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Theorizing Berrys acculturation framework: Study on Maori society

GERTRUDA LEONARDA MARIA DAMEN Faculty of Humanities, University of Tilburg, the Netherlands

ABSTRACT. This paper is written on behalf of my master program Intercultural Communication at the University of Tilburg and deals with theorizing Berrys framework for acculturation research (Berry, 1997). In his applications, Berry states that he supports the view of mutual accommodation of both the majority and the minority group in the acculturation process. Furthermore, Berry mentions the management of pluralism depends both on its acceptance as a contemporary fact of life, and on the mutual willingness to change (p. 29). However, how can these statements be supported if minority groups are involuntary in the acculturation process? Therefore, the main question of this paper is to what extent Berrys framework for acculturation research can be applied with respect to colonial settings. In this surrounding, the Maori society, which were colonized by Britain settlers, was chosen as a subject for this paper.

Firstly, this paper shortly reviews the background of the Maori society before 1800, before the colonization process. Secondly, Berrys acculturation framework will be discussed in detail with respect to the Maori society. Afterwards, limitations on Berrys framework will be presented and at the end there is a discussion section concerning an answer to all of the findings and the opinion I have formed towards the application of Berrys framework for colonial settings: is it relevant, complete, and thus applicable?

Maori society before 1800 The indigenous people of New-Zealand society are the Maori. In the late eighteenth century, when Cook set food on New-Zealand, the Maoris were a pre-literate, tribal people whose tools were mainly of stone, and whose economic and political organization was based on kinship (Metge, 1967, p. 5). In the same line, Huriwai (2002) states that Maori people lived in a strong spiritual world and that ones individual happiness and health dependent on the stability of the kin-based groups within this spiritual world. According to Barcham (1998), the Maori society traditionally had arrangements based on ones family and relations; norms, values, behaviours, and so on, were transmitted by inheritance. Therefore, rules and roles where defined for each individual within the collective kin-based descent groups. This
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framework consisted of three main subgroups called Whanau, Hapu, and Iwi. The Whanau were ones closest family members and ones closest relatives, who lived nearby or in the same household. Therefore, slaves also belonged to the Whanau. The Hapu consisted of people from descent groups brought together in sub-tribes who dealt, among others, with ownership of land, production of goods and food, and the visit of non-descent people. Iwi were the tribes, the confederations of the Hapu groups. These tribes had political power over particular territories and were designed for independent action, peace, and protection over other tribes; however, there were no social control institutions (Metge, 1967). Concerning social class, there were different ranks within the groups; members respected the elderly people, chiefs were wealthier, and slaves were merely women. Furthermore, the economic organization was based on food activities. Tribes had different activities which were based on the main type of food-getting within the tribe, for example fish versus meat. Other features of the economic organization were simple wood and stone tools, work as a collective, and exchange of gifts instead of money or trade. To continue, children did not attend schools, but received education within ones Whanau. Further, religion, supernatural beliefs, and spiritual beings were very important in Maoris daily life (Metge, 1967). To conclude, the main characteristics of Maori before colonization thus contained kin-based relationships, collectivism, food activities, and spiritual belief. Berrys acculturation framework Due to colonization, Maori society had to acculturate into the new, British society. Berrys acculturation framework aims to organize acculturation processes as such and the key features that affect individuals processes of adaption. Before discussing this framework, acculturation and adaption should be further defined. According to Berry (1997), acculturation is the general processes and outcomes (both cultural and psychological) of intercultural contact (p.8). However, in his framework Berry distinguishes group and individual level variables. Therefore, according to Graves (as cited in Berry, 1997) a distinction in definition has to be made. While acculturation occurs on a groups level, Graves defines psychological acculturation as the process of acculturation in ones individual psychology. Adaption refers to the actual outcomes of acculturation, which are, according to Berry (1997) caused by three key features: voluntariness, mobility and permanence. These key factors distinguish adaption processes between groups and individuals and are important to take into account. Namely, while Berry talks about immigrant people, this paper focuses on indigenous people, who involuntary came in contact with acculturation, other cultures (the British culture came to them) and a permanent other situation. In immigrant situations this is actually the other way around, maybe except for permanence. Having defined some key conceptions, Berrys acculturation framework should be briefly explained (figure 1, p. 3). The left side of the model discusses the main factors that affect the group level of
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acculturation. Therefore, variables regarding the society of origin, as well as society of settlement and group acculturation should be put forward. The right side mainly discusses individual or person variables; these are separated in factors prior and during acculturation. The individual, as well as the group level factors, influence the psychological acculturation phenomena, situated in the middle of the right side of the model. This acculturation process is highly variable and can change over time.

