Amsterdam Symposium on the Social Nature of Emotions date:29-30 May 2013
When people move to a different culture and have contact with majority members, their patterns of emotional experience tend to converge to the normative patterns of the new culture (De Leersnyder, Mesquita, & Kim, 2011). These findings can be seen as evidence for ‘emotional acculturation.’
The present research investigated the dimensionality of emotional acculturation by testing whether acquiring new emotional patterns comes at the expense of maintaining heritage-culture emotional patterns. We expected that these processes are rather independent, in part because minorities engage in both new (work/school) and heritage (home) cultural contexts on a daily basis. Moreover, we expected that specific situations would prime one of the two cultural patterns of emotions, with situations at home priming heritage cultural patterns of emotions, and situations at work/school priming the new culture’s patterns.
In two studies, we investigated emotional concordance of Turkish (n=168) and Korean (n=47) minorities to the normative patterns in both their heritage (Turkey n=400; Korea n=80) and host cultural contexts (Belgium n=286; US n=43). Results provide support for the bi-dimensionality of emotional acculturation. Moreover, they suggest that different contexts each may prime a different emotional fit, with relative salience of heritage patterns at home, and new patterns at work.