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As both Côté and Hand point out in their commentaries, acculturation, identity, and culture are complex processes that are determined and affected by the con-texts in which they operate. As we stated in our article in this issue, we do not dismiss the notion that culture and identity are complex and individualized phenomena that vary from one person or context to the next. However, our goal is pragmatic in that we wish to operationalize acculturation, identity, and culture for empirical research that can then be used to design and support intervention efforts. To design interventions that consist of core components but can be adapted for specific immigrant groups and receiving societies, we believe that it is necessary to develop ‘quasi-uni-versal’ principles about what personal, social, and cultural identity are and how they operate and are affected by the experience and process of international migration.


Originally published in Human Development. 2006. Volume 49. Issue 1. Pages 42-43.