Toward a social psychology of bilingualism and biculturalism

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The intricate interactions between language and culture shape bilingual and bicultural individuals' psychological responses to social contexts. Language carries cultural scripts, ideals, and practices, which can be activated by situational cues. In the process of managing two acquired languages, bilinguals shift their self-perception and self-presentation to accommodate the prototypical norms characteristic of the culture being primed by language use. Cultural mindset can explain such language priming effects. In the process of negotiating two intersecting cultures, integrating bicultural identities is central to psychological adjustment among individuals experiencing immigration-based and globalization-based acculturation, whereas bilingual or trilingual competence is important to sojourners' adjustment. The present paper reviews empirical work along these lines of research and suggests that it is possible for alternation and integration to coexist within the same individuals who integrate their bicultural identities and alternate their behavioural responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Bicultural identity integration
  • Biculturalism
  • Bilingualism
  • Cultural mindset
  • Language priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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