This study innovates by pointing out new directions for research, and by having the potential to improve initiatives to promote multiculturalism and refugee integration. Support is required to pay the publication fee on Plos One.
Presentation video in Italian: https://youtu.be/MGSyve_dT-Q
I hereby ask for support for the publication of the scientific article “Examining acculturation in mixed-couples to test cultural transmission mechanisms”. I do so, not only because I do not have any institutional support to pay the publication fee, but also because I am convinced of the positive social impact that this article can produce, in response to current migratory flows. This is because this research work aims to reveal, by proposing quite innovative methodologies, which factors are responsible for adapting to a second culture. It was innovated, for example, by using a sample of mixed native-foreign couples to better understand the phenomenon in question. Now, studies like this one are essential to make the scientific community and civil society aware of the need to increase our efforts to create well-informed integration projects in Europe; to the need to shift our investments in refugee camps and (illegal) pushbacks to an effective effort to integrate. But let me tell you a little bit of the backstory:
I concluded my master's degree in 2019, with a thesis designed by me - which included data collection in Portugal, but above all fieldwork in Italy, at the time a central country in the so-called "refugee crisis", largely due to the landings in Lampedusa. This news at the time was one of the questions that made me want to do a study on multiculturalism. I myself had experienced my dose of xenophobia in England, where I was studying. So, in a way, I was able to stand on the side of the migrants and understand the effort and difficulty they had to face when arriving in Europe. And so, I asked myself: What factors are responsible for acculturation? And how can we facilitate this process? – however, I did not find satisfactory answers in the scientific literature I was delving into. For example, many studies focused on language mastery, claiming that this was the main catalyst for acculturation; but this aptitude is, in itself, part of the acculturation process, so there were clearly reformulations to be made here...
Another reason behind this idea was the fact that I myself am part of a multicultural relationship. So I was also sensitized about the dynamics experienced by such couples. On the one hand, there was the question “How can I help migrants adapt to our cultures?”, and on the other, “How the hell am I going to survive my relationship?!” – a very interesting combination! This is how I realized that mixed couples are a target population with unique properties for the study of cultural transmission, as it represents, as mentioned in the article: “the particular two-way process of cultural exchange (…) [with] asymmetrical inputs”. As a friend of mine said, I was in a perfect position, I was my own guinea pig!
And this was the story that made me embark for Italy, traveling from Turin (Piedmont) to Ravello (Campania); handing in the questionnaire in person whenever possible, in order to ensure the validity of the study and to gather relevant insights during my conversations with the participants, in all, 163! Therefore, this study also innovates because it goes against the common comfort of carrying out samples in students of the first year of Psychology. No, this is a sample that contains a generous slice of Human diversity! Furthermore, this face-to-face approach is of great importance, as it brings science closer to people's daily lives!