What is it about?

We explored whether being raised in a multicultural household would lead one to identify with a hybrid culture and/or with separate, distinct cultures. We also investigated whether people who were raised in a multicultural household would grow up to perceive a more blended identity but still may experience identity conflict. We looked at this phenomenon among Chinese-Australians in Australia.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that people who grew up in a multicultural household are unique in identifying more strongly with with a hybrid culture and the mainstream culture. At a time when more people are being raised in multicultural households, this research shows that it's important to study how this particular process of becoming multicultural (i.e., through early immersive culture mixing) can affect how one identifies later in life. This might lead to new research on what hybrid cultural identification can mean for social processes and outcomes, such as interpersonal behaviour in the workplace.

Perspectives

This research continues an idea that appeared in our first article on this topic, "Early immersive culture mixing: The key to understanding cognitive and identity differences among multiculturals". It tells a similar story but we dig deeper here into the identity aspects, whereas our first paper was on cognition and identity. I am excited at the prospect of carving out a new research area examining how a multicultural upbringing (i.e., early immersive culture mixing) can make a real difference later in life. Up to now, cross-cultural psychology literature has not really paid much attention specifically to innate multiculturals (i.e., individuals who are the product of this type of upbringing), so I hope that this line of research can give people a useful framework for thinking about variation among multiculturals.

Dr Lee Martin
Deakin University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Role of Early Immersive Culture Mixing in Cultural Identifications of Multiculturals, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, February 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0022022119830522.
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