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An examination of acculturation with the Canadian multiculturalism

On December 19 Saba Safdar (PhD, Professor, Psychology Department, Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, University of Guelph, Canada) took part in the "Culture matters" research seminar with the report on "An examination of acculturation with the Canadian multiculturalism".

Canadian multiculturalism has generated much debate about its impact on society. On the one hand it has been praised for providing a policy and a framework for civic integration focusing on both participation in the mainstream society and recognition of other cultural heritages. On the other hand it has been criticized with the argument that it leads to social segregation of ethnic minority members, which also undermines national culture and national identity. In this presentation, results of a series of studies conducted in Canada and elsewhere was presented to shed light on the value of the Canadian policy of multiculturalism from a psychological perspective. The talk was organized into four distinct but related topics:

1) A comparison is made between multiculturalism (as a policy practiced by the government of Canada) and interculturalism (as a framework to manage diversity in Quebec).

2) A comparison is made of the sociocultural and psychological adaptation of immigrants to Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and the Netherlands, using the framework of the Multidimensional Individual Differences Acculturation (MIDA) model.

3) The results of series of studies on the experience of international students in Canada and their adjustment are discussed.

4) An examination is made of the social markers of integration that members of recipient nations use when deciding whether or not a migrant is a part of the host community. Specifically, Canadians, Japanese, Singaporeans, and Finns are compared in terms of inclusivity toward immigrants.