Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952668 | Print ISBN: 9781412909488 | Online ISBN: 9781412952668| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
E. J. R. David
Biculturalism describes the characteristics of persons whose psychological experiences have been shaped, to varying degrees, by two cultures. Biculturalism may also refer to the strategies that such individuals learn to use in response to cultural conflicts between two sets of cultural norms, values, or practices. Psychology's understanding of biculturalism is constantly evolving, and controversies regarding its conceptualization, assessment, and mental health implications abound. Nevertheless, the surge of psychological literature on biculturalism over the past decade indicates that this construct is of central importance not only for ethnic minority psychology, but also for the general field of psychology. The current knowledge base regarding biculturalism can be traced to two major lines of research, one arising from acculturation research and the other reflecting the cognitive processes involved in being bicultural. When two or more intact cultures come into contact, as in cases of immigration and globalization, the involved individuals may experience change ...