People in different parts of the world have significantly varying cultural convictions which are defined by their unique beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions towards life. Multicultural psychology is a well established field that takes these differences into consideration. It is a field that acknowledges the presence of diverse cultures and the need to enable people to coexist and tolerate each other (Dana, 2005).
Multicultural psychologists are interested in determining the impact of cultural diversity on psychological practices like counseling and the general development of specific cultural beliefs among human beings. The research paper explores two major emerging issues in multicultural psychology; the internet and assimilation. It describes the impact that these issues have on the society as well as how they will affect the interaction among culturally diverse groups.
The world has experienced significant transformations in virtually all aspects of life following the emergence of technological advancements particularly in the 21st century.
The globalization process has seen many transnational and cross-cultural interactions. The internet, according to recent research, has proved to be one of the most influential agents as far as globalization is concerned (Reynolds & Lambert, 2009).
It has already been established that the internet has brought cultural diversity in the society where people with varying cultural backgrounds are able to interact, mostly in an indirect manner. In most countries and particularly in the United States, the internet has become one of the dominant ways of sharing information on a daily basis.
The internet, therefore, has resulted in what can be referred to as cultural identity crisis in the society. People in different societies are bombarded with numerous multicultural information through the internet and hence the challenge of maintaining one’s original culture as advocated by multiculturalists.
Modern multicultural psychologists have been challenged by the impact that the internet has had on the society, particularly among the young people.
Recent research findings reveal that the adolescents are facing serious problems when it comes to cultural identity formation (Dana, 2005). The young people are faced with the challenge of either embracing multicultural identity or change their own traditional cultural orientations. The internet, among other media, has brought a new way through which young people in the world interact among themselves.
This, therefore, has significantly affected the way adolescents interact in the culturally diverse society. Multicultural psychologists have been forced to device alternative methods that take into consideration the various research approaches on globalization and the young people and cultural identity formation.
Another key emerging issue in multicultural psychology is the concept of assimilation. Following the continued process of globalizing the world, there are challenges in the handling of the various cultural backgrounds.
The members of the society, according to multiculturalists, are expected to maintain their cultural heritage in the midst of diverse cultures. However, advocates of assimilation believe that cultural groups, particularly the minority, should give up their heritage cultures and take the host societies’ ways of living (Reynolds & Lambert, 2009).
For a long time now, dealing with racial and cultural diversity has proved to be a milestone for researchers and the society at large. Research findings by Reynolds and Lambert indicate that in the 21st century, the pressure has been put on cultural coexistence and hence the emergence of assimilation (2009).
Assimilation has seen many fields seeking to address this challenge. Psychology as a discipline has also felt the impact of the process on the interaction among people in culturally diverse groups. People have witnessed transformation in their belief systems, attitudes and perceptions in life (Dana, 2005).
The paper has explored two emerging issues in multicultural psychology. The internet and the process of cultural assimilation have been found to have significant impact on the society. Interaction among culturally diverse groups has been shaped a lot by these issues. Multicultural psychologists, therefore, should develop appropriate theories and research that take these key issues into consideration.
Dana, R. H (2005). Personality assessment: a cross-cultural and multicultural perspective (3rd ed.). Routledge
Reynolds, A. G. & Lambert, W. A., (2009). Understanding multiculturalism and assimilation (4th ed.). Routledge