But when you move half-way around the world to start a new life in a strange foreign land, this process of trying to fit in is called acculturation. Researchers who studied the last great wave of immigrants to America, writing two or three generations ago in the mid-20th century, tended to give an either-or answer to this question. You could be either German or American. You could be either Chinese or American. We often assumed that becoming an American meant giving up on being German or Chinese.