Remote acculturation of early adolescents in Jamaica towards European American culture: A replication and extensionInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations


Gail M. Ferguson, Marc H. Bornstein
Social Psychology / Sociology and Political Science / Business and International Management


International Journal of Intercultural Relations 45 (2015) 24–35

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International Journal of Intercultural Relations j ourna l h omepa ge: www.elsev ier .com/ locate / i j in t re l

Remote acculturation of early adolescents in Jamaica towards


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E-mail add http://dx.doi.o 0147-1767/© an American culture: A replication and extension ergusona,b,∗, Marc H. Bornsteinc f Human and Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Doris Kelley Christopher Hall, est Nevada Street, Room 2015, Urbana, IL 61801, United States of Psychology, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401, United States ily Research Section, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National alth, Rockledge I, Suite 8030, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-7971, United States l e i n f o bruary 2012 vised form 28 October 2014 ecember 2014 l acculturation st Indian a b s t r a c t

Remote acculturation is a modern form of non-immigrant acculturation identified among early adolescents in Jamaica as “Americanization”. This study aimed to replicate the original remote acculturation findings in a new cohort of early adolescents in Jamaica (n = 222;

M = 12.08 years) and to extend our understanding of remote acculturation by investigating potential vehicles of indirect and intermittent intercultural contact. Cluster analyses replicated prior findings: relative to Traditional Jamaican adolescents (62%), Americanized Jamaican adolescents (38%) reported stronger European American cultural orientation, lower Jamaican orientation, lower family obligations, and greater conflict with parents.

More U.S. media (girls) and less local media and local sports (all) were the primary vehicles of intercultural contact predicting higher odds of Americanization. U.S. food, U.S. tourism, and transnational communication were also linked to U.S. orientation. Findings have implications for acculturation research and for practice and policy targeting Caribbean youth and families. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. ction today’s Caribbean adolescents gravitate toward cultures outside the Caribbean region, primarily to those of rica (CARICOM Commission on Youth Development, 2010). Ferguson and Bornstein (2012) conceptualized this as a modern type of acculturation occurring across distance, which they termed remote acculturation. They found ird of non-migrant early adolescents living in Kingston, Jamaica, scored high on several indicators of acculturation opean American culture in a manner that closely resembled a comparison sample of Jamaican immigrants actually

United States. Here we attempted, first, to replicate Ferguson and Bornstein’s findings in a new cohort of early in Jamaica and, second, to extend that work by examining several potential vehicles of remote acculturation. ding author at: Department of Human and Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Doris Kelley Christopher 904 West Nevada Street, Room 2015, Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States. Tel.: +1 217 300 0365; fax: +1 217 333 9061. ress: (G.M. Ferguson). rg/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.12.007 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

G.M. Ferguson, M.H. Bornstein / International Journal of Intercultural Relations 45 (2015) 24–35 25 1.1. Remote acculturation

The scholarly literature on psychological acculturation has focused primarily on migration research (see Sam & Berry, 2006) wherein acculturation follows inter-group contact in the settlement area, although much more attention has been paid to the migr the closing people, goo contact out interactions transported contact wit also produc acculturatio

