30 November 2021 - 30 November 2021
9:00AM - 10:00AM
Streamed live from New Zealand in the IAS Seminar Room, Cosins Hall
IAS Public Lecture by Prof. Colleen Ward, Victoria University of Wellington.
Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash
Can Mandeep be both Punjabi and British? How does Mai Lin’s Chineseness relate to her Britishness? Psychological research has consistently shown that bicultural individuals who are able to maintain and integrate their ethnic and national identities have better subjective well-being than those who opt for a single cultural identity. Although integrating identities is known to bring social and psychological benefits, there is limited evidence about HOW integration is achieved. We suggest that cultural identity styles, the cognitive and behavioural strategies that individuals use for problem-solving and decision-making about identity relevant issues, provide insight into this process. The Hybrid Identity Style reflects picking and choosing desirable elements from two or more cultures and blending them in a unique way; in contrast, the Alternating Identity Style involves shifting or changing cultural identities depending on the circumstances. Our research has shown that both styles are accessible to bicultural individuals and are activated by a motivation to integrate but that they lead to different identity and well-being outcomes. In this presentation I will provide an overview of mixed method and cross-cultural research on cultural identity styles and well-being in members of established ethnic minority and recent immigrant groups.