Figure 1: Berry's framework for acculturation research (Source: Berry, 1967).

In the six paragraphs to follow, Berrys framework will be discussed in detail with respect to the Maori society. All features will be discussed in line with the ranking within the framework.

Society of origin Just before colonization began, Maori already came in contact with Pakeha people; this was called the Pre-Colonization period (1769-1839). This paragraph, society of origin, is based on this period. Regarding the political context, in this period, except for the common influence of chiefs, the influences of missionaries also grew. Due to the fact of this growth, several institutions, such as institutions practicing cannibalism, slavery, and polygamy, as well as inter-tribal institutions, were
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forbidden, especially by law. As a result the chiefs lost their power, or mana, not only in the tribe, but also in the economic context. However, the chief remained the leader in the Whanau (Ausubel, 1961). Characteristic for this Pre-Colonization period in the economic situation was the trade of articles, tools, clothes, and so on. Furthermore, Maori also acculturated due to intermarriage and informal sexual liaisons between Maori women and Pakeha whalers, the establishment of missionary schools, the association of Maori and Pakeha children, mutual learning of others language, and the employment of Maori seaman on British ships (Ausubel, 1961, p. 96). Thus, the fact that Maori came into contact with Pakeha people stimulated Maoris perspective on economic possibilities as well as feelings, wishes, norms and values. However, the Maori society held on to their original methods of producing tools, food, and other goods. They also did not change their exchange system and kept receiving and returning goods for others. On top of that, the influence of Pakeha people on Maori was to a small extent, because only a limited amount of them settled in New-Zealand (Ausubel, 1961). The arrival and settlement of Pakeha caused several problems regarding demographic characteristics. Among others, there were tensions between Maori and Pakeha, leading to the thorough defeat of people as well as migration and displacement of tribes to regions, overwhelmed with water, neglecting their profits. This resulted in a lack of proper nutrition by which many Maori suffered or died from hunger. Apart from that, the sanitary conditions were also not taken care of, and, combined with Pakehas own European diseases, Maoris also suffered or died from diseases against which they had no knowledge, solutions, nor immunity. At least, the Maoris also started using names to distinguish themselves from Pakeha (Ausubel, 1961; Metge, 1967).

