Multicultural Psychology Paper

Topics: United States, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology Pages: 4 (1096 words) Published: July 25, 2010
Multicultural Psychology Paper

Multicultural Psychology Paper
Multicultural psychology is "the systematic study of all aspects of human behavior as it occurs in settings where people of different cultural backgrounds encounter each other. Multiculturalism has been considered a "fourth force" in the field of psychology, supplementing behaviorism, psychodynamic theories, and humanistic psychology. It explores such topics as differences in worldviews and in means of communication; the acculturation process; stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and racism; cultural identity development; and building multicultural competence" (Fhagen-Smith, 2010). Multicultural psychology attempts "to understand and to accurately represent the psychology of the many different groups and individuals" (Hall & Barongan, 2002). "Our definition of multicultural psychology states that the field is interested in what happens when people of different backgrounds interact with one another. Bochner (1999) defines culture contact as "critical incidents where people from different cultural, ethnic, or linguistic backgrounds come into social contact with each other" (p. 22) and describes two broad categories of contacts: (1) contacts that occur between members of a culturally diverse society, or between people of many different backgrounds who live and work together on a daily basis; and (2) contacts that occur when people from one society visit another country, for purposes such as business, tourism, study, or assistance (e.g., Peace Corps). Multicultural psychology is interested in both types of cultural contact, although it emphasizes the first type. Although diversity increases in America, psychology has been slow to embrace the study of multicultural issues. Historically, however, cross-cultural psychology has been the primary area in which psychology has examined culture. The cross cultural approach typically examines two national groups that are not in the same social context. As...

References: Barongan, C. & Hall, G.C. (2002). Multicultural Psychology. New York: Prentice Hall.
Bochner, S. (1999). The Psychology of Culture Shock. Philadelphia: Routledge.
Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2010). Social class, racial/ethnic identity, and the psychology of "choice". In K. Korgen (Ed.). Multiracial Americans and social class: The influence of social class on racial identity. New York: Routledge.
Grieco, E. M., and R. C. Cassidy. 2001. Overview of race and Hispanic origin. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
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