Being Bicultural

Being bicultural for a young person means one must learn to navigate two different cultures/practices/beliefs and somehow combine them to formulate a unique identity. Identity formation for someone who is bicultural can be difficult due to the differences in values and ideas of these two cultures. For example, someone with immigrant parents may have been taught to prioritize learning English over learning the family language. This person may have had little opportunity to speak the language of their parents and struggle in communicating and identifying with the culture that they most physically resemble. 

It can be confusing to feel as if one has to choose one culture over the other and, sometimes, it’s hard to not succumb to the dominant culture. While we do not choose which cultures we are born into, we can work towards choosing how we view our bicultural self. The ability to have multiple perspectives is one of the benefits of being bicultural (see article below), yet, challenges can also arise if a bicultural person has yet to successfully integrate both cultures. Bicultural confusion can also show up in relationship with others including family, friends, and romantic partners. Therapy can be a helpful place to explore your current and preferred ways of integrating these cultures. 

The article below has great insight and research-oriented perspectives on being bicultural.

http://www.globalcognition.org/youre-bicultural-can-make-work-advantage

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