We conducted a field study to examine acculturation orientations endorsed by Italian school teachers, together with the factors promoting positive acculturation tendencies within the school setting among children. To examine acculturation strategies, we relied on the interactive acculturation model (Bourhis, Moïse, Perreault, & Senécal, 1997). Specifically, we tested the acculturation strategies that teachers would apply within the school environment with Italian and immigrant children. The results revealed that participants preferred individualism, followed by integration. Thus, they evaluated as most important the individual qualities and abilities of immigrant children, rather than their cultural origin and their willingness to adopt the Italian culture. Moreover, teachers rejected negative strategies such as assimilation and exclusion. Interestingly, they accepted the strategy of segregation, so recognising the importance to maintain one’s own culture without the need of adapting it to the culture of other people. Participants moderately supported social policies favouring immigrant children, that were considered as a heterogeneous group. As for the factor facilitating smoother intergroup relations, positive contact with immigrant parents fostered empathic feelings toward immigrant children; in turn, increased empathy was generally associated with reduced endorsement of negative acculturation strategies and adoption of positive strategies (with the exception of integration). Positive contact and empathy were also associated with more agreement with social policies aimed at favouring immigrant children and perception of immigrant children heterogeneity. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed.
What do teachers think about acculturation of immigrant children? / C., Portioli; Giovannini, Dino; Vezzali, Loris. - STAMPA. - 1:(2012), pp. 39-39. (Intervento presentato al convegno 40th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology (IIS) - After Western Hegemony: Social Science and its Publics tenutosi a Delhi nel 16-19 February 2012).