South-South acculturation: Majority-group students’ relation to Sub-Saharan students in Moroccan universities

Hamza R'BOUL, Fred DERVIN, Benachour SAIDI

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the complexities of majority-group members’ acculturation in the changing culture-scape of Morocco within the larger framework of South-South acculturation and the mobilization of subalternity. Taking into account linguistic, cultural and epistemic hierarchies, this study explores the dynamics of majority groups’ acculturation and the manifestations that might confound, signal and/or deny acculturation among Moroccan university students towards Sub-Saharan students. In-depth interviews with Moroccan and Sub-Saharan university students and some auto-ethnographic accounts are used to account for the complexities in researching majority-group members’ acculturation and to understand participants’ subjectivities, ontologies and perspectives in greater nuance and depth. Findings revealed that Moroccan students’ discourses articulate strong support for the increasing presence of Sub-Saharan people on campuses, however, this positive rhetoric does not necessarily translate into ‘willingness’ to adopt their ontologies. While this could be mere hospitable recognition, the claims of majority group acculturation require a stronger foundation of the appeal of migrants from the Global South beyond the local society’s humanitarian hospitality. Implications of this study include developing the notion of ‘mobilization of subalternity’ which refers to the re-projection of the overlapping systems of privilege/subordination and the importance of sociopolitical framing that does not distance the geopolitical, racial and power-/image-laden from the very psychological factors that influence acculturation. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101834
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Early online dateJun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


R’boul, H., Dervin, F., & Saidi, B. (2023). South-South acculturation: Majority-group students’ relation to Sub-Saharan students in Moroccan universities. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 96, Article 101834.


  • Majority group acculturation
  • South-South acculturation
  • Mobilization of subalternity
  • University students
  • Moroccan students
  • Sub-Saharan students


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