Globalisation has emphasised two forces in cross-cultural research – heterogenisation and homogenisation, which contribute to the increased power of diasporas and the emergence of a global consumer culture. Reverse acculturation is a recent phenomenon, describing the change in direction of the acculturation process, back towards the culture of origin. Within a global context, reverse acculturation is investigated to determine which globalisation force drives fully acculturated individuals to return to their roots.
An exploratory qualitative study was conducted with five South African Chinese and five Anglo-Saxon individuals. The findings identified the need for an evolved acculturation process that recognises integration between homeland and hostland as non-temporary. The findings acknowledged the significance of diaspora research and the growing influence of China on global culture.
This confirmed the need for a dynamic definition of acculturation with the factors of life events, life stages and family as significant to the process. The existence of a heterogeneous global culture was supported over a homogenous culture, requiring a cosmopolitan definition to update the current definition based on outdated Western logic. The main findings were applied to evolve the traditional framework towards a dynamic acculturation process driven by individual agency and influenced by a multi-layered construct of variables.