Batja Mesquita (University of Leuven) : Emotional acculturation: Emotions as gateways to minority belonging
Date : lundi 13 mai 2019 à 14h
Lieu : salle 5028
Children learn to have emotions that are valued in their own culture; these emotions benefit them in their relationships with others in that culture. Therefore, having ‘the right emotions’ is one way in which individuals align themselves –often unwittingly– with the values of their groups and cultures. Considered this way, having the “right” emotions is a key social competence in achieving belongingness, fit and wellbeing. In this talk I address the question what happens when individuals immigrate, or when they move between different cultures. Do they emotionally acculturate? (i.e., do they learn new ways of emotional responding?) Do the new ways of emotional responding replace the original ones? Can people be emotionally bicultural, and what does this mean for our understanding of emotion regulation? I also focus on the consequences of emotional fit to the belongingness, fit, and wellbeing of immigrant minorities. I will present finding from research with community samples of immigrant minorities in Europe and the US, as well as findings from a representative, longitudinal study of middle school students in Belgium. Finally, I will discuss how our insights on emotional acculturation may inform interventions to improve the belongingness and wellbeing of immigrant minorities.