Seminar: Jozefien De Leersnyder – Emotional Acculturation
When people come into continuous first hand contact with another culture, their patterns of emotions change – a process we coined emotional acculturation. In this colloquium, I will describe three studies, with Korean Americans, Turkish Belgians and a representative sample of minority adolescents in Belgium (longitudinal study) that provide first evidence for this phenomenon. Concretely, these studies demonstrate that minorities’ emotional patterns come to fit with those that are typical for the majority culture upon being exposed to, and engaged in that culture. Furthermore, I will present some follow-up studies that suggest that minorities’ newly acquired emotional patterns do not necessarily replace the old ones, but come to co-exist with them and that different emotional patterns may be activated by different socio-cultural contexts of interaction. Finally, I will present evidence that people’s emotional fit with a culture is linked to their psychological and relational well-being, suggesting that emotions may be key to minorities’ social inclusion and well-being.
Throughout my talk, I will highlight how these studies and findings may advance the field of acculturation psychology. In fact, they call for a novel cultural psychological approach to acculturation in which not only attitudes and identities, but all aspects of people’s psyche are subject to acculturative changes.
Dr. Jozefien De Leersnyder, University of Amsterdam & University of Leuven