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Internet, an from the Un youth to pa reached 50 2007 (Dunn sided ‘paraboth a socia perspectiveants (e.g., immigrants, refugees) than non-migrants (e.g., indigenous people, national majority group). However, half of the 20th and the opening of the 21st centuries have witnessed unprecedented globalization (i.e., flow of ds, and ideas across cultures: Jensen, Arnett, & McKenzie, 2011), which has prompted new forms of intercultural side the context of migration and opened possibilities to new forms of acculturation. Meaningful interpersonal facilitated by social media and tourism are now commonplace, and cultural practices, values, and goods are now across soil, sky, and sea rapidly and with ease. Remote acculturation proposes that intermittent and/or indirect h a geographically and historically separate culture, as facilitated by modern globalization mechanisms, can e acculturation (Ferguson & Bornstein, 2012). Remote acculturation therefore expands the classical definition of n which required “continuous first-hand contact” between culturally different individuals or groups (Redfield, erskovitz, 1936, p. 149). acculturation may be prominent among early adolescents due to newfound developmental capabilities and rational and socially prescribed developments in the early adolescent years manifest in several realms includve (more abstract thinking), social (forging new peer relationships, increased need for autonomy and resulting lescent conflict), and identity (identity construction, including cultural identity, is a major new developmental s & Berzonsky, 2003; Erikson, 1968; Jensen et al., 2011; Phinney, 1990). In addition, modern modes of intercultural first nature to early adolescents (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), and non-native cultures are adopted more readily when during childhood or adolescence (Jensen et al., 2011; Schwartz, Pantin, Sullivan, Prado, & Szapocznik, 2006). So, , Jamaican early adolescents are newly able to imagine culturally different possible selves, seek interactions with ifferent peers, and consolidate these experiences into their evolving cultural identities. of the significant contemporary influx of U.S. culture into the Caribbean island of Jamaica, it is a prime location roposition of remote acculturation toward the United States. U.S. culture(s) are geographically and historically m Jamaica’s, unlike British or Chinese cultures, which are not remote to Jamaica owing to strong historical colonization and migration, respectively. Ferguson and Bornstein (2012) investigated remote acculturation -migrant early adolescent–mother dyads in Jamaica compared to Jamaican immigrant, African American, and merican dyads in the United States. Cluster analyses revealed that 33% of early adolescents and 11% of mothers d fell into an “Americanized Jamaican” cluster versus “Traditional Jamaican” clusters). (The term “America” is uially in Jamaica and the Caribbean to refer to the United States of America; therefore, quotation marks will not the term Americanization henceforth.) Americanized Jamaicans had a stronger orientation toward European ultural practices and identity, weaker Jamaican orientation (adolescents not mothers), lower family obligations ntergenerational obligations discrepancies (known to be characteristic of European Americans: Phinney, Ong, & 00), and higher parent–adolescent conflict associated with an intergenerational acculturation gap. In regard to dolescent–parent dyads mismatched in remote acculturation (i.e., wherein one partner was Traditional Jamaican ther was an “Americanized” Jamaican) reported significantly higher conflict than did matched dyads. Clusters er in socioeconomic status as indexed by parental education. Moreover, on most acculturation indicator scores, ed Jamaican Islanders resembled Jamaican immigrants and European Americans in the United States. al vehicles of remote acculturation in the Caribbean hicles’ transport remote cultures into local spaces for remote acculturation to occur? Many potential vehicles of ation for resident Caribbean youth have been proposed (CARICOM, 2010; Ferguson & Bornstein, 2012). They vary o continuousness and directness in acculturative contact. In decreasing order of continuousness, these vehicles ee broad categories: (1) consumer products of U.S. media, goods, and food (omnipresent and continuous congh indirect and impersonal); (2) inter-country communication and transnationalism (intermittent and indirect hough personal or impersonal); and (3) interactions with U.S. tourists on the island (sporadic contact, although ersonal). These proposed vehicles of remote acculturation are consistent with Jensen et al.’s (2011) suggestion zation of media, diet, and language may have implications for youth cultural identity. mer products: U.S. media and food agers in many other parts of the world (Jensen et al., 2011), young Caribbean adolescents find television (TV), d music to be important parts of their lives (13-country Caribbean study: CARICOM, 2010). Mass media originating ited States, including social media, is a potential vehicle which transports U.S. culture(s) and allows Caribbean rticipate in U.S. cultural events remotely (e.g., twitter discussion of a U.S. celebrity event). In 2008 U.S. cable % penetration in Jamaica after its 1998 introduction, and there was 55% Internet access across the island in , 2008). Reality TV programs, talk shows, and even websites/blogs allow adolescents to form intimate onesocial’ relationships with media personalities (Hoerner, 1999; Horton & Wohl, 1956). Music can be considered lization agent (social learning theory: Bandura, Ross, & Ross, 1963) and a self-socialization agent (interactionist : Swann, Rentfrow, & Guinn (2002); uses and gratifications theory: Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch, 1974). Both media 26 G.M. Ferguson, M.H. Bornstein / International Journal of Intercultural Relations 45 (2015) 24–35 socialization processes may work in tandem (Coyne, Padilla-Walker, & Howard, 2013) – adolescents may seek out media to meet their developmental needs for identity, intimacy, and so forth, then may learn the values and messages of the media as they consume it. Indeed, there is evidence that media consumption is associated with values and attitudes, including family values (Brown & Bryant, 1990), and merely recounting memories of U.S. TV shows can bolster young people’s American identity (Ch