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An exploration of the flipside of international marketing: the acculturation of foreign born residents of the US

Yvette Reisinger (Based at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
John C. Crotts (Based at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 6 April 2012




The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the acculturation process of foreign‐born residents of the US. In particular, the study seeks to identify factors that influence acculturation of foreign residents, the degree to which their acculturation takes place and its effect on individuals.


A sample of Korean‐born residents of the US was surveyed regarding their socio‐demographic characteristics and lifestyle preferences. Hofstede's five culture measures were used to identify the values of Korean and host culture. T‐tests were performed to determine if Korean respondents differed from their host culture and to identify the effects of marital status, spouse country of birth, and residence preferences. Correlations were run to assess the relationships between time (years residing in the US) and acculturation as measured by language, food and community preferences.


The study found that acculturation occurred, as measured by language preferences and Hofstede's culture measures, but only to a limited extent. Time, age, marital status, spouse country of birth, and preferred country of residence had only modest influence on acculturation. Most foreign‐born Korean residents of the US maintained a strong preference for their native culture.


Tourism destinations are becoming increasingly more ethnically diverse societies, due in part to immigration. From a marketing perspective, the increasing diversity in the foreign‐born population increases the need for new market segmentation. This, in turn, requires an understanding of if and how quickly foreign‐born residents abandon aspects of their native culture and become fully assimilated into their adopted host culture.



Reisinger, Y. and Crotts, J.C. (2012), "An exploration of the flipside of international marketing: the acculturation of foreign born residents of the US", Tourism Review, Vol. 67 No. 1, pp. 42-50.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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