The Importance of Religion for Ethnic Minorities and Connection with Acculturation

Anna Gvetadze, Ekaterine Pirtskhalava


This comprehensive research examines the influence of religion on the acculturation process of ethnic minorities, with particular focus on the Armenian and Azeri communities in Georgia. The study delves into the acculturation strategies utilized by these communities and probes the correlation between their religious beliefs and acculturation. Additionally, the research expands on the broader concept of acculturation, its theoretical underpinnings, and its psychological aspects. It presents an in-depth analysis of Georgia's multicultural fabric, the role of integration in fostering intergroup relations, and the importance of cultural learning and assimilation of host society values. A significant segment of the research is devoted to the exploration of the relationship between religion and acculturation, underlining the importance of understanding religion's role in shaping attitudes and behaviors towards other ethnic groups. The paper concludes with the need for further research to unravel the complex interplay between religion, cultural identity, and acculturation strategies within the Georgian context.



Acculturation, Ethnic Minorities, Georgia, Religion, Armenians, Azeris

Full Text:



Adler, N. J. (1975). The transition from student to working woman: The social-psychological dynamics of professional-obstacle course navigation. Feminist Studies, 1(3/4), 39-62.

Berry, J. W. (2001). A psychology of immigration. Journal of Social Issues, 57(3), 615-631.

Berry, J. W., Phinney, J. S., Sam, D. L., & Vedder, P. (2006). Immigrant youth: Acculturation, identity, and adaptation. Applied Psychology, 55(3), 303-332.

Berry, J. W., Hou, F., & Sabatier, C. (2021). Acculturation and adaptation of second-generation immigrant youth in Canada and France. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 80, 184-194.

Bourhis, R. Y., Moise, L. C., Perreault, S., & Senecal, S. (1997). Towards an interactive acculturation model: A social psychological approach. International Journal of Psychology, 32(6), 369-386.

GeoStat. (2014). General Population Census. National Statistics Office of Georgia.

Gordon, M. M. (1964). Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins. Oxford University Press.

Jaoshvili, S. (1996). The Ethnic Minorities of Georgia. Caucasian Center for Peacemaking Initiative. p. 112-290;

Kang, S. M. (2006). Measurement of acculturation, scale formats, and language competence: Their implications for adjustment. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37(6), 669-693.

Maisuradze, L. (1999). Anthropology of Georgia: Ethnic Relations. Issues of the history of the Armenian population of Georgia (IV-XVIII centuries), Tbilisi;

Nguyen, A. M. D., & Benet-Martínez, V. (2013). Biculturalism and adjustment: A meta-analysis. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(1), 122-159.

Padilla, A. M. (1980). Acculturation: Theory, Models, and Some New Findings. Westview.

Paluck, E. L., Porat, R., Clark, C. S., & Green, D. P. (2019). Prejudice reduction: Progress and challenges. Annual Review of Psychology, 70, 585-613.

Pirtskhalava, E. (2017) Social networks of Georgian migrants in Northern Portugal Journal: Educational Sciences and Psychology 2017|3(45) p.32-46

Powell, J. W. (1883). First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879-80. Government Printing Office.

Redfield, R., Linton, R., & Herskovits, M. J. (1936). Memorandum for the study of acculturation. American Anthropologist, 38(1), 149-152.

Reise, S. P., & Yu, J. (2001). On the relative and absolute stability of psychological acculturation. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(5), 527-539.

Richardson, L. L. (1957). Acculturation in the Navaho Eden: New Mexico, 1550-1750; Archaeology, Language, Religion of the Peoples of the Southwest. Arno Press.

Rios, K., & Wynn, A. (2016). Engaging with diversity: Framing multiculturalism as a learning opportunity reduces prejudice among high White American identifiers. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46(7), 854-865.

Rogler, L. H., Cortes, D. E., & Malgady, R. G. (1991). Acculturation and mental health status among Hispanics: Convergence and new directions for research. American Psychologist, 46(6), 585-597.

Sam, D. L., & Berry, J. W. (1997). Acculturation and adaptation. In J. W. Berry, M. H. Segall, & Ç. Kagitçibasi (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology: Vol. 3. Social behavior and applications (2nd ed., pp. 291-326). Allyn & Bacon.

Sam, D. L., & Berry, J. W. (2006). The Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology. Cambridge University Press.

Sammut, G. (2010). Points of view and the visual acculturation of immigrants. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 44(2), 105-115.

Stogianni, M., Albuja, A. F., Zezelj, I., Psaltis, C., & Schmid, K. (2021). Acculturation and intergroup relations in times of refugee crisis in Greece and Serbia: An exploration of majority and minority perspectives. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 31(1), 33-49.

Suinn, R. M., Rickard-Figueroa, K., Lew, S., & Vigil, P. (1987). The Suinn-Lew Asian self-identity acculturation scale: An initial report. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 47(2), 401-407.

Tetvadze, T. (1998). Ethnic Minorities in Georgia. Armenians in Georgia; Academy of National and Social Relations of Georgia, Tbilisi

Thomas, W. I., & Znanieck, F. (1918). The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. Dover Publications.

Vadachkoria, Z. (2003). Ethnic Minorities in Georgia. Issues of political history of Georgia, Tbilisi, Tbilisi State University.

van Osch, Y., & Breugelmans, S. M. (2012). Perceived intergroup difference as an organizing principle of intercultural attitudes and acculturation attitudes. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43(5), 801-821.

Ward, C. (2001). The A, B, Cs of acculturation. In D. Matsumoto (Ed.), The Handbook of Culture and Psychology (pp. 411-445). Oxford University Press.

Ward, C., & Kennedy, A. (1994). Acculturation strategies, psychological adjustment, and sociocultural competence during cross-cultural transitions. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 18(3), 329-343.


  • There are currently no refbacks.