Human Studies

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 447–465

Humanizing the Understanding of the Acculturation Experience with Phenomenology

Research Paper


Multiple disciplines have contributed to acculturation research with aims to measure, conceptualize, and theorize this complex phenomenon. Few studies, however, have attempted to find meaning in how acculturation is lived and, this lack may have contributed to acculturation being understood as a construct removed from human experience. The purpose of this article is to show how a research methodology based on phenomenological epistemology can humanize the understanding of the acculturation experience. This contribution is demonstrated in a study that used a phenomenological approach to describe and elucidate acculturation as a lived experience in the context of Latina adolescents who emigrated from Mexico to the US. Thus, this article illustrates how the phenomenological approach used in this study allows new meanings of acculturation to be experientially revealed.


Acculturation Adolescents Assimilation Epistemology Immigrants Latina adolescents Phenomenology Youth 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Youth DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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