What is it about?

Do people who are raised in a multicultural household (i.e., with more than one culture) think in a culturally hybrid way and have a hybrid cultural identity? Or do they switch between two different cultural frames of interpretation, and two different identities? We conducted a study with two types of Chinese-Australian multicultural individuals: those who were raised in a multicultural household ("innate multiculturals"), and those who acquired their Chinese and Australian cultures in separate contexts ("achieved multiculturals"). Our study revealed that innate multiculturals think in a hybrid way and have a hybrid identity, in contrast to achieved multiculturals, who alternate between their different cultures depending on cultural context.

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Why is it important?

Multicultural households are a rapidly rising phenomenon in many parts of the world, due to globalisation, immigration and inter-ethnic relationship trends. We put a spotlight on 'innate multiculturals', or people who are raised in multicultural households, as a unique and fast-growing demographic that deserves further research attention. Our findings indicate that early immersion in a mixed or hybrid culture at home has lasting effects on how one thinks and identifies, which has important potential implications for a range of other outcomes, such as creativity, cultural intelligence and work behaviors. So our study is the first step to exploring how innate multiculturals differ from other multicultural individuals, which may, for instance, help organisations understand how to better leverage their multicultural employees.

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This page is a summary of: Early Immersive Culture Mixing, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, July 2016, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0022022116639391.
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