A bicultural is an individual who is associated with more than two cultures by living in two or more places. Such an individual learns to adapt their way of life to the new environment that they are moving into. Bicultural people have character traits that define who they are and how they behave. Their attitudes, values, and behaviors in these different cultures have to change to suit the traditions of the society around them. They also combine and use both of these cultures to fit their needs. Human beings can acquire this bicultural trait at any point in their lives. Children, for example, can become bicultural as they are born into families that are surrounded by different cultures in their homes. Young people too can interact with others of different cultures as they pursue their studies in school and in the process become bicultural. Adults become incorporated into new cultures as they move to other countries.
Advantages of Being Bicultural
This article by Francois Grosjean discusses the advantages of being bicultural. This includes the availability of many social networks as one gains different ties with many people that they interact with. These people are also aware of the cultural differences that distinguish the various cultures in the world. They are also involved in the way of life of two cultures or more. The author likewise brings about the fact that individuals with this trait have the capability of being mediators between various cultures. Another advantage is that bicultural entities also have been proven through research to have bigger creativity compared to those who are not. They have illustrated greater success in their professions.
Becoming Bi-Cultural Makes You More Creative
I concur with the research done by Carmit, Adam, and William in saying that bicultural individuals have the capacity to be more creative and can generate more ideas compared to those who are not bicultural. They also tend to make new inventions and come up with new business ventures. It is true to say that those who are bicultural get more promotions. The author is also correct in stating the involvement of two cultures as being advantageous. This fact is because it gives one an opportunity of exposure to various world beliefs and ways of life thus enabling them to formulate better perspectives concerning a certain issue. This helps a lot during times of problem-solving. According to the article from the Boulder Weekly that talks about the bicultural advantage, bicultural people tend to adapt to the changing environment by integrating their experiences with the new tradition and this leads to complexity of one's thoughts (Schwartz & Unger, 2010).
I agree with the response given by Dr. Carmit to a situation experienced by Francois by saying that it is possible for a person who is bicultural to attain much higher levels of complexity during interactions with others. As one interacts with people of different ethnic backgrounds, they integrate their identity with that of the new culture (Korne, Byram & Fleming, 2007). A bicultural individual has the advantage of speaking two languages, eating a variety of foods, and having the chance to experience two cultures as they benefit from both. This bicultural trait makes one be open-minded to the possibility of having things done differently from how they are used to.
Biculturalism is good and helpful but isn't the only way that enables one to interact with others and form different viewpoints about issues. Multiculturalism, however, is much better since it allows one to accommodate all the other cultures and one eventually develops a universal human culture. With the increasing emigration of people into foreign countries in seek of better living, biculturalism continues to grow. This activity helps to promote peace among people of different races.
Schwartz, S. J., & Unger, J. B. (2010). Biculturalism and context: What is biculturalism, and when is it adaptive?. Human Development, 53(1), 26-32.
Korne, H. D., Byram, M., & Fleming, M. (2007). Familiarising the stranger: Immigrant perceptions of cross-cultural interaction and bicultural identity. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 28(4), 290-307.
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