Reference : Multiculturalism within the Luxembourg context
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Social, industrial & organizational psychology
Multiculturalism within the Luxembourg context
Murdock, Elke mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​Walferdange, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Psychologie
232 + 21
Ferring, Dieter mailto
Boll, Thomas mailto
Willems, Helmut mailto
Valsiner, Jaan
Barrett, Martyn
Hu, Adelheid mailto
[en] Multiculturalism ; Biculturalism ; Luxembourg ; nationality construal ; identity construal ; acculturaion
[en] Even within a globalizing world, Luxembourg takes an exceptional position with a foreign population of 44%, rising to 68% in the capital, home to a fifth of the country’s population. Luxembourg, and in particular its capital, therefore form a “natural laboratory” to examine how an increasingly diverse society is perceived by the majority population who finds itself in the minority. Different facets of multiculturalism were examined in a series of quantitative studies. The first study examined the salience of nationality in the spontaneous self-concept as a function of context. The study found that students in a nationally heterogeneous environment mentioned nationality more frequently in their spontaneous self-concept than those in a nationally homogeneous context. Bringing people of different nationalities together does not diminish awareness of nationalities; on the contrary, salience of nationality is increased, as explained by the distinctiveness paradigm. Within a multicultural society, identification in terms of nationality is therefore more likely. The link between multilingualism and biculturalism was examined in the second study. Luxembourg is not only multicultural in terms of its demographic composition, but multilingual as a country with three officially recognized languages. This study confirmed that Luxembourg participants self-identified as multilingual, but the majority also as monocultural, therefore defying the assumption that bilinguals tend to be bicultural. Language competence was identified as a necessary, but not sufficient condition for biculturalism. Luxembourg participants differed in terms of internalization of language and culture. Those who experienced language as a cultural prime were more likely to self-identify as bicultural. Biculturals in turn reported less conscious effort in switching between cultures. A third study examined how biculturals organize and experience their dual nationalities. The study showed that adolescents growing up in mixed national familie are more likely to self-identify in a bicultural way. They experienced their dual nationalities as complementary and as a source of self-enhancement and pride rather than conflict. These findings were explained within the Acculturation Complexity Framework (ACM). Individuals who feel accountable to a mixed audience, may, after a period of dissonance, develop integrative complexity and a bicultural orientation. In the ACM model, the trigger for the increased cultural attention scope is second culture exposure. The opportunity for second culture exposure is increased in a multicultural society. A final series of studies assessed the attitude towards multiculturalism, defined as the attitude towards the plurally composed society. An empirical study was conducted within a large Luxembourg employer with a predominantly native born workforce. The endorsement of multiculturalism was measured using established multiculturalism scales. The influence of various factors such as demographic variables, inter-group relations variables, language use and individual difference variables such as the human values as measured by the Schwartz Values Structure and the understanding of nationality and their relationship with multiculturalism was examined. The results show a widespread endorsement of the idea of multiculturalism, in the sense of broadening and enriching of horizons. The acceptance of behavioural aspects of living together (i.e. societal participation) is yet to be aligned. Those in favor of multiculturalism focus mainly on intangible aspects whereas more critical voices concentrate on the tangible aspects of living together. Taken all this together, the current studies highlighted the role of language as well as culture contact for the construction of mono- or bicultural identity. Findings did not show however a simple linear relation between these variables but underlined the importance of third-variables moderating or mediating these relationship. This differential result pattern will set the frame for future studies.
Fonds National de la Recherche - FnR
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public

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