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(778 words)

Author(s): Balz, Heinrich
1. Concept In 1935 American anthropologists first used “acculturation” as a technical term to denote a basic shift in one or more cultures that have experienced direct and long-term contact with each other. In contrast to the diffusion of individual cultural traits over time, acculturation is a subject of strictly empirical description. It is also to be differentiated from socialization, in German sometimes called Enkulturation, and from inculturation, which, in recent Catholic missiology, has the much wider meaning of incarnating Christianity in a given culture. Sometimes assimi…