More Than the Sum of Its Parts: A Transformative Theory of Biculturalism
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
With the rise of globalization, culture mixing increasingly occurs not only between groups and individuals belonging to different cultures but also within individuals. Biculturals, or people who are part of two cultures, are a growing population that has been studied in recent years; yet, there is still much to learn about exactly how their unique experiences of negotiating their cultures affect the way they think and behave. Past research has at times relied on models of biculturalism that conceptualize biculturals’ characteristics and experiences as simply the sum of their cultures’ influences. Yet, the way biculturals negotiate their cultures may result in unique psychological and social products that go beyond the additive contributions of each culture, suggesting the need for a new transformative theory of biculturalism. In this theoretical contribution, our aims are threefold: to (a) establish the need for a transformative theory of biculturalism, (b) discuss how our new transformative theory unifies existing research on biculturals’ lived experiences, and (c) present novel hypotheses linking specific negotiation processes (i.e., hybridizing, integrating, and frame switching) to unique products within the basic psychological domains of self, motivation, and cognition.
West, Alexandria L., Rui Zhang, Maya Yampolsky, and Joni Y. Sasaki. "More Than the Sum of Its Parts: A Transformative Theory of Biculturalism." Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 48, no. 7 (2017): 963-990.
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