Group acculturation The colonisation had a huge impact on Maori society; it brought positive perspectives as well as problems. Huriwai (2002) states that the Maori never had psycho-emotional problems before colonisation. These problems were mainly caused by the loss of land and the destruction of the spiritual belief and social systems. Also loss of dignity, self-esteem, and identity crisis contributed to a higher risk of psycho-emotional problems. Furthermore, economic as well as social disadvantages of colonization, to be further discussed in this paragraph, increased the psychical problems. All these factors contributed to poor acculturation into the new society (Huriwai, 2002). The main biological acculturation Maori had to deal with were the European diseases. Maori had no knowledge of these diseases, nor were they immune for them. Regarding the economic level of group acculturation, the new society of settlement brought along some positive perspectives. Maori profited from the British knowledge on more modern methods and processes of production. This lead to the adoption of, for example the innovation of new materials, made with iron and steel tools, and the production of other kinds of foods, such as maize. Furthermore, the medium of exchange shifted from gifts to money; employment became more individualized. As a result, Maori learned to be more careful with the amount of resources, and
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therefore money spend, and to negotiate in terms of transaction. However, while colonizers thus coerced the integrity of the common Maori economic system, based on their kin-based tribes, the new methods of production and exchange were simply incorporated into the existing social and economic organization of Maori village life (Ausubel, 1961, p. 98-99). The colonisation of the Maori society by British settlers caused an enormous decrease in social and political power for Hapu and Iwi (Barcham, 1998). The main factor of this was the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, which was made up of three main features: (1) all rights and power were granted to the Queen of England, (2) land and properties were guaranteed to the chiefs, and (3) Maoris were given all the same rights and privileges as British people. Apart from this Treaty, Huriwai (2002) mentions that there were large key differences between the British and the Maori social patterns. He argues that the integration of mind, body, and spirit within a context of social collectively contrasts with reductionist Western models that have historically separated these areas, and concepts of identity and health have tended to be based on individuality and autonomy (p. 1261). Pearson (2002) also mentions several negative outcomes of citizenship of Maori in colonized New-Zealand. Among others, these were racism, contrast in ethnicity and nationality as well as class and gender, less legal and political rights, less military influence and less access to national institutions, for example schools and health care services. According to Ausubel (1961) colonization on social acculturation level resulted in the disruption of Maori communities as well as their social organization system, based on kinships. Trouble over land and loss of status for all Maoris were also negative results. However, Ausubel (1961) also mentions an important positive social outcome; that is children and adolescents to receive education. Except for the fact that Maori took over the clothing of the British, their existing cultural patterns remained the same. Maori continued, as far as possible, to hold on to their customs, behavioral patterns, norms and values. They did not want to change their existing, characteristic way of life; Maori thus did not settle accounts with the British colonization (Ausubel, 1961). In the same line, Barcham (1998) mentions that most Maori lived within their social frameworks until 1920. In this rural environment, they still relied heavily upon these traditional forms of social institution in order to give meaning and structure to their day-to-day social interaction (p. 304).

Society of settlement Bhatia and Ram (2009) mentioned that the British only looked through their own glasses and did not care at all about the Maori society. They cited that the colonized other was conceived of and developed in the metropolitan centers of imperial Britain. For example, the portraits of the other as primitive and savage were constructed through the omniscient English eye. The English eye would survey everything that was in its vision, but they were not self-reflexive about its own acts of seeing and placing others. This representation of the other via a metropolitan center is a cultural representation that is
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deliberate, active, and structured. It monitors and places identities through its wide and penetrating imperial gaze (p. 142). In line with this, Ausubel (1961) states that British did not try for understanding Maoris, nor did they show any sympathy for their rights, health, happiness, fortunes, and ambitions. Colonizers also regarded Maori as permanent lower in rank and status, primitive and uncivilized; they thus gave Maori the feeling they were worthless or beneath consideration. Furthermore, due to coercive threats, Maori were forced to the power and presence of British people, institutions, military troops and officials. They were thus forced to accept he British domination of and control over rules, rights and land; above of that, the colonizers also destroyed their culture.

Factors existing prior to acculturation It was beyond borders for British to expect Maori to just ignore their culture, heritage, and so on, and to adapt to a new way of life. Berry (1997) mentions that several factors in ones person and personal environment can have an influence on the acculturation process. First of all, acculturation in and adoption of British power, norms, and values would be related to age, gender, education en preacculturation. Acculturation would be easier for children than adults. It is possible that the establishment of schools by the colonizers contributed to a positive attitude of minority children. However, it is also likely that Maori children had a negative attitude, because their parents were in conflict with the British settlers. Another possibility is that Maori children and parents are in conflict; while children had a positive attitude, parents had a negative one. Furthermore, Berry assumes that women would suffer from more acculturation problems than men. However, it would be more likely if Maori men had more problems, because they lost a huge amount of power and control. Level of education could also influence the acculturation process; this is not relevant, because Maori did not receive education before acculturation and the education, established later on in the acculturation process, was only basic. Due to pre-acculturation on the other hand, as discussed in the Maori society before 1800, it could be assumed that Maori already formed a relatively positive opinion towards British, because they already came in contact with the British and they had no intentions to take over control over Maori social, political or economic system. However, this thought can be agile falsified : other factors, that are status, migration motivation, expectations and cultural distance, can be addressed as problems during the course of acculturation (Berry, 1997). The negative attitude of the British colonizers as well as little social support lead to status loss of Maori society. Apart from that, Maori themselves also had a negative attitude towards the colonizers, because acculturation was involuntary and forced. Thus, expectations from both sides were non-worthy. Furthermore the cultural distance between Maori and British was large. As mentioned before, the integration of mind, body, and spirit within a context of social collectively contrasts with reductionist Western models that have historically separated these areas,

