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Final Conclusions

  • Elke Murdock
Chapter
  • 712 Downloads
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)

Abstract

Increasingly complex societies pose a challenge to human identity development, and culture contact adds an additional dimension. The reach of globalization was noted in Chap.  3: People experience an increase in the frequency and intensity of intercultural exposure even without necessarily physically relocating. Culture contact presents additional challenges to core human motives (Chap.  4): At the cognitive level, the culture contact experience may represent a challenge to understanding and the experience of control. As was noted, belongingness is a core motive, and within multicultural societies, the boundaries between in- and out-groups become increasingly blurred and categorization processes become more and more difficult. As was also noted, belongingness shapes cognition and people classify in terms of social relationships. Information about in- and out-group members is cognitively processed differently, with information about in-group members being processed in more complex ways (attribute-based) and out-group information more simplistically (category-based). As Baumeister and Leary (1995) observed, prejudice can be employed towards out-groups to which individuals have no opportunity to belong (e.g. ethnicity or gender). The in-group is then bolstered at the expense of the out-group—serving the need to enhance self-worth—self-enhancement being another core motive. In the context of proliferation of groups within complex societies, it was also remarked that if complexity reaches a certain degree, a move towards simplification as a counter-reaction emerges. Alibhai-Brown (2001) was quoted who observed that the reaction to this bewildering opening up of our lives has been a greater (and more idealized) identification with old histories and smaller, neater identities. Thus at a time of proliferation of choice of in-groups, a counter-reaction may be observed in the form of (over-) simplification or nostalgia.

Keywords

Host Society Core Motive Language Competence Multicultural Society Foreign Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elke Murdock
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LuxembourgEsch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg

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