Whenever culture traits or culture complexes spread from one culture to another, it is called diffusion. When the whole system of life in a culture begins to change under the influence of any other culture, it is the process of acculturation or contra-culturation.

Linton, Redfield, Herskovits, Hoizer and Beals have given many examples to define the process of contra- culturation. Accordingto Herskovits, when a child learns to obey its cultural traditions in the process of development, it is called acculturation.

When there is an exchange of culture traits and culture complexes between two cultures, it is transculturation, but when in place of one system of life in any culture, another system is established, it is contra-culturation. Assimilation may take place in this, but often it does not happen.

What happens is that the afflicted culture first disintegrates and next, when an improvement in it begins a – new, its individuality is lost and it takes a new form. Such a process can be called contra-culturation. For example, among the races of Chota- Nagpur in India, individuality had ended at first under the exploitation and poverty in which they lived for centuries, but when the country became free, their insistence on cultural, social, economic and political freedom developed in them in the shape of Jhar-Khand movement under various political influences, but it was not their previous original form.


Scholars, who illustrate this process of contra-culturation, say that no culture of the world today possesses its unadulterated form, which means that every culture has taken a lot from other cultures. They also insist that it is not enough to say, as diffusionists do, that different cultures have taken a lot from one another through diffusion. It is also necessary to say what and how they took from it.