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and concepts of identity and health have tended to be based on individuality and autonomy (Huriwai, 2002, p. 1261). At last, personality could have had an effect on the acculturation process (Berry, 1997). While Maori were self-effacing and had a kin-based descent organization, it would be likely that personality had a negative influence. However, no study was found to either validate or falsify this thought.

Psychological acculturation phenomena Berry (1997) mentions five main features of psychological acculturation: acculturation experiences, appraisal of experiences, acculturation strategies, immediate effects, and long term outcomes. As we have seen, Maoris had to deal with several acculturation experiences. In short, they adopted all of the advantages of the modern British technology, while they held on to their own values, culture, beliefs, and so on. Therefore, they lacked to recognize the political and economic impact of the colonization process, which finally resulted in war (1860-1872), because the Maoris responded to the pressure of British by refusing in organized fashion to sell their land (Ausubel, 1961; Metge, 1967). According to Ausubel (1961) ownership of land was not only the essential basis of their economy but was also a matter of deep tribal sentiment and an important symbol of resistance to further Pakeha encroachment (p. 99). While many chiefs already protested against the dominance of British leaders, now the Maori society as a whole actively opposed to British domination. Some main features were no further sale of land, a strive for unity of Maori society, and a strive for independence and government of NewZealand by Maori themselves. According to Berry (1967) these conflicts should be resolved by assimilation of Maori people towards British perspectives. However, the war of the British upon the Maori left feelings of angry hurt, harsh, resentment, and disillusionment. In addition, Maoris lost their way of life, as well as even more land than before. Maoris also lost their houses, couldnt cultivate their land anymore and thus lost both capital and first aid goods. Ausubel (1961) states that a Maori felt himself as a humbled stranger in the land of his forefathers, betrayed by the greed and cunning of the white man (p. 101). As a result, Maoris developed a negative psychological attitude towards themselves as well as the British. They had a strong disapproval regarding the British norms, values, and behaviors. Further, they disgusted British educational and religion system and they questioned all motives of British people in everyday activities. Maoris also had no more positive future perspective for themselves: both economic status and population growth declined. However, psychological acculturation changed towards withdrawal (1872-1927). Withdrawal implements the determination of the indigenous people to preserve their cultural identity and to resist assimilation (Ausubel, 1961, p. 106). Within this line, Maori withstood British superiority and continued to hold on to their own value and social system. Some features of this period are: movements emphasizing Maoris religion, spiritual healing, national unity, farming and collectivism. However, they had to sacrifice their economic organization and they thus did not totally separate from the British, nor they marginalized. Nowadays (Post-withdrawal), lacking of Maori community support,
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Maori youth assimilates even more towards the British educational and economic system. The willingness towards contact with British re-establishes due to six main features: disruption of the social life of Maori society, high acculturative stress and social problems, Maori prejudice and racism, and social-economic advantages (Ausubel, 1961).

