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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Urban American Indian Identity Attitudes and Acculturation Styles

Author: Walters, Karina L.
Author Background:
Date 1/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Human-Behavior-in-the-Social-Environment;
Volume/Pages 2, 1-2, 163-178.
Subject Matter Native Americans
Abstract To clarify the conceptual distinction between acculturation & identity, the relationship between urban American Indian identity attitudes & acculturation styles is examined. Structured interview data gathered 1994/95 from 310 urban American Indians, ages 18-84, in Los Angeles County, CA, indicate that, although identity attitudes & acculturative behaviors are related, they are separate constructs that should not be used as proxies for one another in survey research or mental health studies. Contrary to assimilationist models, native peoples have survived by taking the best of both worlds, integrating them, maintaining & transforming native cultures, &, ultimately, buffering against negative colonizing processes through the internalization of positive identity attitudes & the externalization of negative dominant group attitudes. 3 Tables, 1 Figure, 15 References. Adapted from the source document.