Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 16 October 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the identity processes involved in acculturation and multiculturalism, drawing on insights from various social psychological theories of identity. According to self-categorization theory, people are especially likely to view their cultural values and practices as self-defining in situations of intercultural contact. Social identity theory suggests that members of cultural majorities and minorities will find various ways of maintaining the positive distinctiveness of their cultural identities: for example, migrants may compete directly with receiving-society individuals (e.g., Asian Americans in science and mathematics), or they may find creative ways of affirming cultural differences (e.g., opening restaurants specializing in heritage-culture cuisine). However, multicultural national contexts can be understood not only in terms of intergroup relations, but also in terms of intragroup dynamics by which members of different cultural groups negotiate and defend competing definitions of a superordinate national identity. Drawing on integrated threat theory and on motivated identity construction theory, the authors suggest that these intergroup and intragroup dynamics will bring a wider range of identity motives and processes into play. Moreover, the elaborated social identity model emphasizes the importance of viewing majority and minority groups’ identity processes as reciprocally related over time, rather than treating them separately. This analysis helps to explain why migrants and receiving-society members often behave in ways that seemingly contradict the predictions of earlier theories of acculturation and of intergroup relations.

Keywords: acculturation, international migration, social identity, intergroup relations, cultural identity

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.