers how social and demographic changes may affect acculturation and intercultural relations and shape future psychological theory and research in these areas. Based on a combination of empirical data and informed speculation, we discuss three significant changes. First is the growing importance of transnational relations due to a large degree of faster and cheaper forms of communication and traveling. A second important factor is changing demographics characterised by the growth of mega-cities and the increasing proportion of first and second generation of immigrants in contemporary immigration nations and – consequently – the diminishing size of native majority groups. Third is the greater acceptance of a global culture, which is shaped by globalisation and coloured by local multi-ethnic characteristics and creolisation processes in each country of settlement. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.