The Acculturation of Culturally Displaced Persons: The Case of Pilipino-Americans

Fernand San Andres Lubuguin (Ph.D., 1993)

Thesis directed by Professor Peter G. Ossorio

This study examined the phenomenon of acculturation among Pilipino-American immigrants. The phenomenon of acculturation was defined as the achievement by a Culturally Displaced Person of a change in Person Characteristics, as the result of living in the new host culture, in the direction of the Person Characteristics of the Standard Normal Person of the host culture. A broad, systematic, and culturally universal conceptualization of acculturation, based on the Descriptive Psychology approach, explicated the concepts of Culture, the Standard Normal Person, the Culturally Displaced Person, Basic Human Needs, and Acculturation. A hierarchy of Choice Principles (or value statements, policies, and slogans) consisting of three levels (Central, Intermediate, and Peripheral) was formulated. In general, a person acts on Central Choice Principles (CCP's) by acting on some Intermediate Choice Principles (ICP's), which in turn are implemented by acting on some Peripheral Choice Principles (PCP's). The Attraction Model and the Conflict Model were developed to account for the nature of the acculturation process. This study tested the following hypotheses that were generated from the conflict model: (a) PCP's would change more readily than ICP's, which in turn would change more readily than CCP's; (b) high conflict PCP's would change sooner than low conflict PCP's; (c) for the first generation immigrant, at least one PCP would increase in importance and would be transmitted to subsequent generations; (d) the endorsement of the host culture's PCP's and ICP's would increase across generations; and (e) the CCP's across generations were less likely to change and change less than ICP's and PCP's. Cultural analyses of Pilipino and American cultures provided the basis for specifying the particular choice principles that were examined. The Perspectives Questionnaire was created and utilized to assess the levels of endorsement of the particular American and Pilipino choice principles. This questionnaire was administered to first and second generation Pilipino-Americans, as well as a group of Anglo-Americans. The comparisons within and between these groups yielded results that generally supported the hypotheses and conceptualization. However, the pattern of results suggested that the attraction model was more applicable than the conflict model in this population.