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This term is used to describe both the process of contacts between different cultures and also the customs of such contacts.

As the process of contact between cultures, acculturation may involve either direct social interaction or exposure to other cultures by means of the mass media of communication.

As the outcome of such contact, acculturation refers to the assimilation by one group of the culture of another which modifies the existing culture and so changes group identity. There may be a tension between old and new cultures which leads to the adapting of the new as well as the old.