Cultural Diversities Across and Within Cultures: The Bicultural Mind

  • Olivia RealdonEmail author
  • Valentino Zurloni


In the current transition from structural to process models in the scientific inquiry on culture dynamics, culture is not viewed as consensual, enduring, and context-general, but as fragmented, fluctuating, and context-specific (situated cognition model). Bicultural individuals that, through enduring exposure to at least two cultures, have come to possess a bicultural mind, that is, systems of meaning and practices of both cultures, can therefore switch between such cultural orientations alternating them depending on the cultural cues (cultural primers) available in the immediate context (cultural frame switching). The bicultural mind roots in a dynamic bicultural brain: although culture is limited to what the brain can or cannot do, it does also shape brain functions, that is, neural connectivity is likely modified through sustained engagement in cultural practices. Built in a theoretical framework combining a co-evolutionary perspective on biology and culture with the expert-novice dynamics of cultural transmission and appropriation, the bicultural mind thus provides an articulated theoretical milieu apt to address the “why” and “how” (rather than “what”) questions on the managing of cultural diversities within and across cultures. And, in Gould’s view on punctuated equilibria, it can even be considered as the next evolutionary jump within the human species.


Cultural traits Cultural priming Bicultural mind Embodied cognition Cultural affordances 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.“Riccardo Massa” Department of Educational Human SciencesUniversity of Milano - BicoccaMilanItaly

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