Factors arising during acculturation Apart from factors existing prior to acculturation, Berry (1997) also takes into account the factors arising during acculturation. These are phase, acculturation strategies, coping, social support and social attitudes. The longer the phase, the length of time that Maori experience acculturation, the more problems expected. According to Berry (1997) we should adopt Hos (in Berry, 1997) developmental approach that considers acculturation as the specific nature of the experiences and problems encountered as they change over time (p. 24). This approach implies a thought of variability of adaption on a continuum of no adaption to long-term adaption. However, Maoris only suffered from a few starting problems, resulting in war, and finally the process of adaption began. Therefore, the Ucurve (Berry, 1997) would better fit Maoris adaption process. Furthermore, Berry mentions four possible acculturation strategies: integration, assimilation, marginalization and separation. Integration is no option, while Maori had and British still have no positive attitude towards the other. Marginalization is also not present for Maori society: they were rejected, and still are rejected, but did not lose their own culture. Assimilation also cannot be designed, because Maori did not adjust at all (war, withdrawal-period) and acculturation is not non-problematic (post-withdrawal period) due to, for example racism and prejudices. Separation however, partly could be appointed to the Maoris throughout the withdrawal-period. While they held on to their socialcultural patterns, they could not neglect the economic dominance of the British. Related to the acculturation strategies mentioned, are so-called coping strategies, strategies to define the way people experience and deal with acculturation. However, while Berry (1997) mentions that the evidence is rather limited, this relationship will not be taken into account. At last, neglecting social support contributed to the negative acculturation process; this finally resulted in war and withdrawal. However, social attitudes, in line with globalization and the modern, economic world, nowadays force Maori to assimilate into the British society. Limitations on Berrys framework Several researchers, further to mention in this paragraph, have criticized Berrys acculturation framework or Berrys acculturation strategies. While the last mentioned could be seen as a result of the framework, as well as a part of the framework, criticism on both the framework and the strategies will be taken into account. Bhatia and Ram (2009) criticize several aspects of Berrys acculturation strategies. First of all, they criticize the universalist perspective on acculturation. Berry and Sam (as cited in Bhatia & Ram,
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2009) conclude that there are substantial variations in the life circumstances of the cultural groups that experience acculturation, the psychological processes that operate during acculturation are essentially the same for all the groups (p. 141). However, how can Berry and his colleague claim this perspective while Berry (1997) mentions voluntariness, mobility and permanence as key factors for different acculturation strategies? It would be likely to expect that differences in these factors go hand in hand with different social emotional development and thus psychological patterns. In line with this, Bhatia and Ram (2009) state that identity is situated in politics and does not evolve out of some authentic, universal origins (p. 142). While acculturation and identity formation thus should be situated within the historical, political, and social-cultural context of the individual within the society to be referred to, Bhatia and Ram (2009) criticize Berry for the fact that he rarely discusses these factors or that he only discusses the factors as interwoven with the group, not with the self. Furthermore, Bhatia and Ram (2009) criticize the fact that Berry opts for integration as the preferred goal to be adopted. They question if integration is an option at all when historical and political issues of power, status, conflict, and so on, have (had) a huge impact on the self. Therefore, it could be assumed that Maori simply did not want or to or could not integrate in the British society or that they were not free to choose. In line with this, Huriwai (2002) mentions that the framework does not demonstrate the underlying intensity of ones view towards acculturation: there can be a discrepancy between ones view and the actual level of participation. Van Ngo (2008) limits the acculturation model for the fact that, while acculturation and identity experiences can change over time, the framework does not contain the main factors that influence this variability; race, gender, and age or some examples. Berry (1997) himself states that one, in this case the Maori, should adopt the culture of the British settlers. However, what means acculturation in this setting? Isnt it deculturation? British power, hegemony and control propose norms and values for Maori to be accepted.

Discussion In this paper I have argued Berrys framework for acculturation research and I have illustrated the limitations of his framework with respect to colonial settings, more specific the Maori society. If I return to the beginning of this paper and presume Berrys statements mentioned there, that is that he supports the view of mutual accommodation and mutual willingness in the acculturation process as well as the acceptance of acculturation as a contemporary fact of life, his framework is not applicable for this study on the Maori society. The major problem defining acculturation in this surrounding is that acculturation is born out of colonization of the indigenous Maori society, their land, and culture; acculturation was thus involuntarily and unwilling. These features do not concur with Berrys statements.

