Cultural assimilation

Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble those of a dominant group. The term is used to refer to both individuals and groups; the latter case can refer to a range of social groups, including ethnic minorities, immigrants, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups such as sexual minorities who adapt to being culturally dominated by another societal group.

Cultural assimilation may involve either a quick or a gradual change depending on circumstances of the group. Full assimilation occurs when members of a society become indistinguishable from those of the dominant group.

Whether it is desirable for a given group to assimilate is often disputed by both members of the group and those of the dominant society. Cultural assimilation does not guarantee social homophily though as this article states, geographical and other natural barriers between cultures even if started by the same dominant culture will be culturally different.[1]


A place (a state or an ethnicity) can spontaneously adopt a different culture because of its political relevance or its perceived cultural superiority. An example is the Latin language and Roman culture being gradually adopted by most of the people subjugated by Ancient Rome.

Cultural assimilation can happen either spontaneously or forcibly. A culture can spontaneously adopt a different culture. Also, older, richer, or otherwise more dominant cultures can forcibly absorb subordinate cultures.

The term assimilation is often used with regard to not only indigenous groups, who find themselves in the minority before another culture perceived as more sophisticated or prestigious, but also immigrants and various ethnic groups, who have settled in a new land. A new culture and new attitudes toward the origin culture are obtained through contact and communication. Cultural changing is not simply a one-way process. Assimilation assumes that a relatively-tenuous culture gets to be united to one unified culture. That process happens by contact and accommodation between each culture. The current definition of assimilation is usually used to refer to immigrants, but in multiculturalism, cultural assimilation can happen all over the world and within varying social contexts and is not reseeved to limited to specific areas. For example, a shared language gives people the chance to study and work internationally, without being limited to the same cultural group. People from different countries contribute to diversity and form the "global culture" which means the culture combined by the elements from different countries. That "global culture" can be seen as a part of assimilation, which causes cultures from different areas to affect one another.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Культурная асыміляцыя
한국어: 문화 동화
Bahasa Indonesia: Asimilasi (sosial)
Kiswahili: Usimilishaji
kurdî: Pişavtin
Bahasa Melayu: Asimilasi budaya
日本語: 同化政策
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Assimilyatsiya (etnografiya)
Simple English: Cultural assimilation
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kulturološka asimilacija
ייִדיש: אסימילאציע
中文: 同化