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Furthermore, the framework is not applicable, because there is a discrepancy between the social political power and the position of the Maori: while the Treaty of Waitangi aligned Maoris to British, de jure they were equal and had equal rights, they were in practice, or de facto, totally dominated by the British colonizers. Pearson (2000) states that the British transformed them into an aboriginal minority in their own territory (p. 99). The framework does not offer a solution to this problem. Therefore, the society of origin was seen as the Maori society and the society of settlement was seen as the new British society. Apart from this, dividing the Maori and the British society into a new society of settlement, as in conceptual set of proposals or agreed as a whole, is impossible in any case; the partition, as we have seen, cannot be sharply defined. In the same line, it can be assumed that the model is incomplete, because it does not discuss the new society of settlement as in terms of state policies; it does not take into account how goals or strategies to conquer the Maori society are achieved. Further, it also neglects issues of struggles, disagreements, power, status and changes and how these might affect the process of acculturation. How does, for example inequality, or the distinction between Us (British) and Them or the Other (Maoris) affect the acculturation process? Furthermore, it is blurred what adaption in colonized settings means. Whos norms and values should be adopted in a situation like this? In the same line, I might state that the framework is thus not applicable, because it is vague what acculturation in colonized settings means: power, status, and hegemony provide control of British over Maori and they thus propose the norms and values for Maori to accept and to follow. Therefore, the process of acculturation with respect to colonized settings should better be seen as a deculturation rather than an acculturation process. Furthermore, the framework is nor complete nor applicable, because the process of settlement and acculturation has to be researched within a larger scope; both the Maori and the British society had their own social, cultural, political and economic organizations and relations within ones society were built on these organizations. In his framework, Berry seems to lack to discuss the political context as well as the economic situation and the demographic factors of the society of settlement. He also seems to take the ties between the British and the Maori society for granted: the British provided rights, power, status, and identity, while the Maori were nothing actually. The framework thus deprives to a discussion of the colonial status of the Maori society: a framework as such, with respect to colonial settings, should, in my opinion, consider two exhaustive perspectives: (1) a focus on the perspective of the indigenous society to their own as well as the colonized society and the impacts of the colonization process, and (2) a focus on the perspective of the colonizers to both the indigenous society and the new society they intent to build and the impacts of the colonization process. It is obvious that several features support the fact that Berrys model is not applicable nor complete as a framework for acculturation research with respect to colonial settings. Therefore, further research to revise the framework is in demand. For this purpose, I would certainly appreciate the two-perspective
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point of view, as mentioned a few lines above. Further, I would recommend a discussion of the three most important discrepancies in acculturation processes in colonial settings. First of all, double citizenship should be clearly defined as a process of relations between the two societies and what this relations mean in terms of social organizations, norms, values, rights, autonomy, and so on. Furthermore, the concept of the ethnic Other in terms of Us versus Them should be taken into account. How do both societies view the dominance of one society above another? What are the consequences of this enlightenment of two apposed groups? And with respect to a more psychological approach, what psycho-emotional results would it have? At last, the degree of identification with the other group in the society should be discussed. Do groups identify with each other or are political orders and legal rights the most important identity markers? These discrepancies I have argued, in combination with the two-perspective point of view, require a framework for acculturation research that recognizes the linkage between the old, the colonial, and the new society and the context in which each of them should be seen.

Acknowledgement I grant a considerable gap between the workload in my Premaster and my Master program. I do not ascribe this gap as inaccurate or not to accomplish. However, I do admit it as being precarious to combine a Master program with earning living, or work, as well as supporting social life; besides, I am ambitious, critical and detailed. Therefore I would be grateful for comments on this version to perhaps develop a newer, better version of this paper.

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Retrieved on 13-11-2010 from http://www.uwindsor.ca/criticalsocialwork/a-criticalexamination-of-acculturation-theories. Pearson, D. (2000). The ties that unwind: Civic and ethnic imaginings in New-Zealand. Nations and Nationalism, 6, 91-110. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com Pearson, H. (2002). Theorizing Citizenship in British Settler Societies. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 25, 989-1012. doi: 10.1080/014198702200000940 3

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